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URMC / Research / Pilot Funding / Drug Development Delivery Pilot Award Program

Drug Development Award Program


To support projects in drug development research that result in technology development, extramural funding, and commercialization.

Award Types

Early Exploratory Studies

  • Objective: To support initial studies directed to a particular target, including: the development and performance of an initial high-throughput screen (HTS) against an identified target or cell based activity with clinical relevance, or other highly focused studies in accordance with the overarching purposes of the award program.
  • Resources: Generally expected (but not absolutely required) to use resources at URMC/SMD (only), including the HTS cost-center and other cores/cost centers as appropriate.
  • Budget: Up to $10,000. Budget expected to support studies conducted at URMC/SMD only.

Lead Finding Studies

  • Objective: To support more advanced studies, including: early phase medicinal chemistry; initial structure-activity-relationship (SAR) analysis of early chemical leads; target/compound validation; ADME and pharmacokinetic (PK) studies of candidate molecules in preparation for animal studies; or actual animal studies.
  • Resources: Generally expected (but not absolutely required) to use an external drug development service, in combination with studies at URMC.
  • Budget: Up to $50,000. Budget will be used to support studies based on project needs and recommendations of Drug Discovery Steering Committee.


Restrictions: (1) URSMD faculty only (including non-tenure-track); (2) No faculty salary support permitted.

Review Criteria: Highest priority will be given to those projects that generate enabling preliminary data that are expected to lead to follow on extramural research funding (NIH, SBIR, R21 or R01) or significant external investment in the technology by industry and/or credible investors.

Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to Omar Bakht.

Format for Proposal Submission

Font should be no smaller than an 11-point font. The information to be provided includes:

  1. Face Page: Giving the project title, type, budget and lead PI (this must also indicate the status of any necessary UCAR or RSRB approvals).
  2. Specific Aims and Background: 1 page limit.
  3. Research Plan and Methods: Please note that the structures of "hit" compounds and any screening-derived SAR must be included in order to be considered for funding via the "lead-finding" mechanism. 1 page limit.
  4. Follow on Plan: A one-page outline of specific aims for the planned extramural grant application that will be developed from the pilot award (or a one-page outline of how the pilot award will secure new external investment in development of the technology).
  5. Bibliography: 1 page limit.
  6. Budget and Budget Justification: 1 page limit.
  7. NIH Biosketch for the PI and for co-investigators (optional: please use the 2-page format).

Submission and Award Deadlines

Proposals must be submitted electronically by email to:

Omar Bakht
UR Ventures
(585) 276-6600

Submission Deadline

  • February 5, 2016 (for award in March 2, 2016)