2020 - Keck Research Program

W.M. Keck Foundation

Keck Research Program



Limited Submission Program (LSP): This funding opportunity and the Limited Submission Program (LSP) is open to all Texas A&M faculty and Principal Investigators who meet the eligibility requirements.  The University and the System Agencies jointly administer this process to select the proposal(s) that will be submitted to the sponsor in response to this solicitation.


Institutional Eligibility:  Research universities, medical colleges and major private independent scientific and medical research institutes are eligible.


The proposal will be prepared and submitted by Sponsored Research Services (SRS).


Proposal Limit: 2, 1 medical research and 1 science and engineering


Summary:  The Research Program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting projects in two specific areas (1) medical research and (2) science and engineering, that are distinctive and novel in their approach, question the prevailing paradigm, or have the potential to break open new territory in their field.  Past grants have been awarded to major universities, independent research institutions, and medical schools to support pioneering biological and physical science research and engineering, including the development of promising new technologies, instrumentation or methodologies.    Past consultations with representatives from Keck indicate budgets should be approximately $1M for 3 years.


Program Priorities


Funding is awarded to universities and institutions nationwide for projects in research that:

  • Focus on important and emerging areas of research
  • Have the potential to develop breakthrough technologies, instrumentation or methodologies
  • Are innovative, distinctive and interdisciplinary
  • Demonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches, or by challenging the prevailing paradigm
  • Have the potential for transformative impact, 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
  • Demonstrate that private philanthropy generally, and the W. M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project’s success


More information on what Keck funds:

New Fundamental Science

  • All topical areas
  • Breakthrough / scientific leap forward (in this project)
  • Scientific Impact
  • Clear description of the methodology
  • Personnel has the necessary expertise
  • Need for private support
  • It can be hypothesis-driven, but it does not have to be
  • Project-driven instrumentation


Targeting $1M/3yr awards

  • Unrestricted gift
  • Indirect costs and student tuition to be covered by the institution



What Keck DOES NOT fund:

  • Drug development/biomarker identification
  • Translational research
  • Therapies
  • Core facilities
  • Extension of current work/next logical step — even of a major discovery
  • Mainstream projects in areas of good federal funding
  • Topics we recently funded
  • Renewals



December 9, 2019
Deadline for an email of intent including the title of the internal proposal and a one to three sentence description of the project.  Send email of intent to limitedsubmissions@tamu.edu
December 16, 2020
Deadline to submit an internal proposal. All proposals for the LSP must be submitted electronically using the e-proposal on-line application system.  The sections will include a one page concept paper and two-page Bio-sketch. 

Keck Foundation Concept Paper Guidelines:Single-paged concepts should be in 12 point font with 1 inch margins and should include:an overview of the proposed project emphasizing any unique aspects and pilot studies (for Research Program concepts, indicate area of emphasis for project – medical research or science and engineering research);a description of the methodologies and key personnel;a brief justification of the need for Keck support; andan estimated budget broken down, if possible, by major areas, e.g., personnel, equipment, consumable supplies, etc. (budgets can be rough approximations at this stage).If there’s 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-pagers – 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 include proposal title and your name at the top of the concept paper.The e-proposal site is password protected. Texas A&M principal investigators may use their NetID and password to access the system. If you do not have a NetID, click HERE for help to activate your NetID. You will need your UIN and your date of birth.  Once you log-in to e-proposal, choose “Keck Foundation Research Program” from the Available Grants section.

If you have any questions, please contact:shelly.martin@tamu.eduor 979.862.2233.

February 21, 2020
Target date for the notifications to PIs of the result of the internal competition.
May 1, 2020
Sponsor deadline for the Phase I Application.

Internal Selection Procedures:

Texas A&M University has established a procedure to identify limited submission opportunities and internally select proposals for Texas A&M submissions.  Please contact us if you have any questions about the limited submission process.