Keck Foundation Research Programs (6.21.19)

May 13, 2019
By: Duke University

Funding Agency: W.M. Keck Foundation

Duke University is seeking cutting-edge science, engineering, and medical research projects to consider for presentation to the W.M. Keck Foundation. Because Keck will accept a maximum of two proposals from the university (one each in science/engineering and medical research), we are conducting an internal review process to identify and select competitive ideas.
 
The Keck Foundation supports “pioneering discoveries in science, engineering, and medical research” that fall outside the mission of NIH, NSF and other public funding agencies. Keck strives to fund distinctive and novel approaches. It encourages high-risk projects 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. “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. Keck will only fund proposals that are truly outside the scope of traditional funding agencies.

Both senior and early career investigators are encouraged to apply. Team approaches, including interdisciplinary teams, are encouraged.

The Science and Engineering Research Program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting high-risk/high-impact projects that are distinctive and novel in their approach to intractable problems, push the edge of their field, or question the prevailing paradigm. Past grants have been awarded to support pioneering science and engineering research and the development of promising new technologies, instrumentation, or methodologies. 

The Medical Research Program seeks to advance the frontiers of medicine to benefit humanity by supporting high-risk/high-impact projects that are distinctive and novel in their approach to intractable problems, push the edge of their field, or question the prevailing paradigm. Past grants have supported pioneering biological research and the development of promising new technologies. Research projects should focus on basic research and not be clinical in nature. Medical research projects conducted in hospitals are not eligible.

It is strongly recommended that you contact Vera Luck, Director of Foundation Relations, at vera.luck@duke.edu or 919-681-0404 prior to submitting a concept paper.

Areas of Interest: Keck’s Programmatic Criteria

Projects for which one or more of the following applies:

  • Focus on emerging areas of research at the forefront of science, engineering, or medical research
  • Have the potential to lead to breakthrough technologies, instrumentation, or methodologies
  • Are innovative, distinctive, and interdisciplinary
  • Demonstrate a high level of risk in that the research pushes the edge of its field, represents unconventional approaches to intransigent problems, or challenges the prevailing paradigm
  • Have the potential for transformative impact, such as creation of a new field of research, development of new instrumentation enabling observations not previously possible, or discovery of new knowledge that challenges prevailing perspectives.
  • Keck does not fund equipment for equipment’s sake; the science and methodology are paramount
  • Fall outside the mission of NIH, NSF, and other public funding agencies. If a proposal has been rejected or counseled away from one of these agencies, the case for Keck’s support may be strong and this information should be noted in the application.
  • Demonstrate that private philanthropy generally, and the W.M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project’s success

Types of support: Personnel such as graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, but not senior-level personnel. PI salary limited to 10%. Renovations limited to 10% of the request. Equipment, noting caveat above.

Funding Amount: $1,000,000
Types of support: Personnel such as graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, but not senior-level personnel. PI salary limited to 10%. Renovations limited to 10% of the request. Equipment, noting caveat below.

Keck does not fund equipment for equipment’s sake; the science and methodology are paramount.

Application Deadlines: 
Duke Internal Deadline: June 21, 2019 by 5:00 PM
Sponsor Deadline: November 1, 2019

Eligibility: Faculty, Institutional

Previous Duke Awardee: 2016 - Fan Wang, Kafui Dzirasa: Unraveling the neural gate to consciousness

Internal Nomination: Application Process

By June 21, 2019, interested faculty should submit a one-page concept paper that addresses the following through the Office of Research Support’s Limited Nomination Process. See below.

One-page description—must be in Times New Roman, 12-point font, with one-inch margins. There are no exceptions to this requirement. No figures or images.

The single page should include:

  • Title
  • Abstract (including methodology):  Provide an executive summary including the overall goal, methodology, and significance of the proposed project. Methodology should be the most robust section of the abstract. Indicate area of emphasis for the project (medical research or science and engineering research). Note in particular any potential breakthroughs in method, technique, or technology. Mention any relevant pilot studies.
  • Unique aspects: Emphasize any unique or distinctive aspects of the project.
  • Key Personnel:  Name the key personnel, with the lead PI’s name listed first.
  • Budget:  State total cost of this project and the amount to be requested from the Keck Foundation ($1M). Describe how funds requested from Keck will be allocated among personnel, equipment, and operations (supplies, animals costs, travel, contracted services, etc.). Identify other sources of support for the project; these can be potential sources rather than funds in hand. Keck does not provide overhead.
  • Justification for WMKF support:  Explain why Keck’s support is essential.  Note if the project has been rejected from one of the traditional funding agencies and explain why. Also note any other pending or upcoming proposals for the project (or aspects of the project) that you are proposing to Keck.  If you have a similar proposal pending, or anticipate submitting one concurrently with a Keck approach, please contact vera.luck@duke.edu to discuss before submitting a Keck concept paper.

If there is room, the authors are free to add other details (e.g., background to put the research into perspective, description of the institution’s prominence in the field, etc.). Avoid illustrations in these single papers – the researchers will need all the room for text. If a reference is necessary, abbreviate it as: (Science, 323, 45, ’11). DO NOT USE (Jones et al., 2011)

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal. (Code ILN)  https://www.grantinterface.com/Common/LogOn.aspx?eqs=ApVvmgXCk2Uj7AzWyDE...

Instructions for creating an account (if needed) and submitting your materials: https://www.ctsi.duke.edu/myresearchproposal

Prior to submitting your project description, please review the list of the Foundation’s recently awarded grants provided on its website: http://www.wmkeck.org/grant-programs/research/medical-research-grant-abstracts

Selection Process: Duke faculty reviewers will score and comment on the proposals based on Keck’s criteria. The vice provost for research may request feedback from deans and other scholars in related fields regarding the strategic importance of the proposed projects. Their feedback will be an important factor in the vetting process. Senior leadership will select which ideas will be discussed with Keck in advance of the submission, and Keck’s feedback will help determine the final submissions. Staff from the Office of Foundation Relations will work closely with the finalists on each proposal.

It is strongly recommended that you contact Vera Luck, Director of Foundation Relations, at vera.luck@duke.edu or 919.681.0404 prior to submitting a concept paper.

For more information: http://www.wmkeck.org/grant-programs/research