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May Highlighted Foundation Funding Opportunities

W. M. Keck Foundation: Limited Submission Internal Competition

Grant Amount: Up to $1.5 Million
Deadline: June 10, 2024

Additional Information -
The Office of the Vice President for Research is seeking interdisciplinary and transformative project concepts for the W. M. Keck Foundation. Keck supports projects in (1) medical research and (2) science and engineering that:

  • Focus on important and emerging areas of basic 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;
  • Do not focus on clinical, translational, or applied research;
  • Fall outside the mission of public funding agencies; and
  • Demonstrate that private philanthropy generally, and the W. M. Keck Foundation in particular, is essential to the project’s success.

Funding requests are traditionally $1M in direct costs over three years, however the foundation has recently permitted budgets to exceed that amount (we recommend a cap of ~$1.3M over three years; projects with budgets of $1.5M will receive greater scrutiny).

All concept papers must be submitted HERE via InfoReady. Please submit your idea using the template provided in InfoReady. Submissions must be a single page. Please do not adjust font size, format, layout, or margins.

Please reach out to with any questions or to discuss applicability of an idea.

Digital Infrastructure Insights Fund: Open Digital Infrastructure Grants

Grant Amount: Range from $50,000 to $100,000 over 6-12 months
Deadline: June 2, 2024

Additional Information -
The Digital Infrastructure Insights Fund, established in 2018, is a global multi-funder initiative supported by Ford Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Omidyar Network and Schmidt Futures.

The funders circle sustains a platform for academics and practitioners to better understand how open digital infrastructure is built and deployed. Through open calls and commissions, D//F curates a body of research and implementation insights that advance our mutual goal to ensure a public commons of technology, for the benefit of everyone. By fostering collaboration, experiments and sharing of knowledge we support those who build, use, and rely on critical open source projects. Our approach is interdisciplinary:

  • We are looking for analyses on how open digital infrastructure interacts and intersects with politics & sovereign responsibilities, diverse economic sectors, and scientific research through all disciplines.
  • We seek to investigate the issue of under-maintenance and undermining of infrastructural FOSS, as well as explore any geographical or other disparities within the communities responsible for providing and sustaining these software components amid evolving economic, regulatory and socio-technical circumstances.
  • We aim to back the development of pertinent work that examines the convergence of open digital infrastructure with social movements focused on democracy, rights, justice, the environment and the advancement of knowledge in academia and beyond.

To further pursue D//Fs agenda, the 2024 RFP invites new research proposals to study the rationales, production, use, governance and maintenance of open digital infrastructures. Individuals, Organizations (nonprofit and for-profit) as well as Academic Institutions are eligible. Individuals and Organizations based outside of the United States and Europe are especially encouraged to apply.

Please contact Sara Salmon if you are interested in applying to this opportunity. 

Foundation Fighting Blindness: Translational Research Acceleration Program

Grant Amount: Up to $1 Million
Deadline: Letter of Intent due June 4, 2024

Additional Information -
The mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will lead to preventions, treatments, and vision restoration for degenerative retinal diseases that affect millions of people throughout the world. The Foundation is the world’s leading private funding source for retinal disease research. We are committed to funding research until the entire spectrum of degenerative retinal disease is eradicated.

Through this RFP, the Foundation Fighting Blindness seeks proposals toward the Translational Research Acceleration Program. This unique award program accelerates preclinical translational research targeted at preventing, treating, or curing blindness resulting from inherited retinal degenerative disease (IRD) and dry age-related macular degeneration (dAMD). It leverages a proactive program management structure, including dedicated Project Mentors with expertise in drug development, retinal clinical therapies, commercialization, regulatory guidance, intellectual property, and partnerships, providing a catalyst that helps move technology into clinical use. People with inherited retinal degenerations need an increased number of therapies to combat the diversity, complexity, and uniqueness of inherited retinal diseases and dry age-related macular degeneration

The primary interest for the Foundation is to fund research and development efforts that are creating novel, clinically relevant treatments and cures. The Translational Research Acceleration Program is interested in submissions related to one or more of the research priority areas listed below; however, research and technologies that fall outside of the scope of these areas may be considered with adequate preliminary data and justification. In the application, please highlight which research priority area the proposed research and/ or technology falls within according to the definitions outlined:

  • Novel Medical Therapies (NMT) 
  • Genetic Technologies (GT)
  • Regenerative Medicine (RM)

The budget limit for this award is $1 million dollars. The Foundation aims to catalyze translational efforts (hit-to-lead R&D to IND-Enabling Studies) to accelerate discoveries and bring innovative therapies closer to patients. Researchers and institutions are encouraged to submit their proposals, emphasizing rigorous scientific merit, feasibility, and potential impact.

Please contact Gwen Allouch if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.

Harrington Discovery Institute: Harrington Scholar-Innovator Award

Grant Amount: $100,000 plus opportunities to apply for up to $2M in additional funding
Deadline: Letter of Intent Due June 5, 2024

Additional Information -
The Harrington Scholar-Innovator award recognizes outstanding physician-scientists whose work has potential to advance standard of care. Each year up to 12 Harrington Scholar-Innovators are chosen. The institute seeks breakthrough discoveries defined by innovation, creativity and potential for clinical impact, including:

  • Discoveries deemed to address unmet medical needs
  • Modulators of novel targets
  • Potential to be developed into a commercial program
  • Strong intellectual property (IP) or protection strategy
  • May be a small molecule, biologic, or other therapeutic modality
  • Diagnostics or devices only acceptable as part of a therapeutic development project

To be eligible, applicants must hold a MD or MD/PhD (or equivalent), hold a faculty position at an accredited academic medical center, university or research institution in the US or Canada, and conduct the majority of his/her/their research at that institution. A project must have a single Principal Investigator (PI), who is responsible for project oversight and financial management. The PI may engage collaborators, core labs or commercial CROs to execute any portion of the project. Past recipients of Harrington awards may submit new and distinct proposals, but may not seek additional support for previously funded projects.

Please contact Lynn Wong if you are interested in applying to this opportunity.