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 well in advance of submitting a Phase I Application. Potential applicants are encouraged to submit their ideas for grants in the form of a single-page concept paper. Foundation staff may require additional preliminary information and may recommend a conference call or office visit with the institution’s key administrative and scientific or program personnel. Consultations are scheduled on a first come, first served basis during the pre-application counseling period, which take 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. 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.

General Rules

Applicants* may submit one request per grant cycle to each of the Foundation’s program 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 (November 1 for the June grant cycle and May 1 for the December grant cycle).

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.

*Applicants means "Applicant/Applying Institution"


Please select a Phase below:

Phase I Application

Phase II Proposal

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