February 21, 2012

Request for Internal Proposals: 2012 W.M. Keck Foundation Research Grants

Vanderbilt University is eligible to put forward an institutional priority for funding to the W.M. Keck Foundation, through either their Medical or Science and Engineering Research Program, which supports the following types of work:

• 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 foundation in particular, is essential to the project’s success.

In 2012, research grants will continue to be capped at $1 million. Keck typically awards fewer than a dozen grants in its each of its research programs, and on average only 20 percent of those are to institutions in the eastern United States.

Both senior and early career investigators are encouraged to apply; the foundation is interested in a diverse set of individuals according to career stages and research topics, as well as gender and ethnicity.

Grant awards cannot support any of the following:
• bricks and mortar or core facilities (centers/institutes);
• research projects conducted in hospitals, clinical research or treatment trials;
• endowment, general operating expenses or administrative overhead;
• conferences/seminars;
• publications or media;
• work outside the United States; or
• public policy research or activities of any kind.

Materials for Submission of Internal Proposals
Project Summary [one page maximum]
• Abstract: Provide an executive summary of this project, including overall goal, methodology and significance, for a well-educated lay audience.
• Unique Aspects: Describe unique or distinctive aspects of this project.
• Key Personnel: Name the key personnel and describe their expertise, role in this project, and any collaborations/partnerships.
• Budget: State total cost of this project, amount requested from the WMKF, and the amount of institutional support. Describe how funds requested from Keck will be allocated among capital, personnel and equipment.
• Justification for WMKF support: Explain why support from the WMKF is essential for this project.
Project Description [two pages maximum]
• Overview: Provide an overview of this field and the need for this project.
• Relevant Efforts: Describe past and current efforts at your institution that are relevant to this project, including institutional resources that will support the work.
• Peer Groups: Name at least two other groups that are pursuing comparable or related work and explain how this project differs from their work. If none, please explain.
• Goals and Methodology: State the major goals of this project and summarize the methodologies and time frame to be used in achieving them.
• Impact: Describe the potential impacts of achieving these goals.
• Fundraising: Describe what amounts of funding have been committed to this project to date, including institutional funding. Identify pending proposals, amounts requested, sources and expected notification dates. If no government funding has been secured and/or if none will be sought for this project, please explain.

Online submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 2.

Questions about this opportunity can be directed to Vivian Carmichael, executive director, Foundation Relations (875-4915), who is helping coordinate these efforts, including any direct contact with Keck Foundation officers. Susan Meyn, director of Research Resources & Planning (322-0470), or Elizabeth Rapisarda, assistant provost for Research & Graduate Education (322-3684), are also available to provide assistance regarding this opportunity.