Call for proposals: The Small Molecule Drug Discovery Catalyst Programme

Call for Proposals Release date Deadline date
 Call for proposals : The Small Molecule Drug Discovery Catalyst Programme
 22 November 2019
 15 January 2020

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) have teamed up to support and strengthen the country’s growing capacity in drug discovery research by providing national access to a unique small molecule compound library for screening. Hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the library consists of 20,000 high-quality curated small molecules.

The Small Molecule Drug Discovery Catalyst Programme aims to support and stimulate greater capacity and innovation in the field, by providing researchers with access to a unique small molecule collection that represents high quality starting material for hit-based drug discovery campaigns. Designed in two stages, the first stage will grant qualifying researchers access to a mini-library of 400 compounds that represent the total chemical diversity of compounds contained within the full library.

Qualifying researchers are free to screen these compounds against their disease models of interest. The second stage grants qualifying researchers access to the full library, or to relevant parts there-of, in order to build on promising findings from stage one. For both stages the library is provided at no cost to participating groups. Researchers are however responsible for the costs associated with screening the library and activities linked to this. Beyond stage two, further R&D support may be given to researchers who have clearly maximised the resource to progress hits along the discovery pipeline, and in the process have significantly strengthened the field through capacity development.

The full library consists of ~20,000 small synthetic molecules (average molecular weight 375.9; range 162.2 – 630.6). The mini-library of 400 consists of compounds that exhibit a good structural representation of the full library; selection was performed using Canvas (Schrödinger cheminformatics suite, hosted by the Centre for High Performance Computing, Cape Town). To ensure compound integrity quality control has been performed for all the compounds in the mini-library using exact mass LC-MS/MS.


  • Release date : 22 November 2019  
  • Deadline : 15 January 2020

The Applications must adhere to the terms and conditions of use

Expressions of interest to access a copy of the mini-library and / or its supporting structure data file should be emailed to: by the 15th of January 2020.


  1. Full Call Document - The Small Molecule Drug Discovery Catalyst Programme
  2. Expression of Interest Template
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 23:59