Science & Engineering and Medical Research Programs -- Phase I

Funding Agency:
Keck (W.M.) Foundation

Duke University is seeking cutting-edge science, engineering, and medical research projects to consider for presentation to the W.M. Keck Foundation. We are conducting an internal review process to identify and select competitive ideas.

Description

The Keck Foundation supports pioneering discoveries in science, engineering, and medical research that fall outside the mission of NIH, NSF and other public funding agencies. Keck strives to fund distinctive and novel approaches. It encourages high-risk projects with the potential for transformative impact. "High-risk" comprises a number of factors, including questions that push the edge of the field, present unconventional approaches to intractable problems, or challenge the prevailing paradigm. “Transformative” may mean creation of a new field of research, development of new instrumentation enabling observations not previously possible, or discovery of knowledge that challenges prevailing perspectives. Keck will only fund proposals that are truly outside the scope of traditional funding agencies.

The Science and Engineering Research Program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting high-risk/high-impact projects that are distinctive and novel in their approach to intractable problems, push the edge of their field, or question the prevailing paradigm. Past grants have been awarded to support pioneering science and engineering research and the development of promising new technologies, instrumentation, or methodologies. 

 The Medical Research Program seeks to advance the frontiers of medicine to benefit humanity by supporting high-risk/high-impact projects that are distinctive and novel in their approach to intractable problems, push the edge of their field, or question the prevailing paradigm. Past grants have supported pioneering biological research, basic research, and the development of promising new technologies. The Keck Foundation does NOT fund work that is clinical, applied, or translational, treatment trials, or research for the sole purpose of drug development.  

Both senior and early career investigators are encouraged to apply. Team approaches, including interdisciplinary teams, are encouraged.

Criteria

We are seeking projects for which the following applies:

  • Fall outside the mission of NIH, NSF, and other public funding agencies. Duke is seeking proposal ideas that have been rejected or counseled away from one of these agencies. If you have a promising idea that is not yet at this stage, please contact vera.luck@duke.edu to discuss.
  • Focus on emerging areas of research at the forefront of medical research
  • Have the potential to lead to breakthrough technologies, instrumentation, or methodologies
  • Are innovative, distinctive, and interdisciplinary
  • Demonstrate a high level of risk in that the research pushes the edge of its field, represents unconventional approaches to intransigent problems, or challenges the prevailing paradigm
  • Have the potential for transformative impact, such as creation of a new field of research, development of new instrumentation enabling observations not previously possible, or discovery of new knowledge that challenges prevailing perspectives.
  • Keck does not fund equipment for equipment’s sake; the science and methodology are paramount

 

Deadlines:

  • Duke Internal Deadline: June 25, 2021
  • Sponsor Deadline: Nov. 1, 2021

Agency Website

Amount

$1,000,000

Amount Description

Types of support: PI salary limited to 10%. Personnel such as graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Renovations limited to 10% of the request. Equipment, noting caveat above.

 

Funding Type

Grant

Duke Awardees

2016 - Fan Wang, Kafui Dzirasa: Unraveling the neural gate to consciousness

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Interdisciplinary
Medical
Medical - Basic Science

Internal Nomination

By June 25, 2021, interested faculty should submit a one-page concept paper that addresses the following through the Office of Research Support’s Limited Nomination Process:

  1. One-page descriptionmust be in Times New Roman, 12-point font, with one-inch margins. There are no exceptions to this requirement. No figures or images. The single page should include:

    1. Title
    2. Abstract (including methodology):  Provide an executive summary including the overall goal, methodology, and significance of the proposed project. Methodology should be the most robust section of the abstract. Indicate area of emphasis for the project (medical research or science and engineering research). Note in particular any potential breakthroughs in method, technique, or technology. Mention any relevant pilot studies.
    3. Unique aspects: Emphasize any unique or distinctive aspects of the project.
    4. Key Personnel:  Name the key personnel, with the lead PI’s name listed first.
    5. Budget:  State total cost of this project and the amount to be requested from the Keck Foundation ($1M). Briefly describe how funds requested from Keck will be allocated among personnel, equipment, and operations (supplies, animal costs, travel, contracted services, etc.). Keck does not provide overhead.
    6. Justification for WMKF support:  Explain why Keck’s support is essential.  REQUIRED: state whether the project has been rejected from one of the traditional funding agencies and, if so, explain why. Also note any other pending or upcoming proposals for the project (or aspects of the project) that you are proposing for Keck.  If you have a similar proposal pending, or anticipate submitting one concurrently with a Keck approach, please contact vera.luck@duke.edu to discuss before submitting a Keck concept paper.

 

If there is room, the authors are free to add other details (e.g., background to put the research into perspective, description of the institution’s prominence in the field, etc.). Avoid illustrations in these single papers – the researchers 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)

Prior to submitting your project description, please review the list of the Foundation’s recently awarded grants provided on its website:  http://www.wmkeck.org/grant-abstracts-final/research

Selection Process

Duke faculty reviewers will score and comment on the proposals based on Keck’s criteria. Senior research leadership may request feedback from deans and other scholars in related fields regarding the strategic importance of the proposed projects. Their feedback will be an important factor in the vetting process. Leadership will select which ideas will be discussed with a Keck program officer in advance of the submission, and their feedback will help determine the final submissions. Staff from the Office of Foundation Relations will work closely with the finalists on each proposal.

It is strongly recommended that you contact Vera Luck, Director of Foundation Relations, at vera.luck@duke.edu prior to submitting a concept paper.

Please submit internal materials through My Research Proposal (Code ILN): https://www.grantinterface.com/sl/zE1FMB

Instructions for both creating an account (if you don't already have one) and submitting your materials can be found here: https://www.ctsi.duke.edu/myresearchproposal

Internal Deadline

June 25, 2021

External Deadline

November 1, 2021