Scientist in lab

The University of California Drug Discovery Consortium (UC DDC) aims to assist faculty researchers across the University of California advance the creation of drugs that address important unmet medical needs. In partnership with industrial sponsors, we provide seed funding that enables faculty members to advance promising drug discovery/development projects, with the goal of generating data that will enable them to secure federal, philanthropic, or commercial support and thus further advance their projects. Here, we invite applications for one year of seed-funding support, with funding to start nominally May 1, 2024.  

Applicants will fill out and upload a brief, non-confidential Letter of Intent form. The Executive Committee (EC) of UC DDC and UC DDC industrial partner(s) will review all proposals and invite selected applicants to make an in-person or online presentation at their home campus to the industrial sponsor(s) and EC representatives under a non-disclosure agreement. Project(s) to be funded will be selected by the Executive Committee in consultation with the industrial partner. Our industrial partner for this request for applications is Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

PIs of funded project must apprise the EC of their progress during the project and must submit a final report after its close. PIs may also be invited to participate in the UC-wide drug discovery symposium. 

Researchers considering applying are invited to email a 1-3 sentence, non-confidential statement of their proposed project to their UC DDC Campus Lead for a quick response regarding the partner’s and UC DDC’s level of interest. The UC DDC Leads are listed here:

A minimum of three seed grants are anticipated in this cycle. The partner can fund more projects if desired – in 2022, 7 projects were funded.

Budget: You may propose up to $100,000 direct costs, which will be accompanied by indirect costs at the campus NIH level. Final budget will be determined following review and must be commensurate with and clearly tied to the accomplishment of the project. Costs may include salary and benefits, supplies, instrument access, and travel costs. Given interest from the UC DDC industrial partner, a higher level of funding may be offered to carry out an expanded version of the project, and/or substantial follow-on funding and/or collaboration is possible. 

Deadline for nonconfidential Letters of Intent: 11:59 pm August 31, 2023. 

The Letter of intent can be submitted at the UC DDC website. Link: (See associated email for submission password).

Eligibility: Faculty in all series and ranks at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Los Angeles, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, and UC Santa Cruz are eligible. Postdoctoral scholars, project scientists, and staff researchers are not eligible to serve as principal investigator of a UC DDC 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. 


Intellectual property: Any intellectual property arising from the granted research must be negotiable for licensing to an industrial partner.