Pilot Grant

CDD Pilot Grant Funding Program


The Center for Drug Discovery (CDD) Pilot Grant Funding program is designed to advance the translation of new discoveries into small molecule therapeutics for the benefit of patients. CDD offers a full suite of preclinical drug discovery services and know-how. Capabilities range from drug lead finding utilizing the High Throughput Screening Core (HTSC) to Medicinal Chemistry-driven drug lead optimization, ADME profiling, and in vivo pharmacokinetics, furnishing drug-like molecules for proof-of-concept in vivo pharmacology studies and intellectual property (patent) filing.


Eligibility criteria. Investigators with a faculty appointment at Washington University.

Submission deadline & Application Process.

  • Submit completed application along with a current Biosketch or CV to Ron Dolle by Monday, November 14, 2022, at 5 pm. You can download the forms below:
  • Nov-Dec 2022: CDD staff will triage applications to identify the most promising projects. Success will be based upon the potential for partnering.
  • Dec 2022-Jan 2023: Selected applicants will receive coaching in preparation for a final presentation.
  • January 2023: A short Zoom-based final presentation (15 minutes) and Q&A (45 minutes) with CDD and extramural judges
  • Februrary 2023: Award decisions within two weeks of final presentations.

Award term. While projects are expected to be completed within 1 year of the Notice of Award, award funds will be released in tranches, as milestones are met.

Expectation. The award is viewed as a “hand-up” to generate preliminary data to enable successful following-on funding (e.g., NCI, NIH, private foundation, commercial partnership), publication, and patent filing.

Reporting. Progress reports will be expected periodically and/or upon completion of milestones to release subsequent tranches.  Awardees will also be surveyed up to 3 years after project completion to capture return on investment.