Application Process and Overview

The W. M. Keck Foundation employs a two-phase application process. Applicants must 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

Eligible institutions are strongly urged to contact Foundation staff during the pre-application counseling period, which takes place between January 1 and February 15 leading up to a May 1 Phase I submission, or between July 1 and August 15 leading up to a November 1 Phase I submission. Potential applicants are encouraged to submit their ideas for grants in the form of single-page concept papers during the pre-application counseling period. Consultations are scheduled on a first come, first served basis during the pre-application counseling period.

For guidance on preparing one-page concept papers and instructions for scheduling a concept counseling call, visit our concepts page.

For more information about deadlines, please see our Grant Cycle Timeline.

Initial contact must be coordinated through the institution’s central development office via the designated institutional liaison. Most colleges and universities have designated an official liaison to the Foundation. Other personnel (including principal investigators) contacting the Foundation will be referred to the designated liaison.

If your institution is applying to the Foundation for the first time, please do so through your central development office via the designated institutional liaison and make sure to submit all the required tax and audit documentation listed on the Eligibility and Priorities page along with the concepts you wish to discuss.

General Rules

Eligible institutions may submit one Phase I application online per grant cycle to each of the following areas for which they are eligible: Medical Research, Science and Engineering Research, and Southern California.

Phase I application submissions are due by 4:30pm (PT) in order to be considered on deadline days (see our Grant Cycle Timeline).  If a deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is 4:30pm (PT) on the following Monday.  Applicants will not be able to submit Phase I applications after the deadline.  We appreciate early submissions.

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 those applicants that are invited to submit a Phase II proposal.  Please do not contact the Foundation to check on the status of an application or proposal.  No inquiries regarding Phase I or Phase II submissions will be entertained in the interim.  All Phase I applications and Phase II proposals take approximately four weeks to process and formally acknowledge.  Unsolicited Phase II proposals are not accepted at any time.


Please select a Phase below:

Research Program (includes the two areas of Medical Research and Science and Engineering Research)
Phase I Application
Phase II Proposal

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