Keck Foundation: Science and Engineering Research Program; Medical Research Program - concept paper

Sponsor Deadline: 

Nov 1, 2017

Internal Deadline: 

May 4, 2017


W.M. Keck Foundation

UI Contact: 

W.M. Keck Foundation

Keck Research Grant Program

Program Summary:  The Keck 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 science research and engineering, including the development of promising new technologies, instrumentation or methodologies.

Eligibility: The University of Iowa may submit one application per grant cycle to the Science and Engineering Research program as well as one application per grant cycle to the Medical Research program. Both Senior and Early Career investigators are encouraged to apply.

Keck does not consider resubmissions on the same topic, even if there are additional data that strengthen the resubmission.

Amount of Funding: Research grants range from $500,000 to $5 million, and are typically $2 million or less. Duration of grants ranges from one to five years.

Program Priorities: The Foundation strives to fund endeavors that are distinctive and novel in their approach. It encourages projects that are high-risk with the potential for transformative impact. "High-risk" comprises a number of factors, including questions that push the edge of the field, present unconventional approaches to intractable problems, or challenge the prevailing paradigm.

Keck is most interested in projects for which one or more of the following applies:

  • 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
  • Does 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
  • Keck Research program information: 

Internal Submission Process:  Eligible faculty: please contact your collegiate associate dean for research no later than Thursday, May 4, 2017, to indicate your interest in submitting a one-page concept paper to the WINS internal competition. Concept papers will be reviewed by a panel of senior faculty and Office of the Vice President for Research senior staff to select the projects to forward to the Keck Foundation for an initial consultation in July/August. Formal proposals to the Keck Foundation are by invitation only and are due November 1, 2017.