Funding of Synthesis and Assays

My impression is that this projected is under funded and under resourced at the chemistry and biology ends. Am I wrong? Are significant collaborations/partnerships being explored for medicinal chemisry and assays?

I’m no longer an Oxford Research Fellow but it’s apparent that there’s significant scope for grant applications - although I never had good grant writing skills and never considered it good use of my time!

https://researchsupport.admin.ox.ac.uk/funding/covid-19

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Thanks @EKDavies, I believe some of the group members at Oxford are aware of those grants, but I can double check!

On the chemistry side one of the current issues affecting everyone, not just this project, is that most of the synthetic chemistry labs in the world, both industrial and academic, have been / are still in lockdown.
I’ve offered access to our crowdsourced chemistry platform (our = DNDi) but this is quite a slow process and would not be a substitute for dedicated full time chemists. I guess what would be ideal would be to have a couple of dedicated academic labs or PIs look into taking on postdocs to drive chemistry for the project - that and perhaps also to get dedicated funding to engage additional CRO chemists on the project.
Is there someone on the project who is aking the lead on finding these resources, or is the general feeling that there are sufficient resources already?

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Hi @Ben_DNDi, I have been coordinating grant applications. Our project is currently supported by 25 FTE chemists in CROs. But our current funding can only support a few months of work at this level. We are looking for more funding opportunities, and would be grateful if you have any suggestions.

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I think we have a possibility of redirecting our UKRI grant towards this project; however, it ends in 4 months’ time and we’d not be in the lab to offer support; moreover, the project is so close to completion and we need that final push, if ever we can return to the lab! I’ll check on some of the costs (we did have an element of ADME Tox we might be able to use towards this project)
My feeling is that the best way to use resources, if they can be sought, would be to have funds to continue to enable the CROs to make the molecules and also companies to test the compounds. We’d get so much more bang for our buck as the CROs and companies are absorbing a lot of the overheads already, have groups of chemists and biologists, not just one person, have momentum, PLUS they are permitted,under strict guidelines to work. Were I to obtain a grant from a UKRI, it would pay 80% of costs; a postdoc for 1 year would cost around 130K! Max resources are usually around 17K to pay for chemicals.
I don’t mind writing grants, and we get a decent return, so fire some of those opportunities my way and I’ll give them a go… Don’t want to step on toes but happy to bring in money in other ways. We’ll have to coordinate, maybe, offline.

Hi @JSPEN, that’s great! We’d be immensely grateful if you can redirect your grant towards our CRO efforts. Happy to discuss the mechanics offline.

Re new grants: Our strategy right now is indeed pouring most resources into CROs. I’m in the process if coordinating an UKRI submission for the consortium and would be great to have you on board.

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It’s a date. Sure thing! Happy to help!