Transnational Call



For internal projects only:

Medicinal Chemistry Call 2022

Purpose of the call

Researchers who access the European Chemical Biology Library (ECBL) at EU-OPENSCREEN screening facilities and are funded by the EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE project, can apply for support in all phases of tool compound development from hit identification to lead optimization. Within this call, projects with successful screening campaigns from the small molecule screening call can apply for one of three chemical optimisation projects at our EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC chemistry partner sites (see list below).  

The starting point should be a set of validated primary hits generated from the preceding small molecule screening callPlease notice that proposals with preliminary primary screening data will be accepted. Hits coming from the pilot library only will not be sufficient to apply.

The chemical optimization support offered under this call covers:  

  • Searching structure/ activity landscape around validated primary hits in databases including patents to ensure novelty for the observed target-related or disease-model related activities 

  • Assessment of individual validated primary hits regarding their potential for directed chemical modification 

  • Recommendation of commercially available analogues for initial SAR characterization 

  • Chemical modifications of validated hits for improvement of specificity, activity and pharmacological properties 

  • Iterative re-screening of the respective biological assay for improved properties using chemically modified hits (done in close collaboration with the user and the respective EU-OPENSCREEN screening partner) 

Applicants will be asked to provide a detailed description of the objectives of their project and results from the screening campaign (please see here proposal guidelines including application form details).

Call for proposals will be open until March 15th 2022 (16:00 CET)*. Eligible proposals will be evaluated for scientific excellence, impact, innovation potential and technical feasibility. Proposals will be handled confidentially. Read more about the proposal submission, eligibility criteria, modality of access and evaluation processes below.

* Call for proposals might be reopened in 2022 in case of a low number of completed screening projects.

Participating institutions

The following five institutions will offer their medicinal chemistry expertise under this call in 2022: 

In 2021, the following additional two partner sites participated:

  • Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), Medicinal Chemistry group – read more about FMP here and on the site webpage:  
  • Center for Biological Research Margarita Salas (CIB-CSIC), Translational Medicinal and Biological Chemistry – read more about CIB-CSIC here and on the site webpage:   

Proposal submission

  • Applicants are invited to submit their proposals via the EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE website by connecting to the ARIA online proposal submission system (online system will be available by February 16th 2022 (tentative date). Applicants are required to register upon their first visit to ARIA, or login directly if they are already registered with an ARIA account. Once registered, the applicants are required to follow ARIA instructions. 

  • The ARIA application system for EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE is handled by Instruct-ERIC. Although potential EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE users are requested to register with the ARIA system, the application, review, and reporting process will be handled by EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC. 

  • Guidelines for the application form for this call can be downloaded here

  • The online proposal submission will be open until March 15th, 2022 (16:00 CET). 

  • Applicants will be notified about acceptance or rejection of their proposal within 8-10 weeks after the closure of the medicinal chemistry call. 

  • If you have any doubt or question relating to the submission process within ARIA please contact us at (indicating “EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE medicinal chemistry call 2022” in the subject line). 

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants may come from academia or industry (including SMEs). 

  • Applicants may be working in an institution of a European member state or associated country. Up to 2 projects will be open to applicants from outside Europe. 

  • Principal investigators and members of their research groups from EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE beneficiaries are not eligible to apply. 

  • Applicants commit to have legal and ethical consent regarding their research, their samples and/or their data prior to submitting their application. 

Modality of Access

  • Access will be free-of-charge for the successful applicants, working in an institution or industry of a European Union member state or associated country.  

  • User access is transnational only. Users are not allowed to access facility(ies) in their home country. 

  • Applicants are invited to collaborate with one out of five EU-OPENSCREEN medicinal chemistry groups. Please note that, upon evaluation, proposals might be reallocated amongst the 3 participating institutions according to the research proposed by the applicant, the strengths of specific methodologies and expertise of the respective facilities. Herein, the transnational access rules recommended by the European Commission will be followed. 

  • EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE will fund costs of successful projects for instrumentation time, consumables, travel costs, shipment of delicate material and for personnel required at the facilities. 

  • Project-related costs (personnel, consumables, and other costs) at the user laboratory are not funded under this call. 

  • EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE recommends users to contact EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE team by email at or the facilities offering the expertise of interest in order to discuss the feasibility of the project prior to the submission of the proposal (please indicate “EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE medicinal chemistry call” in the subject line). 

Proposal evaluation

The review process of applications consists of two steps of evaluation (1. scientific and 2. technical). The application will remain strictly confidential throughout the review process. Reviewers will be bound by a non-disclosure agreement. 

  1. If eligibility criteria are met, two independent external experts in the field of chemical biology will evaluate the scientific excellence of the proposal. Innovation potential and gender aspects of the project-specific research questions and method will also be considered. 

  1. Technical feasibility will be assessed by internal EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE partners of interest and the EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE management support team. Herein, technical reviewers will assess whether appropriate resources for the technical implementation of the projects are available at the partner sites. 


Open access (gold or green, more details here: is required for any publication of access results. EU-OPENSCREEN-DRIVE funding must be clearly acknowledged by: “This project has received funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 823893.” 

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