Date:  TBD

Funding Opportunity:  Keck Foundation - Call for concept papers

Deadline:  Anticipate Fall 2017


This is a call for concept papers for research projects in science, engineering or medical research that have the potential to meet the funding interests of the W.M. Keck Foundation. 


 The Keck Foundation seeks to support outstanding basic research in science, engineering and medicine that will have a significant impact in solving complex issues and problems. The Foundation strives to fund endeavors that are distinctive and novel in their approach.

 Keck 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 intransient problems, or challenge the prevailing paradigm. "Transformative" may mean creation of a new field of research, development of new instrumentation enabling observations not previously possible, or discovery of knowledge that challenges prevailing perspectives.

 The Keck Foundation looks for projects that would not qualify for federal funding from agencies like NSF and NIH due to the project’s high-risk nature.  Projects that have received federal funding or that have applications pending for federal funding are unlikely to be funded.

 Keck also looks for outstanding project personnel who are very accomplished in terms of publications and journal citations, and highly regarded in their area of research. Keck is open to funding faculty at either the junior or senior level.

 The maximum amount of funding available for a Keck research grant is $2 million.  Research projects can run from 1 – 5 years; most Keck research grants run for 3 years. 

 Gift fee:  Keck grants are awarded to the OSU Foundation, which charges a 5% gift fee on the amount of the award.  Since Keck will not allow the gift fee to be paid from its funds, the PI is responsible for paying the gift fee from other unrestricted funds. 

 Further details can be found at:

 Concept Paper

Concept papers should be limited to one page using 12 point font with 1” margins, and include the following:


  • Overview of the research proposed emphasizing unique aspects of the project and pilot studies.  Indicate whether the project’s area of emphasis is science and engineering or medical.
  • Brief description of the methodologies and key personnel
  • Brief justification of the need for Keck support
  • Length of time for the project
  • Estimated budget showing major areas of expenditures such as personnel, equipment, consumable supplies, etc. 
  • Availability of or potential for matching funds from OSU or other funding sources


Do not include illustrations in the concept paper.  On a second page, please provide a brief description of any previous or pending funding requests for your project. 

 Interested faculty should email their concept paper to:

 Martha Coleman, Director of Principal Gifts for Foundation Relations,

OSU Foundation

 Questions about these concept papers can be directed to Martha at 503-553-3409


 If interested in submitting a concept paper for consideration, please carefully review the following information about the timeline for this funding cycle. 

 A concept paper submitted for this funding cycle would result in the following deadlines:


November 19              Deadline to submit concept papers


November 26-             Research Office / OSU Foundation – Select concept

December 10               papers for pre-application advice from Keck


January 1 – Feb 15      Research Office / OSU Foundation has pre-application advice

                                    session with Keck staff; PIs are notified if they are selected to

                                    submit a Phase I application to Keck 


May 1                          Phase I deadline


July 15                         Keck notifies PI if s/he is invited to submit full proposal


August 15                   Phase II deadline                               


December                    Keck Board meeting for review and funding decision         


Anyone wishing to be considered for this funding cycle at Keck must be available to meet the above deadlines.  If this funding cycle does not work for your schedule, you could consider submitting a concept paper for future funding cycles.

 Other Considerations

 If you have proposed this project to other funders, please provide that information as a second page for your concept paper.  This information should include both proposals currently pending a decision and proposals that have been declined.

 Keck looks for strong evidence of institutional support for a proposed research project.  Keck will allow the OSU indirect costs of the project to be counted as institutional support.  Keck favorably regards projects that have obtained or applied for support from external private funding sources. 

 Keck asks the PI of a proposal to disclose if he/she is considering leaving the institution. 



Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Date Open: 
Friday, September 26, 2014
Keck Foundation