Oregon State University

Keck Foundation

Date:  June 6, 2014

To:  Deans and Directors

Funding Opportunity:  Keck Foundation - Call for concept papers

Deadline:  June 25, 2014


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.  Please forward this call for concept papers to department chairs and any faculty who may be interested.


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. 

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

On a second page, please provide a brief description of any previous or pending funding requests for your project. 

Do not include illustrations in the concept paper.

Interested faculty should email their concept paper to Mary Phillips, Director of Research Development at OSU.  Her email address is Mary.Phillips@oregonstate.edu.  Any questions about these concept papers can be directed to Mary at 541-737-4437. 


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:

June 25                     Deadline for concept papers submitted to Research Office

June 23 - 30              Research Office reviews concept papers, and selects 1- 2 concepts                                    

                                    for pre-application advice from Keck

July 1 – Aug 15          Research Office has pre-application advice session with Keck

Aug 15 – Aug 30        Research Office notifies PIs of Keck feedback, and whether PI

                                    can submit a Phase I application to Keck

November 1               Phase I deadline                                 

January 15, 2014        Keck notifies PI if s/he is invited to submit full proposal

February 15               Phase II deadline                               

June 2014                 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. 

Please keep in mind that Keck has two funding cycles per year.  A concept paper on your research project could be considered for future funding cycles if the timeline for this funding cycle does not work for your schedule.

Other Considerations

If you have proposed this project to other funders, please provide that information as an addendum to your concept paper.  This includes 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 considers projects favorably that present a matching amount of institutional resources.  Keck also regards favorably projects that have obtained or applied for support from external private funding sources.  Keck will allow the OSU indirect costs of the project to be counted as institutional support.

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

Contact Info

Incentive Programs
Research Office
Oregon State University
A312 Kerr Administration
Corvallis, OR 97331
Phone 541-737-8390
Fax 541-737-9041
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