Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This page contains information about current funding opportunities with Industry. If you are thinking of applying, please read all terms and conditions and feel free to get in touch with the named Oxford contact to talk more about the opportunity. Opportunities are not vetted at the stage of being included on this page. The page is updated on a monthly basis and is not exhaustive.

Novartis opportunities

Further information working with Novartis (SSO login required)

Pfizer- CTI call for proposals 

Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) focus on accessing cutting-edge science and innovative discoveries aligned with Pfizer’s current core research areas of Oncology, Inflammation & Immunology, Rare Diseases, and Internal Medicine

Non-confidential pre-proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis during the period Sunday 21 March  - Monday 28 June 2021

Collaboration with CTI provides access to Pfizer R&D strengths, resources, and capabilities to help guide and advance novel scientific approaches. 

  •  Each investigator is paired with a scientific champion at Pfizer
  • Funding is provided for project-specific research in the academic lab
  • Complimentary biology and drug discovery are performed at Pfizer

In scope:

Novel biological targets supported by:

  •  in vivo and in vitro models
  • enabling genetics & mechanistic insights
  • translational biochemical or cellular assay and biomarkers

Modality agnostic (exception of cell- based therapies)

Out of scope:

  • Drug repurposing, standalone biomarker assays/platforms, medical devices, cell- based therapies

Inflammation & Immunology

  • Novel approaches to target interactions between pathogenic fibroblast and macrophage subsets or to modulate cellular senescence in inflammation / fibrosis (e.g. senolytic & senomorphic approaches)
  • Novel targets and mechanisms to induce immune tolerance in autoimmunity (e.g. modulation of Mregs, Bregs, and to lDCs)
  • Novel concepts to modulate pathogenic immune cells in autoimmune disease (e.g. targeting of B cells, inflammatory monocytes, neutrophils, mast cells or other granulocytes)
  • Restoration of epithelial barrier function and promotion of its repair in IBD by directly targeting the epithelial barrier.

Out-of-scope: Targets in replicative senescence e.g. telomerase; direct induction/modulation of regulatory T cells (Tregs); modulation of immune cell functions that indirectly affect epithelial barrier function


  • Induction or targeting of senescent-like arrest of tumor cells to overcome drug resistance and/or improve immune response to solid tumors
  • Enhancing immune-mediated tumor cell killing: activation of repeat elements, antigen presentation, prevention or reversal of immune-senescence & -exhaustion mechanisms
  • Splicing & cell stress: R-loops and restoration of RNA processing –selective targeting of splicing via RNA binding proteins and RNA helicases
  • Targets driving the DNA damage response and replicative stress, including nucleases, deubiquitinases, and helicases; synthetic lethal relationships outside of BRCA1/2.

Out-of-scope: cytotoxic antibody-drug conjugates, rare tumour indications

Internal Medicine

  • Novel mechanisms and/or human genetic approaches to target heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Including, but not limited to, novel targets and pathways regulating skeletal muscle vascular growth and function.
  • Mechanisms addressing cachexia associated with chronic disease and aging
  • Pathways targeting muscle growth and function including metabolism and mitochondrial energetics
  • Inflammatory pathways underlying cachexia of chronic disease
  • Gut-brain signaling in regulation of energy balance
  • (obesity/cachexia) - Targeting vagal sensory pathways in the gut or nodose ganglion to regulate feeding.
  • Novel approaches for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy or chronic kidney disease, founded on evidence from human pathophysiology and/or genetics

Out-of-scope: nutraceutical approaches to muscle growth and function; approaches that cause browning of white

Rare Disease

Approaches for the cause/treatment of Repeat Expansion Diseases

  • Targets directly impacting the pathogenic repeats at the level of DNA/RNA
  • Molecular mechanisms that modulate or regulate the pathogenic repeat
  • Assays for DNA mismatch repair and biomarkers of somatic repeat instability

Novel concepts for the cause (mutant or modifier genes, causal signalling pathways) or treatment (reverse existing pathology) of Rare Cardiac Diseases

  • Rare inherited, Dilated, & Arrhythmogenic Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Amyloid light-chain amyloidosis (AL-Amyloidosis)
  • Rare heart rhythm disorders

Opportunities for the pathogenesis or progression of Rare Renal Disorders; Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, IgA Nephropathy, Alport Syndrome, or Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

• Novel targets/pathways to improve glomerular filtration
• Mechanisms to reduce IgA deposition or slow renal decline post deposition
• Mechanisms to reduce cyst size, growth, formation and downstream effects on renal function

Out-of-scope: ultra-rare diseases, ex vivo gene therapy, broad hemodynamic modifiers and fibrotic mechanisms


The deadline for submission of a preproposal is done via Martin Kerr. Pre-proposals must also be discussed with Pfizer prior to submission, so please get in touch as soon as possible. The pre-proposal portal closes on Monday 28 June 2021

Please note, Pfizer will review opportunities for early discovery science proposals that fit wit Pfizer's core aims ad hoc Please get in touch if you would like to learn more.


The Business Partnerships Office contact is Martin Kerr:

On this page