Application Process and Overview

The W. M. Keck Foundation employs a two-phase application process. Applicants are urged to follow the process carefully to avoid disqualification. Grants are awarded twice annually, in June and December. Only applications that reflect institutional priorities as certified by the applicant's President/Chief Executive Officer will be considered.

Initial Contact

Applicants* are strongly urged to contact Foundation staff during the pre-application counseling period, which takes place between January 1 and February 15 leading up to a May 1 submittal, or between July 1 and August 15 leading up to a November 1 submittal. Potential applicants are encouraged to submit their ideas for grants in the form of single-page concept papers during the pre-application counseling period. Foundation staff may require additional preliminary information. Consultations are scheduled on a first come, first served basis during the pre-application counseling period. For more information about deadlines, please see our Grant Cycle Timeline.

Initial contact from a multi-unit organization (such as a college, university or agency branch location) must be coordinated through the institution’s central development office. Most colleges and universities have designated an official liaison to the Foundation. Other personnel contacting the Foundation will be referred to the central liaison. If you are a new institution/applicant applying to the Foundation, please do so through your central development office and make sure to submit all the required tax and audit documentation listed under our Phase I Application instructions as well as the Institutional Fundraising History Form, along with the concepts you wish to discuss.

To schedule a conference call, please send us your concept papers, project descriptions or project titles to help us determine the best staff to schedule the call with. If you are not able to submit your concept papers at the time of your request, you should do so at least three days prior to your call. Counseling requests may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

General Rules

Applicants* may submit one application per grant cycle to each of the following areas for which they are eligible: Medical Research, Science and Engineering Research, Undergraduate Education and Southern California.

Requests must be received in hard copy form and need to be received in our offices by 4:30pm (PT) in order to be considered on deadline days (see our Grant Cycle Timeline).  If a deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is 4:30pm (PT) on the following Monday.  The hard copy constitutes the official submission. 

At any phase of the application process, an institution may request a withdrawal of its application without prejudice to future requests.

The Foundation will notify applicants if they are invited to submit a proposal.  Please do not contact the Foundation to check on the status of an application or proposal.  All applications and proposals take approximately two weeks to process.  Unsolicited proposals are not accepted at any time.

*Applicant means "Applicant/Applying Institution"

Please select a Phase below:

Research Program (which includes the two areas of (1) Medical Research and (2) Science and Engineering Research)
Phase I Application
Phase II Proposal

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