Science and Engineering Program

The Science and Engineering Research Program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting 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 and independent research institutions to support pioneering science and engineering research and the development of promising new technologies, and to facilitate the purchase of advanced instruments where such instruments would further specific research ventures. Historically, grants range from $500,000 to $5 million and are typically $2 million or less. In 2013, research grants will continue to be capped at $1 million.


Program Priorities

Funding is awarded to universities and institutions nationwide for projects in science and engineering research that:

  • Focus on important and emerging areas of research
  • Have the potential to develop breakthrough technologies, instrumentation or methodologies
  • Are innovative, distinctive and interdisciplinary
  • Demonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches, or by challenging the prevailing paradigm
  • Have the potential for transformative impact, such as the founding of a new field of research, the enabling of observations not previously possible or the altered perception of a previously intractable problem
  • Fall outside the mission of public funding agencies
  • Demonstrate that private philanthropy generally, and the W. M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project’s success

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