W. M. Keck Foundation: Research Program (Fall Cycle)

The W.M. Keck Foundation Research Program seeks to benefit humanity by funding fundamental, high-risk research in two specific areas: 1) medical research and 2) science and engineering. Both Senior and Early Career investigators are encouraged to apply. CWRU may submit two proposals per funding cycle: one (1) in Medical Research and one (1) in Science and Engineering Research.

Number of Applications
Amount of Funding

Up to $1,000,000 over three years


Applicants are encouraged to consult with their Associate Deans for Research prior to internal submission to assure they meet eligibility criteria and their projects meet stated program objectives.

Grants of up to $1 million over 3 years are awarded for projects in science and engineering research and medical research that:

  • Focus on basic, early-stage, emerging areas of research, not on clinical or translational research, treatment trials or research for the sole purpose of drug development.
  • Have the potential to develop breakthrough technologies, instrumentation or methodologies.
  • Have few, if any, peer groups pursuing comparable or related work.
  • Have a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches, or by challenging the prevailing paradigm.
  • Have the potential for transformative impacts, 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.
  • Fall outside the mission of public funding agencies. Provide specifics. If you've been declined federal funding, provide the documentation stating why, if available.
  • Demonstrate that the W. M. Keck Foundation's support is essential to the project's success.

For consideration as a finalist, investigators must submit a concept paper (use this template Concept Paper Template by 5:00 pm on May 11, 2020.

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by August 14, 2020.

Submission Process

Step 1:

Anyone wishing to pursue nomination for the program is encouraged to submit a brief "letter of intent" no later than 5:00 pm on May 1, 2020, to limitedsubmission@case.edu in the form of an e-mail message not to exceed 250 words.

Step 2:

Review of the LOIs will be completed by May 6, 2020, and feedback will be shared with the submitter to help guide their concept paper submission.

Step 3:

For consideration as a finalist, investigators must submit a concept paper (use this template (same as previous)) by 5:00 pm on May 11, 2020.  The formatted concept paper should be accompanied by a cover letter outlining the name of the PI, the project title, and the PI department/division and school/college.

Step 4:

The Internal Selection Committee will select candidates, who will be notified via e-mail then will be worked with to refine their concept papers for a conference call with the foundation (call does not include PIs) May 29, 2020.

Step 5:

Final nominees will be notified of their selection by August 14, 2020, and will receive application development assistance through meetings, proposal editing, proposal refinement, and submission coordination.

Step 6:

The final proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration by October 23, 2020, at 5:00 pm EST.

Step 7:

Final proposal must be received by the sponsor by November 2, 2020, at 5:00pm EST.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
05/11/2020 05/29/2020 10/23/2020 11/02/2020 CLOSED