Merck is seeking applications to offer a series of research grants to stimulate innovative research in challenging areas of future importance.


The aim of the Research Grant is to create new sustainable partnerships with leading global science and technology players to work on breakthrough science and to generate valuable seeds for future business.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany intends to offer research grants in the following 4 research areas:

  • Drug Discovery: What is the next game-changing molecule or technology to help cure cancer or autoimmune disease? Merck is offering research grants for proposals that have the potential to advance the field of drug discovery within Oncology and Autoimmune Diseases. Proposals will be considered a) that help to identify and characterize the next game-changing molecule or technology to help cure cancer or autoimmune disease. b) innovative research on molecular targets or pathophysiological pathways with untapped potential to be the next big therapeutic breakthrough. c) new breakthrough enabling technologies for drug discovery. d) methods that improve translation from and predictivity of preclinical models to the clinical situation.
  • Next generation machine learning: Artificial neural networks are inspired by biological brains, but their conceptual foundations are quite old: they were modeled after the brain’s anatomy in the 1950s and 1960s – according to the understanding at that time. Fundamental limitations remain, in particular, the need for large amounts of training data and the difficulties in generalizing and extrapolating between domains. A deeper mathematical understanding of cognitive processes like auditory or visual perception may trigger progress both in neuroscience and in artificial intelligence. Project proposals will be considered that seek to overcome current limitations in AI by a new generation of algorithms, inspired by today’s neurosciences and by advances in brain research.
  • Bioreactor design for cultured meat: The industry relies heavily on technologies that have been developed for the biopharma industry. However, the scale and cost requirements for the two industries are vastly different. Proposals will be considered that help to develop the next generation, scalable bioreactors that can support industrial scale meat and seafood manufacturing. Reimagine existing technologies to fit the performance efficiency, cost and sustainability requirements. Innovate on aspects of the system from fabrication of scaffolds to operation strategy and perfusion dynamics, automation intelligence and harvesting.
  • Pandemic preparedness / fighting new emerging viral infectious disease: The threat from newly emerging viral infections is one of the top global challenges for humanity. The recent COVID-19 pandemic shows that pandemic preparedness and having the right products and technology to fight infectious diseases with epidemic and pandemic potential is of utmost importance. It is required to act quickly to limit further substantial damages to society, economy and ecology. Project proposals will be considered that leverage modern technologies to create new breakthrough solutions to be more prepared for pandemic outbreaks or work towards existing solutions that could help to fight emerging viral infections.

Funding Information

Grants of 100,000 EUR – 500,000 EUR per year for up to 3 years are availabe.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Submissions are accepted from scientists in all countries all over the world.
  • The Merck research grants program is open to scientists in all career stages who are affiliated with any research-based institution, university or company. Applicants submit their application for the focus topics containing non-confidential information only. You may apply for more than one focus topic.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to submit a full proposal and join a deep-dive workshop with the other finalists in 2020.

For more information, visit

Merck is seeking applications to offer a series of research grants to stimulate innovative research in challenging areas of future importance.


The aim of the Research Grant is to create new sustainable partnerships with leading global science and technology players to work on breakthrough science and to generate valuable seeds for future business.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany intends to offer research grants in the following 4 research areas:

  • Drug Discovery: What is the next game-changing molecule or technology to help cure cancer or autoimmune disease? Merck is offering research grants for proposals that have the potential to advance the field of drug discovery within Oncology and Autoimmune Diseases. Proposals will be considered a) that help to identify and characterize the next game-changing molecule or technology to help cure cancer or autoimmune disease. b) innovative research on molecular targets or pathophysiological pathways with untapped potential to be the next big therapeutic breakthrough. c) new breakthrough enabling technologies for drug discovery. d) methods that improve translation from and predictivity of preclinical models to the clinical situation.
  • Next generation machine learning: Artificial neural networks are inspired by biological brains, but their conceptual foundations are quite old: they were modeled after the brain’s anatomy in the 1950s and 1960s – according to the understanding at that time. Fundamental limitations remain, in particular, the need for large amounts of training data and the difficulties in generalizing and extrapolating between domains. A deeper mathematical understanding of cognitive processes like auditory or visual perception may trigger progress both in neuroscience and in artificial intelligence. Project proposals will be considered that seek to overcome current limitations in AI by a new generation of algorithms, inspired by today’s neurosciences and by advances in brain research.
  • Bioreactor design for cultured meat: The industry relies heavily on technologies that have been developed for the biopharma industry. However, the scale and cost requirements for the two industries are vastly different. Proposals will be considered that help to develop the next generation, scalable bioreactors that can support industrial scale meat and seafood manufacturing. Reimagine existing technologies to fit the performance efficiency, cost and sustainability requirements. Innovate on aspects of the system from fabrication of scaffolds to operation strategy and perfusion dynamics, automation intelligence and harvesting.
  • Pandemic preparedness / fighting new emerging viral infectious disease: The threat from newly emerging viral infections is one of the top global challenges for humanity. The recent COVID-19 pandemic shows that pandemic preparedness and having the right products and technology to fight infectious diseases with epidemic and pandemic potential is of utmost importance. It is required to act quickly to limit further substantial damages to society, economy and ecology. Project proposals will be considered that leverage modern technologies to create new breakthrough solutions to be more prepared for pandemic outbreaks or work towards existing solutions that could help to fight emerging viral infections.

Funding Information

Grants of 100,000 EUR – 500,000 EUR per year for up to 3 years are availabe.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Submissions are accepted from scientists in all countries all over the world.
  • The Merck research grants program is open to scientists in all career stages who are affiliated with any research-based institution, university or company. Applicants submit their application for the focus topics containing non-confidential information only. You may apply for more than one focus topic.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to submit a full proposal and join a deep-dive workshop with the other finalists in 2020.

For more information, visit Research Grants.

Name of the Organisation
Merck
Location
India
Grant Amount
USD 5,00,000
Closing date of Proposal
Monday, 31 August, 2020
RFP Email
https://www.merckgroup.com/en/research/open-innovation/2020-research-grants.html
RFP URL
https://www.merckgroup.com/en/research/open-innovation/2020-research-grants.html
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