Keck Foundation – Research Program for Science and Engineering Grants Phase 1 - November 2023

The UIUC campus is seeking concept papers for groundbreaking research projects that address critical, unsolved scientific questions for a potential Phase I application submission to the W. M. Keck Foundation’s Research Program.

Funding is awarded for projects in 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
  • Does not focus on clinical or translational research, treatment trials or research for the sole purpose of drug development
  • Falls 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

For additional information regarding the internal campus process please refer to the UIUC Keck Internal Guidelines. For questions regarding the program please contact Julie Elzanati with the Office of Foundation Relations at

Examples of December 2022 funded abstracts can be found here:

Please visit KECK program page for additional examples


The Keck Foundation is open to funding faculty and faculty teams at junior and senior levels. Keck is interested in interdisciplinary research and collaborating scholars, each with their own special expertise, whose work is converging to develop breakthrough technologies that address/solve an intractable problem. PIs should convince Keck that they need this particular group of experts who have a solid plan to make a big leap forward with this project.

PI Requirements

To the best of the PI's knowledge, all the information provided in the application is correct.