From: Aaron Shonk, Senior Director, Foundation Relations

            Oregon State University Foundation


Funding Opportunity:  Keck Foundation – Call for concept papers


Deadline:  May 29, 2018


This is a call for concept papers for research projects in either science & engineering or medical research. Proposed projects should 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 one to five years.

Further details can be found at:


Concept Paper

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

  • Indication as to whether the proposal’s emphasis is for (1) science/engineering or (2) medical research. (Simply state one term or the other at the top of the page in the title.)
  • Overview of the research proposed emphasizing unique aspects of the project and pilot studies.
  • 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 Elizabeth Ocampo, Foundation Relations Coordinator at the OSU Foundation by the deadline above. Elizabeth’s email address is Any questions about these concept papers can be directed to Elizabeth at 541-737-7362.



If you are 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:

May 29                     Deadline for concept papers submitted to OSU Foundation

May 30 – June 21    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, 2019      Keck notifies PI if s/he is invited to submit full proposal.

February 15              Phase II deadline

June 2019                 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 favors projects that (1) present a matching amount of institutional resources and (2) 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.

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