Application Process

Concept Counseling

The Foundation’s optional pre-application concept counseling period provides the opportunity for eligible institutions to receive feedback from Foundation staff on up to four concepts per Research program.  While participation in concept counseling is not required to apply for a Research Grant, we strongly encourage it.

In addition to the institutional liaison, we highly recommend the participation of administrators who are familiar with the projects and are involved in the limited selection process.  Please be aware that principal investigators may not join the call.

New for 2024:  The Research Program will be accepting Concept Counseling requests via the grantee portal starting with the July 1 – August 15 Concepts period.  The portal opportunity will open for submissions in mid-late June.  The Foundation is no longer allowing scheduling with titles only.  Concept Counseling requests must include final concept papers.  Please see the guidelines below for concept paper instructions.


The concept counseling period takes place during the following dates:

We allow one submission per organization per cycle.  The Foundation begins accepting counseling requests up to two weeks before the start of a counseling period.  We schedule calls on a first come, first served basis and slots fill up quickly so we recommend early submission.

Concept Guidelines

To request a concept counseling call, the designated liaison may submit the items below through the Keck portal.

Concept papers must be no more than one page in 12 point font with 1 inch margins and include:

All documentation is due at request submission.  Submitted concept papers must be final; The Foundation does not accept updates to these papers after submission.

In selecting concepts to discuss, we encourage potential applicants to visit our grant abstracts to review the types of research projects and award amounts the Foundation has funded.

Submit Concept Papers

Concepts may only be submitted by the designated liaison

WMKF Portal

Access forms in progress or submitted requests

Phase I Application

Any eligible institutions may submit one Phase I application per grant cycle to each of the applicable grant areas: Medical Research, and Science & Engineering Research.


If a deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is 4:30pm (PT) on the following Monday. Early submissions are appreciated.

At any phase of the application process, an institution may withdraw an application without prejudice to future requests.

Applications must be submitted by the institution’s designated liaison. See Liaison Guidelines for more information on this role.

Items needed for a Phase 1 application.  Please download the detailed instructions here.

*All tax exempt documentation and audited financial statements must be in the same, current and full name of the payee organization.  Please see the Eligibility page for more information.

The Foundation will notify applicants whether they are invited to Phase II. Please do not contact the Foundation to check on the status of an application.

The Foundation does not allow the following charges in the project budget:

Submit an Application

Applications may only be submitted by the designated liaison

WMKF Portal

Access applications in progress or submitted requests

Phase II Proposal

Phase II is by invitation only. The W. M. Keck Foundation sends invitations to submit a Phase II proposal in January and July. Unsolicited Phase II proposals are not accepted.  Proposals received after the deadline are not considered. The deadlines for invited proposals are: 

If either date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is 4:30pm (PT) on the following Monday. The Foundation encourages early submissions.

The Foundation will acknowledge receipt of proposals within four weeks of submission. After our Board of Directors has made its final grant decisions, the Foundation will notify applicants in writing. Inquiries regarding the Board’s decision are not welcome.

Once a proposal has been received, the Keck Foundation will contact the institutional liaison to schedule a site visit.

Phase II Proposal

If invited, liaisons can access proposals in progress

Contact with any questions