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UC Drug Discovery Consortium Seed Funding Awards

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Cycle 1

UC DDC is an initiative supported by the University of California Office of the President to assist faculty researchers in the creation of drugs to address important unmet medical needs. UC DCC facilitates access to drug discovery resources across all UC campuses. Financial support for UC DCC is made available through a Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI) award.

A key activity of UC DDC is to provide seed funding that will enable faculty members with promising ideas to advance drug discovery or drug development projects. The projects may be a spin-off or progression of the faculty member’s basic science research. Data generated with seed funding from UC DCC is intended to position the faculty member to pursue federal, philanthropic or commercial support to further advance the drug discovery effort. The seed funding can be used to support drug discovery activities of the faculty member and also to access core drug discovery resources at any University of California campus. UC DCC will provide grantees with advice and mentoring on how best to pursue drug discovery and development for their chosen project.

Projects from any therapeutic area are invited. Projects seeking to develop small molecules or biologicals are eligible. The tasks to be undertaken can range from early target identification and high throughput screening to the later stages of non-clinical development. The seed funding program is not intended to support clinical research. Principal investigators must be employed at one of the MRPI grant campuses: Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.

The first funding cycle of the UC DCC seed grant program will provide one year of support beginning late Fall, 2017. Funding must be spent within 1 year. Grants will only be renewed in exceptional circumstances.  Awardees will be invited to present at the annual UC DDC Symposium.

The Award: 
Up to $50,000 in grant support for a period of up to 12 months, as well as mentoring and project management support.

Eligibility: Faculty in all series and ranks at UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego, and UC San Francisco are eligible. Postdoctoral scholars, project scientists, and staff researchers are not eligible to serve as principal investigator of a UC DCC seed award unless they have been granted principal investigator status on their campus. Researchers who are UC scientists but not faculty can be listed as co-principal investigators.

Requirements: Projects should have have existing or imminent target validation in animal systems or human cell lines and a clear clinical indication. All therapeutic areas where there is an unmet medical need or the potential for significant improvement over current treatments are acceptable.

Selection Process and Review: Applicants will first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to their respective Site Leads (below), who will select up to three proposals from each campus to go forward as full applications. All full applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of all representatives from the MRPI grant campuses, along with disease and platform experts from academia and industry who will be under a non-disclosure confidentiality agreement.  A maximum of six projects will be funded in this cycle.

Letter of Intent: 
Submit LOIs to your campus email address listed below by 5 p.m. PST July 31, 2017.  Contact your Site Leader at the bottom of this page if you have questions.

Submission email:
UC Davis: 
UC Irvine: 
UC Los Angeles:
UC San Diego:
UC San Francisco:

Letter of Intent format:

  • Title of research proposal
  • Names, titles, institutions, telephone numbers and emails of PIs and Co-PIs
  • 0.5 page description of project, including specific aims, methods, plan for IP development, and plan for product development

Invited Application: Applicants will be informed that they have been chosen to progress to the full application stage by Aug 7. The application must be submitted by 5 p.m. PST on Aug 31, 2017. Requirements for this application can be found here.

RFA Release: June 19, 2017
Letter of Intent to Site Lead:  5 p.m. PST, July 31, 2017
Invited Application Due: 5 p.m. PST, August 31, 2017 
Earliest Start Date: Oct 1, 2017

For complete details and instructions for this RFA, click here.

About application requirements and process: 

UC Davis 
Michael A. Rogawski
Site Leader

UC Irvine 
Melanie Cocco
Site Leader

Robert Damoiseaux
Site Leader

UC San Diego 
Michael Gilson
Site Leader

UC San Francisco
Catherine Tralau-Stewart 
Site Leader

Posting Information
This posting expired on August 01, 2017.

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