Keck Science/Technology and Keck Medical Research Programs

07/08/2013, 5:00 PM

Keck Science/Technology     and     Keck Medical Research Programs

Award range:    $500,000-$1,000,000

Award average: $1,000,000 


This call for one page concept papers is forboth Keck programs for internal review to select two nominees. Keck will review two concept papers, per institution, per program, for each of their two annual cycles. Please indicate which program, Science or Medical, to which you are applying. (See links below.) Keck criteria is used for the selection of the nominees. (See attached.) Only one Phase 1 application may be submitted by an institution per program for each cycle.  Formal applications must carry the endorsement of the Chancellor.

These arenot early investigator programs! Successful proposals start out witha truly unique group of faculty who have a set of science questions, and they are understood to be the only ones who can answer these questions. Teams should include senior and mid-career or junior co-investigators, some of whom havereceived federal funding and arerenowned in their research field. Applications from young, tenure track professors, who may not have received federal funding, must include more experienced faculty on the team. Receipt of federalfunding does not affect the young applicant’s competitiveness; but, most of the research teams include PIs who have received federal funding at some point in their careers. If the project can achieve its goal through a series of RO1's, Keck will not fund it as theydo not fund projects that they view as incremental moves forward.

It is possible for PI’s to receive Keck funds for a portion of a project that has received federal funding. For this type of support, explain why Keck funds are essential to the success of the research.

An unsuccessful project submitted to Keck may not be resubmitted. An unsuccessful Phase 1 investigator may submit different projects in the future.

  1. Keck Science/Technology awards advance thefrontiers of the life sciences bysupportingbasic research that ishigh-risk. Successful projects are innovative, distinctive, push the edge of their field, have the potential for transformative impact such as the founding of a new research field, or question a prevailing paradigm. Keck rarely funds environment or alternative energy projects.
  1. The Medical Research program supportspioneering biologicalresearch, including thedevelopment of promisingnew technologies, instrumentation or methodologiesMedical projects shouldnot be disease specific; they should hold the potential to shift a paradigm or create a new field of research.

Guidelines for the 1 page (maximum) concept paper:

Keck is an agency of last resort. They only fund very high risk work that NSF, NIH, will not support. You must have exhausted other funding avenues to obtain Keck funding. List applications and reasons for rejection from all relevant federal funders and industry. Concept papers without this information will not be selected to move forward. Keck will ask for copies of the reviews from nominees.

·         Create a concept paper specifically focused for a lay audience using Keck criteria! Reusing an NIH concept paper will probably not result in a nomination.

·         Include only nominal introductory material aimed at demonstrating the importance of the scientific question being posed. Keck reviews enough proposals to quickly grasp what is an important scientific question in various fields. 

·         Detail what is novel in your approach, what distinguishes the work that you are proposing from previous efforts (e.g. the enabling of observations not previously possible, or the altered perception of a previously intractable problem). Demonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches emphasizing any unique aspects.

·         A concise, clear and concrete outline of how your proposed work will lead to new solutions or discoveries - a roadmap of the steps you plan to take to achieve your stated goal including the methodology.

·         Mention pilot studies or preliminary data, including unpublished findings that support the idea.

·         A brief description of the key personnel, why is the team uniquely capable of doing this research, and why this work has to be done at UMass and cannot be done anywhere else. This is essential for success.

·         A brief justification of the need for Keck support.

·         An estimated budget broken down by major areas, e.g. personnel 20%, equipment 15%, etc. (Budgets can be rough approximations of percentages at this stage.) 

·          Confirm the availability of adequate space to house any new equipment.

·          $1M of cost share is expected. Document preliminary discussions and approvals by the dept. head.

·          Add other details (e.g., background to put the research into perspective, description of the institution's prominence in the field, etc.) if there's room.



Internal Concept Paper Deadline (for internal vetting)

Pre-application Counseling

Phase I Application Deadline

Notification of Invitation to Submit Full Proposal

Full Proposal Deadline

Wednesday, July 8

July 1 to August 15

November 1

January 15

February 15

If you have technical questions, please contact Linda Sopp, Foundation Relations. Thank you!