2020 Research Grants


Stimulating innovative research

In 2020, we are offering a series of research grants to stimulate innovative research in challenging areas of future importance. Grants of 100,000 EUR - 500,000 EUR per year for up to 3 years are availabe in the areas of 

  • Drug discovery 
  • Bioreactor design for cultured meat
  • Next generation machine learning
  • Pandemic preparedness / fighting new emerging viral infectious disease

Application process

The 2020 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.  

Submissions are accepted from scientists in all countries all over the world. 

To submit an application, investigators must first register with our online portal. On your first visit, you will need to register (click "register" in the online form) with a valid email address. Your registration link will then be forwarded to this email address. Refer to the FAQ section for details.

Submissions will be accepted until 31 August 2020 23:59 CEST.

Deep dive Workshops

The deep-dive workshop will take place November 3rd-5th, 2020, in Darmstadt, Germany. Finalists will work together with our managers and scientists to jointly optimize submitted project proposals. The culmination of the symposia will be the selection of the research grant winners.

 

Drug Discovery

What is the next game-changing molecule or technology to help cure cancer or autoimmune disease? We are 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.

Application portal

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.

Application portal

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.

Application portal

Pandemic preparedness / fighting emerging new 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.

Details and application

FAQ

How can I register on the submissions platform?

How can I register on the submissions platform?

Please navigate to innovation.emdgroup.com/login, click on "register" and follow the instructions. You will be asked to enter a contact mailing address. The registration link will then be sent to that email address that you use for your login. Check your inbox for the mail from "Noreply.Innovation@hype.m.group".

When is the application deadline?

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is August, 31st, 2020, 23:59 central European summer time.

How do I apply?

How do I apply?

In order to apply, fill out the application form with your research proposal, using non-confidential information only. Please make sure you have read and accepted the terms and conditions before you submit the application form.

Can I send in my application for more than one focus topic?

Can I send in my application for more than one focus topic?

Yes, you should apply for those research topics that are relevant to your proposal and you may submit multiple applications.

What about publicity?

What about publicity?

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany retains the exclusive right to make any press release or any kind of public communication about the research grant and the awardee(s). Confidential details on project content will not be revealed.

What happens to applications that are not successful?

What happens to applications that are not successful?

We will not reveal any information on submissions.

 

What is a Deep Dive workshop?

What is a Deep Dive workshop?

During the deep-dive workshops, invited top submitters further advance their research proposals together with our scientists under confidentiality. For this purpose, a participant's agreement needs to be signed. At the end of the workshop, participants present their optimized research proposal and the winning applicants are selected by us.

Where and when will the Deep Dive workshops take place?

Where and when will the Deep Dive workshops take place?

Workshops take place 3rd- 5th November 2020 in Darmstadt, Germany

When will the research grants be paid out?

When will the research grants be paid out?

Following the deep-dive workshops, we enter into bilateral collaboration agreements with the winning recipients to enable pay-out and project start in 2021.

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