Research Management Group (RMG)

W.M. Keck Foundation
Science and Engineering and Medical Research Programs
"Call for Concept Papers"

***LIMITED AWARD NOTICE --university-wide internal selection process required (first at the school level, then at the Dean of Research Office). Faculty with PI eligibility (with UTL, MCL, and NTL-Research appointments) across the natural and earth sciences, engineering, and medicine at all ranks are eligible. Keck has a stated interest in interdisciplinary research, thus proposals may also come from a team of faculty across departments, disciplines, or schools. Amount of funding: $2 million**

This webpage contains the internal selection process held in 2013 and is for your reference only. It will be updated when the 2014 program is announced.

Website: This funding opportunity does not appear on the foundation's website. For general information about the foundation, please see:

This webpage contains the internal selection process for the School of Medicine only.
For information on the internal selection process for other schools, please contact:
Humanities and Sciences: Kriste Geerke
School of Engineering: Gina Liebig
Earth Sciences: Amy Balsom


Internal School of Medicine deadline: . (see internal submission guidelines below >>)
Each school submits their top four proposals to the Dean of Research Office internal review committee by Monday,
XXXX: Dean of Research Office internal selection committee results posted
XXXX Phase I application due
XXXX Notification of Invitation to full Phase II proposal
XXXX: Full proposal/Phase II deadline (by invitation)

# of applicants permitted
: Up to eight concept papers total may be submitted to the foundation, one of which (for each program) may then be selected to advance to the Phase I application process.


Faculty with PI status (those with UTL, MCL, NTL-Research appts) across the natural and earth sciences, engineering, and medicine at all ranks are eligible.
Keck has a stated interest in interdisciplinary research, thus proposals may also come from a team of faculty across departments, disciplines, or schools. The foundation has broad interests, but has also expressed a growing interest in fundamental energy-related research.

Amount of funding
Keck is currently asking that we hold funding requests to not more than $2 million.
Awards may fund a multi-year project over a period of up to five years.
Although Keck does not require formal cost sharing, the foundation does not like to be the sole funder of a project and likes to see a significant commitment to the project from the applicant’s home institution. Toward the Stanford commitment, Keck will recognize overhead (it does not pay indirect costs, including the university infrastructure charge) and graduate student support, as well as commitments of space, renovations, and equipment.

Stanford University contact for questions:

Brooke Groves-Anderson at 725-6250 or

W.M. Keck Foundation: Science & Engineering Research and Medical Research Programs
Supporting pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research has been the Keck Foundation’s mandate for over a half-century. By funding bold, innovative, high-impact work of leading researchers, the Foundation is laying the groundwork for breakthrough discoveries and new technologies that will save lives, provide innovative solutions and add immeasurably to our understanding of life on Earth and our place in the universe.

Funding Guidelines - Programmatic Criteria:

Grant recipients:
For additional guidance, be sure to review abstracts for recent grants made by Keck at:
Science and Engineering and Medical Research recipients:

For recent Keck grants to Stanford, see:
Keck webpage for 2013 Stanford recipient (Dr. Josh Elias, Chemical and Systems Biology):

Projects Ineligible for Funding

Program Description
The W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 in Los Angeles by William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company. The Keck Foundation is one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations, with assets of more than $1 billion. In recent years, the Foundation has focused on four broad areas: Science and Engineering Research; Medical Research; Undergraduate Education and Liberal Arts; and Southern California. Each of Keck’s grant programs invests in people and programs that are making a difference in the quality of life, now and for the future.

Stanford University is eligible to compete in the next funding round of the Keck Foundation’s Science and Engineering and Medical Research programs. Concept papers for both programs will be reviewed concurrently. The Vice Provost and Dean of Research’s office will review submissions to identify the best ideas (up to eight total) to take to the Keck Foundation. The Foundation will then advise on which idea(s) seems most promising and competitive, and the relevant PI(s) will then be invited to participate in Keck’s Phase I application process.

Concept Paper Guidelines

Concept papers should be one page, single-spaced, using 12-point font and 1-inch margins, inclusive of illustrations and references. Papers longer than a page will not be read by the Foundation; thus, illustrations are discouraged at this stage. Each concept paper should include:

  1. an overview of the proposed project emphasizing any unique aspects and pilot studies;
  2. a brief description of the key personnel and methodologies;
  3. a brief justification of the need for Keck support; and
  4. an estimated budget broken down, if possible, by major areas, e.g., personnel, equipment, consumable supplies, etc. (Budgets can be rough approximations at this stage.)

Faculty are free to add other details (e.g., background to put the research into perspective, description of the institution’s prominence in the field, etc.) if there’s room.

Concept Paper Suggestions

Keck is willing to fund equipment and sometimes even core facilities, but not in and of themselves. Your request should focus on the research question behind the equipment need and not seem merely to be an equipment request. That is, focus on the “grand challenge” you are seeking to solve and how you will do it, not on the technology or tool per se.

Internal submission guidelines-FOR THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE ONLY

For information on the internal selection process for other schools see above >>.

School of Medicine faculty only: By XXXXXX please submit one PDF file containing the following in the order listed below to:

Jeanne Heschele
Research Management Group

PDF file name: Last name_Keck_Concept_Paper.pdf

1) Title Page
Name of this RFA: "W.M. Keck Foundation Science/Engineering and Medical Research Programs Application - Call for Concept Papers-XXXXX"
Title of your proposal
PI name, title, department, contact information (including address, email, phone)

2) Nomination letter, printed on your department letterhead, signed by your division chief or your department chair
This letter should address the dollar amount of the proposal and confirmation that the department is committed to working with the applicant to identify additional funds needed, including the university infrastructure charge.

3) One-page description of proposed project,
see Concept paper guidelines and suggestions above >>

4) List of all funding, current and pending (include name of sponsor, amount and term of funding)

Selection process
Each School will select their top four proposals to forward to the Dean of Research office internal review committee. That committee will select up to eight proposals to be forwarded to Brooke Groves-Anderson in the Office of Development, the liaison with the Keck Foundation, for futher follow up.







Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: