The W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by William Myron Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company, with the goal of generating far-reaching benefits for humanity.
The foundation currently is accepting applications for its Research Program, which supports pioneering discoveries in science, engineering, and medical research. Grants will be awarded to research universities, medical colleges, and major private independent scientific and medical research institutions in support of projects that are focused 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; and 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.
The program seeks to fund high-risk/high-impact work by researchers with the potential to lay the groundwork for new paradigms, technologies, and discoveries that will save lives, provide innovative solutions, and add to our collective understanding of the world.
Grants ranging between $500,000 and $5 million (though typically $2 million or less) will be awarded for periods of from one to five years.
Senior and early-career investigators are encouraged to apply.
To be eligible, applicants must be tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and be designated as a public charity (not a private foundation) as defined by Section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) or 170(b)(1)(A)(I-VI); or be an exempt operating foundation as defined by Section 4940(d)(2). If the institution is located in California, the organization must also be exempt from California State Franchise or Income Tax under Section 23701(d) of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact foundation staff during the pre-application counseling period, which takes place between July 1 and August 15 leading up to a November 1 Phase I submission deadline. Potential applicants are encouraged to submit their ideas for grants in the form of single-page concept papers during the pre-application counseling period.
See the W. M. Keck Foundation website for complete program guidelines, application instructions, and abstracts of previously funded projects.