Keck Foundation

April 19, 2019 by

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Keck Foundation Internal Letter of Intent, summer 2019 competition. Click on the link below to view more information. Thank you!

  • Internal LOI Deadline: Thursday, May 2, 2019
  • Internal Application Deadline: Thursday, May 23, 2019
  • Funding Organization’s Deadline: Friday, November 1, 2019
  • Award Cycle: Summer 2019
  • Discipline/Subject Area: Medical Research and Science & Engineering
  • Funding Available: 1,000,000.00
  • Description: This notice serves to request letters of intent for the internal process of selecting UVA candidates for the Keck Foundation limited submission funding opportunity. Per Keck’s proposal submission process, we will select top preliminary proposals to share with the Keck program officers in July 2019. At that meeting the Keck program officers will identify which proposals they would like UVA to submit for the November 1, 2019 application deadline.


    Keck funds innovative, high-risk, and high-impact projects that are top institutional priorities. Typically Keck projects solve important science and engineering questions and also develop novel techniques and/or instruments that can be disseminated throughout the research community: “By funding the high-risk/high-impact work of leading researchers, we are laying the groundwork for new paradigms, technologies and discoveries that will save lives, provide innovative solutions, and add to our understanding of the world. Both Senior and Early Career investigators are encouraged to apply.” Keck does not, however, fund translational biomedical research. Keck seeks to fund projects that do not fit within established federal agency funding schema. To help one determine the “fit” of a potential project for Keck, please see the abstracts of recent Keck award winners available through the Foundation website (link). The VPR office is also happy to provide feedback to PIs regarding project fit; please feel free to contact UVA may ultimately submit two (2) proposals, 1 in the Medical Researchcategory, and 1 in the Science & Engineering category.


    • Senior or early career investigators performing basic (not clinical) research
    • Projects must be distinctive, novel, pushing the edge of the field or questioning the prevailing paradigm
    • Support is for pioneering biological, science, and engineering research and the development of breakthrough technologies, methodologies, and/or instrumentation
    • Projects should fall outside the mission of public funding agencies, demonstrating that private philanthropy, generally, and the W.M. Keck Foundation, in particular, is essential to the project’s success
    • Medical research projects conducted in hospitals are not eligible

    Additional Information

    Recent Keck award winners are listed in the Keck annual reports (link).

    Cost Share/Award Size

    Recent Keck awards have typically been around $1M. Cost sharing is not required; however, Keck does look for the University to support the effort in some form. This support can be in the form of cash, equipment, facilities, etc. We recommended an institutional match of 0.75:1 to 1:1. For example, a $1M Keck award over three years would require a UVA match of $750,000 to $1M over three years. Thus, the total project budget over three years would be roughly $1.75-2M. As you calculate institutional support, please keep in mind that the Foundation does not fund general operation expenses (i.e., indirect costs) so any support provided by the University in these areas would also be deemed as cost sharing or institutional support.

    Instructions for submitting the Letter of Intent:

    To apply, click on View Letter of Intent. To submit LOIs on behalf of multiple applicants, please email for assistance. Letters of Intent must be received by 5PM May 2, 2019.

    Faculty submitting LOIs will be contacted regarding an internal competition, if necessary. Should a competition be necessary, the internal application will be due on May 23, 2019 and must include the following:

    1. a 1-page project summary (a Concept Paper, in Keck’s parlance) identifying the research area (Medical Research or Science & Engineering) that should include:

    • an abstract/overview of the research proposed, emphasizing unique aspects;
    • a mention of pilot studies or data, if any — including unpublished findings — that support the idea;
    • a brief description of the key personnel and methodologies; a brief justification of the need for Keck support;
    • an estimated budget broken down, if possible, by major areas, e.g., personnel, equipment, consumable supplies, etc. (Budgets can be rough approximations at this stage.)
    • if a reference is absolutely necessary, abbreviate it as (Science, 323, 45, ’11)

    2. 2-page biosketch for the PI only.

    4. Dean endorsement letter, including commitment to match.

    Limited Submission Alerts, Process, and Review

    To sign up for direct email alerts for all limited submission opportunities, send an email to lso_announce-request@virginia.eduwith the word subscribe as the only word in the Subject heading (do not use capital letters or other punctuation in the Subject heading).

    For a comprehensive list of faculty awards, please visit:

    More information on the limited submission review process can be found here:, and in the documents found therein. To summarize, reviewers for individual limited submission opportunities are drawn from a standing committee of tenured faculty members who are nominated by the Schools and appointed by the VPR. Ad hoc committee members may also be invited to serve on specific panels based on their subject expertise and/or their experience with a particular sponsor or program. The internal review committee provides critical reviews of internal pre-proposals and makes recommendations for the pre-proposals that should go forward for external submission. The VPR office follows the best practice of many foundations and agencies and does not disclose the names of individual reviewers who contribute to a specific review panel. The limited submission team notifies individual internal applicants of their pre-proposal review results via email. The limited submission team notifies the Department, School, and Office of Sponsored Programs of the proposal(s) that will go forward for external submission via email.

    Questions: Email

View Letter of Intent


Filed Under: Funding Opportunities