Keck: Science and Engineering Research Program; Medical Research Program - nominations

December 12, 2012
The Keck Foundation strives to fund endeavors that are distinctive and novel in their approach. It encourages projects that are high-risk with the potential for transformative impact.  Applications to the Keck program are a two-step process as recommended by the Foundation. Keck will review in advance no more than four concept papers and will select, in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President for Research, which projects will advance to the Phase I application process.
Although the university application process is open to all, we are notifying the Associate Deans for Research, instead of broadly advertising in WINS, to select the most appropriate project(s) for consideration. 
Please send the names of potential applicants to cheryl-a-ridgeway@uiowa.edu by Friday, January 4.  Candidates will then be notified and sent the attached guidelines to submit one-page concept papers to the OVPR by Monday, January 21, 2013.  Keck’s pre-application counseling window is January 1 to February 15 leading up to a May 1 submittal.  
Please feel free to contact me with questions.    Cheryl

Program Summary
The W.M. Keck Foundation was founded with the goal of generating far-reaching benefits for humanity. The Foundation supports outstanding science, engineering and medical research, undergraduate education; and, in Southern California, arts and culture, education, health and community service projects that will have a significant impact in solving complex issues and problems.
Eligibility
The University of Iowa may submit one application per grant cycle to the Science and Engineering Research program as well as one application per grant cycle to the Medical Research program. Both Senior and Early Career investigators are encouraged to apply.
Amount of Funding
Research grants range from $500,000 to $5 million, and are typically $2 million or less.  Duration of grants ranges from one to five years. In 2013, Research grants will continue to be capped at $1 million.
Program Priorities
The Foundation strives to fund endeavors that are distinctive and novel in their approach. It 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 intractable problems, or challenge the prevailing paradigm.
Keck is most interested in projects for which one or more of the following applies:
Concept Paper Guidelines
Concept papers should be no more than one page, single-spaced, using 12-point font and 1-inch margins, inclusive of illustrations and references. Papers longer than one page will not be read by the Foundation; thus, illustrations are discouraged at this stage. Each concept paper should address:
Concept Paper Suggestions
Be sure to state the major goals of the proposed research project, summarize the methodologies to be used in achieving the goals, and describe the problems that need to be solved to achieve these goals.
Keck is looking to fund areas of research at the forefront of science, engineering and medicine, or that have the potential to lead to breakthrough technologies in these areas. Think about work that has the potential to alter the course of a field and clearly describe this new potential.  Extensions of currently funded work are not considered viable for a Keck award.
The Foundation will want to know why Keck is an appropriate funder of this project. They are unwilling to fund work that could readily be funded elsewhere. They are willing, however, to fund high-risk, early-stage work that the government might not yet be willing to fund. They will also want to see an institutional commitment and other potential funders.  Evidence that the work is premature or too high risk by NIH, NSF, etc., is a key deciding factor by Keck in supporting the application.
Keck is willing to fund equipment and sometimes even core facilities, but the funding is always related to enabling new, novel and high risk innovation research. Your request should focus on the research question behind the equipment need and not seem merely to be an equipment request. That is, focus on the “grand challenge” you are seeking to solve and how you will do it, not on the technology or tool per se.