Presentation on theme: "Information Session: W. M"— Presentation transcript:
1Information Session: W. M Information Session: W. M. Keck Foundation Concept Paper Deadline: January 6, 2015Maureen Martin, Executive Director, Foundation RelationsOffice of University Development
2Agenda General Overview The Application Process Q&A Foundations W. M. Keck FoundationThe Application ProcessQ&A
3General Overview: Why Foundation Funding? Prestige – junior and senior faculty awards – Packard, Sloan, BWF, Ellison, etcSupport “out-of-the-box” ideasFund higher-risk projectsSome offer a focus on a particular diseasePilot funding, proof of conceptRound out funding for a larger project (or support salary or lab costs)
4Why Foundations support Science Push the envelop of science (bridge innovative ideas into the feds - they want to be where no one else is)Some think federal grant system of review is broken or isn’t paying enough attention to their particular area of interest.Focus researchers attention on a particular problem or disease (this can include associations and venture philanthropy)Think private philanthropy can have quicker ‘on the ground’ answers and impact to the world’s problems (Gates)Support Junior Faculty in launching their careers
5What does the (Development) Foundation Relations office do? Provide ideas of Foundations that would be interested in your workAdvise on approach to a FoundationFeedback on proposal draftsRecruit mentors for particular applicationsCelebrate your successTrack opportunities as they arise - advertise and target
6W. M. Keck Foundation Motivation The W.M. Keck Foundation was founded by William Myron Keck ( ), an entrepreneur and innovator in the oil business, as well as a wild cat oil man who founded Superior Oil Company. Mr. Keck pioneered many of the oil extraction methods still used today including directional drilling, seismic exploration and off-shore drilling.The foundation was created in 1954 to further Mr. Keck’s passion for imaginative and innovative science. Mr. Keck broke barriers in science and oil exploration, and the breakthroughs that he made had an impact on many other industries as well. The W.M. Keck Foundation continues his legacy by funding projects that can unlock the boundaries of current science or find new ways of doing research that advance science in new domains.
7Award OverviewTwo very connected Research programs within the FoundationScience and Engineering - Supports pioneering science and engineering research and the development of promising new technologies.Medical Science – Seeks to advance the frontiers of the life sciences by supporting basic research that is high-riskBoth seek projects that are distinctive and novel in their approach to problems, or question the prevailing paradigm, or push the edge/break open new territory/have the potential to transform their field.
8Research Project Award Overview Award Amount: $500,000 to $5,000,000 (for 2-3 years) direct costs Likely - $1.5m to $2m, with some affection for $3mNumber of awards in 2013: 22No predetermination of how many awards in each of their two programs. 50/50 in 2013.Abstracts are available online.Funding has some restrictionsNo indirect costs (can be considered UM contribution)No tuition (also considered UM contribution)No more than 10% of PI’s salary allowedNo more than 10% of the cost of renovation
9Application Process - Overview Internal Concept Papers for funding eleven months later – June and JanuarySelection of up to 4 concepts in each program to present to foundation for feedback and advice – before August 15 and February 15UMOR reviews with foundation staff in July and JanuaryAdvice used to select up to one idea to move forward to each programPhase I Foundation Deadlines – November 1 and May 13 Pages, optimally delivered to the foundation one to two weeks earlyDeep, concise and compelling language. Examples available.Phase II – invitation only – quick turnaround for February 15 and August 15Site Visit – Approximately 1-2 months after Phase II deadlineFinal Decision - Board selects finalists at June and December meeting (start date July 1 or January 1)January/Winter concept cycle is funded at following December board meetingJuly/ Summer concept cycle is funded at following June board meetingFeedback loop with Keck Foundation and Foundation Relations team on ideas from University to put forward. This gives the University the opportunity to present ideas to the Foundation to get a sense of the types of ideas that strike Keck as interesting for this round. It also allows us to hear their feedback on specific directions they would like to see an idea taken. They put a cut off date out there, after which they won't give feedback. This is usually by the end of March but they've moved it to end of Feb. This takes the form of a written draft outlining the idea (sometimes a visit if we weren't pressed for time). It can take the look and feel of a rough sketch of the pre-proposal that comes in Phase 2.
10Characteristics of Success Explain clearly the overarching goal of the project, articulating both the approach (what) and methodology (how) that will be used. How might this be transformational? What’s the big deal?Focus on emerging areas of researchEnvision the future state their work would enableHave the potential to develop breakthrough technologies, instrumentation or methodologiesAre innovative, distinctive and interdisciplinaryDemonstrate a high level of risk due to unconventional approaches, or by challenging the prevailing paradigmHave the potential for transformative impact, such as founding a new field of research, impacting multiple fields simultaneously, enabling observations not previously possible or the altering the perception of a previously intractable problemBring together a complementary team of researchers from unique disciplines, each one delivering innovative work
11Applying: Getting Started Step 1: Treat the internal call like a full competitionStep 2: Research past winnersGet a sense of the high-risk ideas being fundedReview their documentation and the intensity of the language they useNote their science advisors and the caliber of their workAbstract provided in grants lists is part of the proposal – your first paragraph should be this accessible and clear.
12Applying: Writing the Proposal Step 3: Tell the Story WellGrantsmanship makes a differenceWrite good science that is accessible to a smart 'lay' audience of scientists (we can help)Communicate clearly and build excitement for your work: be explicit about why and how your work is innovative and risky - you are poised to have a huge impact on your fieldBe clear on what you will do and how you will achieve successExplain why Keck funding is necessary to carry out your work (why isn't this fundable by federal sources).Envision how your work will change the game in the fields being engaged
13Keck instructions on concept papers Two-page concepts in 12 point font with 1 inch margins should include:PI name and the Keck category for fundingan introduction for internal reviewers of what the work is and why it’s amazing.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; why each onea brief justification of the need for Keck support; andan estimated budget broken down, if possible, by major areas, e.g., personnel, equipment, consumable supplies, etc. (budgets can be rough approximations at this stage).If there’s 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-pagers – 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).
14Sample Outline - Concept Paper Include PI name, Project Title and Team at the top of the page.Impact Statement: one to two sentences in bold that describe your idea and its potential impact.Describe the following three things: 1) the problem your idea is trying to solve, 2) how current barriers will be overcome, and 3) a clear vision of what will be gained. Include a statement on why your idea is an unconventional or creative approach to the stated problem.Describe the scientific basis for your proposed idea and why you expect it to succeedDescribe your experimental plan: Highlight the ‘What’ and “How”Why Keck: Be explicit about why the proposed project is outside the range of federal sponsors? (have you proposed your idea to them? Talked to program officers, etc).Alternative Paragraph 1: Summarize your idea: 1) what is the big question and your vision what it will look like when this question can be answered, 2) what are the current barriers to realizing this vision, 3) envision what it will look like if vision is realized, 4) problems with current approach(s), and 5) your BIG idea and how you are going to overcome the current barriers.
15Common StrengthsIdea clearly pushing boundary of science forward. Clearly a big deal.Well written – clear and explicit statements that lead the reviewer to understand why the idea is ‘cool’, ‘big’, ‘game-changer’, tranformative – your overview paragraph is the ‘hook’Strong Team – pushing boundaries in each engaged disciplineDeveloping a completely new instrument/ new methodologyControversial approach, not current ‘fad’Counter to current focus of the field
16Common Strengths: Feedback from the Foundation Common Comments from the W. M. Keck Foundation:There is sufficient information in the ‘what’ the team will do and the ‘how’ – not too much space spent on the ‘why’Clear, explicit statements on what the big impact will be of the work, if successfulThe best concepts clearly distinguish proposed work from the field (they often say ‘we see a lot of proposals in this space’)Case can be strengthened if faculty have applied and been declined by federal agency (can be just a phone call with the program officer)
17Common Weaknesses Lacks problem statement Missing key partners (e.g. technology proposal lacks expert in biological field where they plan to use their technology)We can’t see why THIS work will be transformative. Didn’t the big thing happen at the last stage?Doable – not risky. Too iterativeProposal too far along, already have had funding in this spaceDoesn’t differentiate the proposed work from work currently funded by the engaged PIs (e.g. innovator award, career award, etc.)
18Common WeaknessesWork is too applied (e.g. focused on drug discovery, device to be used in the clinic, etc). Too far downstream in a particular disease.Lacks collaboratorsWriting is not accessible to diverse set of reviewers (Advice: Write to an non-expert audience of smart scientists and engineers)Doesn’t challenge ideas, is a conventional approachToo focused on a particular disease (Advice: focus more on methods being developed that could transform the basic science)
19Questions?Contact InformationMaureen S Martin, Executive Director, Foundation RelationsPhone:Submit your concept to: