In 2022, Merck is offering a series of research grants to stimulate innovative research in challenging areas of future importance.

This call for research proposals is seeking for solutions that can substantially advance Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning mediated predictive diagnostics and drug target discovery with the goal of developing tools to augment current approaches.

  • Opportunity: grant comprising between 100,000 - 300,000 $/year for 2 years with the option of extension.
  • Deadline: Submission deadline is 31 August 2022.
  • Application: submit your proposal here.


Your proposal should address one of the following technologies:

  • Molecular detections: Rapid image-based histopathology and cytogenetics prediction, particularly for molecular detections 
  • Molecular diagnostics: Multiparameter molecular diagnostic tools for disease diagnosis and progression prediction
  • Phenotypic profiling: AI enabled phenotypic profiling
  • Drug Target and Biomarker discovery: Automation technologies combined with AI tools to uncover complex biomarker signatures and novel drug target discovery 
  • Data curation: Creative solutions to curate and qualify annotated data sets that is also compliant in data privacy concerns for the above AI/ML applications (e.g. intersection with Blockchain technology)


In the first stage of the Research Grants applications process, applicants submit their application containing non-confidential information only. You may apply for more than one grant or submit your application for more than one category. If your application is successful, you are invited to submit a full proposal under confidentiality and join a deep-dive workshop. All applicants are informed about the decision of the selection committee. 

The second stage of the Research Grant process is a collaborative step, the deep-dive workshop. Finalists submit their full proposals and then work together with Merck managers and scientists to jointly optimize submitted project proposals. All teams reaching this stage will be informed in October. The deep-dive workshops will take place in November 2022. The culmination of the deep-dive workshops will be the selection of the research grant winners.

The third stage of the Research Grants process is the Research Grant funding phase. To enable pay-out and project start, Merck enters into bilateral collaboration agreements with the winning recipients. Merck's collaborative Research Grants are a unique opportunity for researchers who are interested in working with the company‘s scientists and receive guidance from industry. During the Research Grant funging period, there will therefore be regular meetings with Merck scientists. 

You can know more about this opportunity on the Merck's 2022 Research Grants page.



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