Keck Foundation: Science and Engineering / Medical Research Awards

Number of Submissions Per Institution: 
Submissions Per Institution: 
Each institution may submit one proposal to the Science and Engineering program and one proposal to the Medical Research program.
Internal Deadline: 
05/12/2017 - 5:00am
LOI or Pre-Proposal Required: 
Letter of Intent/Pre-Proposal Deadline: 
06/23/2017 (All day)
External Deadline: 
11/01/2017 (All day)

The Research Program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting projects in two specific areas (1) medical research and (2) science and engineering, that are distinctive and novel in their approach, question the prevailing paradigm, or have the potential to break open new territory in their field. Past grants have been awarded to major universities, independent research institutions, and medical schools to support pioneering biological and physical sciences research and engineering, including the development of promising new technologies, instrumentation or methodologies. Historically, grants range from $500,000 to $5 million and are typically $2 million or less.


Two things potential applicants should know: 
1. For all concepts presented to the foundation, the project should first have been submitted to a federal agency and been declined; reviewers’ comments on why the project was declined are critical to a Keck submission.  If the project has not been submitted to a federal agency and a university still wants to put it forth to Keck, than the PI should reach out to a relevant agency to see if a program officer will provide some written feedback as to why the project would most likely not be supported by that agency.  Without this feedback, it is highly unlikely that the project will move forward at Keck.
2. Keck likes to see a strong institutional commitment to the proposed project; so the budget will need to reflect a strong MSU/college financial commitment (suggested commitment is 20-25 percent of the budget).

Keck funding is awarded to universities and institutions for projects in research that:

• Focus on important and emerging areas of research
• Have the potential to develop breakthrough technologies, instrumentation or methodologies
• Are innovative, distinctive and interdisciplinary
• Demonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches, or by challenging the prevailing paradigm
• Have the potential for transformative impact, such as the founding of a new field of research, the enabling of observations not previously possible, or the altered perception of a previously intractable problem
• Do not focus on clinical or translational research, treatment trials or research for the sole purpose of drug development
• Fall outside the mission of public funding agencies
• Demonstrate that private philanthropy generally, and the W. M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project’s success