Program Overview

The W. M. Keck Research Program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting Medical Research and Science & Engineering projects 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.  Grants range from $1 million to $5 million and are typically $2 million or less.  Please see our grant abstracts for examples of funded projects.

The Research Program employs a two-phase application process with optional pre-application counseling.  All communication with the Foundation, including submitting applications, proposals and reports must be via the institution’s designated liaison.  Please see the liaison guidelines for more information on this role.

Application Process

Institutions that have not previously applied to the W. M. Keck Foundation, or have changed their tax status, should verify their eligibility before contacting the Foundation. 
We strongly encourage eligible institutions to schedule a call with the Foundation during the pre-application concept counseling period. Potential applicants will receive feedback on proposal viability.
Any eligible institution may submit an application for consideration by the Foundation. This includes a project summary, description, and budget.  
Institutions invited from Phase I may submit a detailed proposal for final consideration by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.  

Site Visit

Principal Investigators give a presentation to Foundation staff and answer questions regarding their proposal.
After receiving a grant, the grantee provides reports on the progress of the grant to the Foundation. 

Funding Guidelines

Funding is awarded to universities and institutions nationwide for projects that are consistent with the Research Program’s funding priorities:

We Fund Projects That:

We Do Not Fund:

Grant Cycle Timeline

The Foundation awards grants twice annually in June and December:

For the June grant cycle:

Concept Counseling

Phase I Application Deadline
Notification of Invitation to Submit Full Proposal
Phase II Proposal Deadline

July 15 to August 15

November 1 by 4:30pm (PT)

January 15

February 15
by 4:30pm (PT)

For the December grant cycle:

Concept Counseling

Phase I Application Deadline
Notification of Invitation to Submit Full Proposal
Phase II Proposal Deadline

January 15 to February 15

May 1
by 4:30pm (PT)

July 15

August 15
by 4:30pm (PT)

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


Research universities, medical colleges, and major private independent scientific and medical research institutes are eligible to apply to the Research Program.


Organizations must be prepared to provide:


If the Organization:


All tax-exempt documentation, audited financial statements and the Form 990 must be in the same, current and full name of the qualifying organization.

We will consider the management and fiscal condition of an institution when reviewing an institution for eligibility.

The Parties to a grant agreement will agree it is deemed to have been entered into in the County of Los Angeles, State of California; and, California law will apply to the interpretation and enforcement of the grant provisions.

Ineligible for funding:
Liaisons may contact in advance to check eligibility and tax requirements.