Preclinical research in the broadest sense is all research that precedes clinical research. Preclinical research generates new knowledge that may contribute to a better understanding of mechanisms underlying diseases.
Preclinical research forms the basis for applied or translational research that bridges the gap between basic research and initial clinical testing. This phase generally forms a weak link in the translational chain. The founding mission of the German Centers for Health Research and thus of the DZHK is to combine basic research and clinical research in order to close this translational gap.
The DZHK awards grants for preclinical research in competition in order for the best ideas to come into play. Annually, through three funding schemes, the DZHK provides about 6 million euros for preclinical projects.