Limited submission opportunity: W.M. Keck Foundation

Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center may each nominate one candidate for the W.M. Keck Foundation Medical Research Program and one candidate for the Science and Engineering Program for 2016. The two institutions will coordinate with each other to avoid advancing competing proposals. These awards typically provide $1 million over one to three years.

The W.M. Keck Foundation supports pioneering discoveries in medicine and in science and engineering. By funding the high-risk, high-impact work of leading researchers, the foundation is laying the groundwork for new paradigms, technologies and discoveries that will save lives, provide innovative solutions and add to the understanding of the world. Both senior and early career investigators are encouraged to apply. The Keck Foundation also hopes to fund a more diverse group of recipients than it has in the past.

Anyone interested in being considered as Vanderbilt University’s or Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s nominee must submit the following (in PDF format) to by 5 p.m. on May 27, 2016.

Concept papers. Singled-paged concepts for the Medical Research Program and Science and Engineering Program should be in 12-point font with 1-inch margins and include:

  • An overview of the proposed project emphasizing any unique aspects and pilot studies (for Research Program concepts, indicate area of emphasis for project—medical research or science and engineering research);
  • A description of the methodologies and key personnel;
  • A brief justification of the need for Keck support; and
  • 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.)

Authors are free to add other details (e.g., background to put the research into perspective, description of Vanderbilt’s prominence in the field, etc.) if there’s room. Avoid illustrations in these single-pagers, since you will need all the room for text. If a reference is necessary, abbreviate it as (Science, 323, 45, ‘11). DO NOT USE (Jones et al., 2011).

Separately, please include:

  • A brief statement of support from the department chair/center director;
  • A brief CV or NIH biosketch

Submissions should reference the program name in the subject line of the email. The chosen nominees will submit a full proposal by the foundation’s Nov. 1, 2016, deadline.

If you have any questions about the foundation or its interests and priorities, please contact the following individuals:

VU: Vivian Carmichael (, executive director of foundation relations, at (615) 875-4915.

VUMC: Adele White (, director of foundation relations, at (615) 936-1599.