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Deadline: May 1, 2019

W. M. Keck Foundation

The W.M. Keck Foundation was founded with the goal of generating far-reaching benefits for humanity. The Foundation supports outstanding science, engineering, and medical research; undergraduate education; and, in Southern California, arts and culture, education, health, and community service projects that have a significant impact in addressing complex issues and problems. Applicable programs to New Mexico are detailed below:

Research program: The Foundation funds high-risk/high-impact work of leading researchers to lay the groundwork for new paradigms, technologies, and discoveries that will save lives, provide innovative solutions, and add to the understanding of the world. This program supports projects in two areas: 1) medical research; and 2) science and engineering, 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 supported biological physical science research and engineering, including the development of new technologies, instrumentation, or methodologies.

Undergraduate education program: The Foundation’s undergraduate program promotes distinctive learning and research experiences in science, engineering, and the liberal arts at undergraduate colleges. Applicants must demonstrate a compelling or unique resource to be competitive. Program priorities include:

  • Foster new levels of student engagement and understanding, especially through active learning and collaborative curriculum development
  • Expand interdisciplinary activities in balance with needs of each discipline
  • Incorporate research activities into the curriculum and raise the bar of expectations regarding publications and presentations by undergraduates
  • Enhance science and technology literacy for students in all disciplines
  • Develop new ways to stimulate critical thinking and other core competencies of a liberal arts education


  • Research grants range from $500,000-$5,000,000 and are typically $2,000,000 or less.
  • Undergraduate education grants range from $200,000-$1,000,000 and are typically under $500,000. On a case by case basis, the Foundation may consider the award of smaller seed grants for planning and piloting.


  • Research program: Research universities, medical colleges, and major private independent scientific and medical research institutes.
  • Undergraduate education program: Colleges and universities, especially private, predominantly undergraduate institutions located in Foundation designated states (including New Mexico). Additionally, organizations that address undergraduate needs at the national level may be considered.

For both programs, organizations must be exempt from federal taxation as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and be designated as a public charity (and not a private foundation) as defined by Section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) or 170(b)(1)(A)(I-VI) of the Internal Revenue Code; or an exempt operating foundation as defined by Section 4940(d)(2).

Link: http://www.wmkeck.org/grant-programs/grant-programs 

Note: Potential applicants are encouraged to submit their ideas for grants early in the form of single-page concept papers during pre-application counseling sessions to allow time to schedule a possible consultation. Pre-application counseling sessions are from:

  • January 1 through February 15 for the May 1 annual deadline
  • July 1 through August 15 for the November 1 annual deadline

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