A list of frequently asked questions and responses is included below. In addition to the FAQs and the SAM instructional videos in the tab above, the HelpCenter on the right-hand side of SAM provides assistance for navigating through the system.

General Navigation

  • 1. Can I email or mail my application?plus--large

    No. The Simons Foundation accepts only applications submitted online through

  • 2. Is it possible to delete applications created in error?plus--large

    It is currently not possible to delete applications created in error. You may ignore them, as they will never be submitted to Simons Foundation if they remain in Draft status. However, if you want them to be deleted, please reach out to the administrative team email included on the Request for Application (RFA) site.

  • 3. How do I reset my password?plus--large

    In order to reset your password, click on your initial icon in the top right-hand corner and select “Change Password.” If you are logged out of SAM and need to reset your password, click on the “Forgot Password?” link on the login page and follow the instructions. If your link expires, you can select “Forgot Password?” again to receive a new link.

  • 4. Why can I not edit my application?plus--large

    If you are unable to edit your application, it may be that the record is locked by another user. The gray bar at the bottom of the record displays when another user is in the record to prevent multiple users from overwriting each other’s changes. Only one user may be in the record at a time. Ask the applicant/institution officials on the application to close out of the application, and then refresh your page. If this still does not correct the issue, please reach out to [email protected].

  • 5. What browser should I use?plus--large

    We recommend using Chrome or Firefox when navigating through SAM. Internet Explorer, version 9 or later, is also acceptable. As Safari is not compatible with SAM, we advise against using the Safari browser.


  • 6. How do I complete my profile?plus--large

    Applicants are required to complete their profile in order to submit an application. Profiles may be completed by clicking on the “Complete Profile” button on the bottom right of the profile screen once all required fields have been completed. After it is completed, applicants will not be prompted to complete their profile again for future submissions unless a response is missing from a required field. More information on completing profiles can be found here.

  • 7. How do I add my demographic information to my profile and application?plus--large

    To complete the required demographic questions on your application, navigate to the “Personal Data” tab of your user profile. If your profile has already been completed, click the blue “Edit Profile” button in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Fill out all required fields, and then click “Complete Profile.” You must provide a response to all required fields; however, “Prefer not to disclose” is an available option for each required question. Disclosing demographic data is voluntary.

    The demographic data provided by applicants and grantees to the Simons Foundation serves multiple purposes: to help us understand how our grantmaking reflects the communities we seek to serve; and to equip our staff with critical data to help create equitable funding opportunities as one part of our overall commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Demographic data will not be shared with reviewers or otherwise used during the application review process unless stated otherwise in the Request for Application (RFA). Aggregate data may be used publicly. Demographic data is visible only to the user and a subset of Simons Foundation staff, such as programmatic and grantmaking staff. If you wish to review our data collection and use practices, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

  • 8. Can I associate my profile with another institution?plus--large

    Applicants may associate their profile with other institutions. To do so, navigate to your user profile, click on the “Associations” tab, and search for and select the institution you would like to associate with your profile. Click the “Save Draft” button and then click the “Update institution associations” button. To act under the associated institution, click on the building icon in the top right-hand corner of your screen and select the relevant institution.

    Institution Officials must reach out to our Grants Access team ([email protected]) to become associated with multiple institutions.

  • 9. How do I give someone else access to my profile?plus--large

    To give a user access to your content profile, navigate to your user profile through the “Update/Edit Profile” shortcut on your homepage, click on the “Profiles” tab on the gray navigation panel, select your profile and click on the “Profile Access” tab. From here, you can search for and select a user from your institution. Note that the user will not have access to your personal data or other information stored on the main page of your user profile.


  • 10. How do I add/change institution contacts to my application?plus--large

    To add or change contacts on an application, open the application in SAM. If you are a contact on the application, you will see the application in the “Applications in Progress’ table on” your homepage. If you are not a contact, but you are an approved institution official, you can find the application in your institution profile, under the ”Application/Grants” tab. On the application, open the ”Contacts & Key Personnel” tab, and in the institution administrative contacts section, add or remove users. To add a user, use the search bar to the left of the binoculars icon to find them, and add them with the role of signing official, financial officer, or institution administrator. To remove a user, select the checkbox to the left of their name and click on the minus button.

    To add someone new to the system, click on the “Create new institution official” button. Information on the various roles in the system can be found by clicking on the “View role definitions” button to the right. Once their account has been created, you must add the new user to the application by taking the steps outlined in the previous paragraph. A video tutorial on how to do this can be found here.

  • 11. How do I add project personnel to my application? plus--large

    To add project personnel to an application, navigate to the “Contacts & Personnel” tab, scroll down and select the “Add/modify project personnel” button. This will open a new window with further instructions on adding project personnel, including assigning an application role. For all project personnel except Multi-site or Collaboration PIs, you will also need to assign a project-specific role and provide additional details by selecting the “Add More Details” button in the list of project personnel. Contacts added in all roles except for Key Personnel – Without Access will receive an email notification that they have been added to the application and will be able to access the application.

  • 12. Can someone else (e.g., assistant, staff member, etc.) submit my application for me?plus--large

    Yes, any user with access to your application, including any users who have been added to the Institution Administrative Contacts section of the application, can edit and submit an application to the assigned Signing Official(s) for sign-off.

  • 13. Does the PI need to sign and submit the application?plus--large

    PIs may submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) and applications that do not require signature. If an application requires signature, an assigned Signing Official must sign the application before it can be submitted.

    When the application is complete, the PI must click on the “Send for sign-off” button to send the application to the assigned Signing Official(s) for signature. Signing Officials will see the application in the “Applications to Review” section of their dashboard upon logging in. Applicants will be notified when their signing official has signed and submitted their application.

    If there is only one institution working on the project, or if multiple institutions are working on the project but some will be paid directly by the main institution as subcontractors, an assigned Signing Official is responsible for both signing and submitting the application to the Simons Foundation.

    Multi-site applications for institutions paid separately have an additional step for final submission. Once an assigned Signing Official has signed the application, they must submit it to the Spokesperson PI. When all linked applications have been signed and submitted by each institution’s Signing Official as described above, the Spokesperson PI will receive a notification that the application package is ready for submission. The Spokesperson PI should click on “Submit Application Package” to finalize and submit the application package, including all components from the additional site(s).

  • 14. Where is the “Send for sign-off” button for applicants?plus--large

    The “Send for sign-off” button is located at the bottom right of the screen. You will be unable to send the application for signature if you have not provided all the required information. If the submission deadline has NOT passed, use the “Check application progress” button to check for missing requirements. If the problem persists, please contact [email protected]. If the deadline has passed, the submission period has closed, and you will not be able to submit the application.

  • 15. Where is the “Submit” button for Signing Officials?plus--large

    The “Submit” button is located at the bottom right of the screen. In order to submit, navigate to the “Submission” tab, enter or upload your signature, and then click the “Submit” button.

  • 16. I get an error message citing an incomplete field when I try to

    The “Check application progress”, “Submit” and “Send for sign-off” buttons review your application for incomplete fields. The submission instructions list the required sections and attachments. You must complete the missing fields listed. If you are still receiving error messages after completing and saving the indicated fields, please contact [email protected].

  • 17. Are deadline times adjusted for time zones?plus--large

    No, please be advised that application deadlines on the application are at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Time. We recommend registering early and submitting applications with ample time for corrections prior to the deadline hour. Site traffic can slow page-load times. The “Submit” button will not work after the deadline time has passed.

  • 18. Is there a confirmation email when I submit?plus--large

    A confirmation email is sent upon submission of the application. Make sure that spam filters allow emails from [email protected]. Additionally, the application will appear in the “Submitted” tab of the “Applications in Progress” table after submission.

  • 19. Can I make changes to the application once it has been submitted?plus--large

    Applications can only be changed prior to the deadline. To make changes, select the “Revise application” button at the bottom of the application screen. The application will need to be signed (if applicable) and re-submitted by the deadline once the changes have been made. Please reach out to the grant portfolio email included in the Request for Application (RFA) if you want to make modifications after the deadline has passed.

  • 20. How do I create an application under an associated institution?plus--large

    In order to create an application under a secondary institution you are affiliated with, first click on the building icon on the top right corner of SAM. From here, select the institution you would like to create an application for. Then, navigate to the Funding Opportunities shortcut and create an application for the Request for Application (RFA) you are applying for. If you would like to change the institution affiliated with an existing application, please reach out to [email protected].

Multi-Site/Collaboration Applications and Subcontract Budgets

  • 21. How do I add Multi-site or Collaboration PIs to my application?plus--large

    If the application permits a multi-site or collaboration structure, you may add additional PIs in these roles by navigating to the “Add/modify project personnel” window of your application (see question #16, above). Then select the relevant role, either “Principal Investigator (Collaboration)” or “Principal Investigator (Multi-Site).” Please note that adding a user in either of these roles will create a new, linked application in their name. Once contacts are added in either of these roles and the application has been saved, you may access their linked application by navigating to the “Principal Investigators” tab of the application and clicking on the “Open” button next to the relevant application. The Principal Investigators tab is only available when the application is at the Full Application stage. Contacts added in these roles will receive an email notification that they have been added to the application.

  • 22. How do I add a subcontract budget?plus--large

    Adding a contact to an application in the role of “Subcontract Lead – With Application Access” or “Key Personnel (including subcontracts) – Without Application Access” with a project role of “Subcontract Lead” will generate a subcontract budget on an application. Once you have saved the application, the subcontract budget will appear in the “Budget” tab. Whereas adding a “Subcontract Lead” will generate a subcontract budget with that contact as the lead, adding a contact in a “Subcontract Personnel” role will not generate a new budget. Subcontract personnel can be added as personnel on the subcontract lead’s budget. An instructional video on how to add a subcontract budget can be found here.

  • 23. How do I cancel a multi-site application, collaboration application or subcontract budget?plus--large

    To cancel a multi-site application or collaboration application, you may either click on the “Cancel application” button available in the “Principal Investigators” tab or remove the Multi-site/Collaboration PI from the project personnel on the Spokesperson PI’s application.

    To cancel a subcontract budget, you may either click on the “Cancel Subcontract” button available in the “Budget” tab or remove the Subcontract Lead from the project personnel on the application.

Degrees, Publications and Other Support

  • 24. How do I import data from ORCID?plus--large

    Before importing data from ORCID, users must first link their ORCID account with their SAM account. To do this, please navigate to the “ORCID” tab of your user profile. Select “Create or connect your ORCID iD” to link your ORCID profile. The data that you would like to import must be visible to either “Everyone” or “Trusted parties” within ORCID. Note: Imported publication and other support records will not be saved to your SAM profile. To save these records to your profile, please navigate to “Profiles” in the gray navigation panel on the left-hand side of your profile and select your content profile.

    Once in your content profile, you will be able to import publications and other support from your ORCID profile. To import publications, navigate to the “Publications” tab and select the “Import publications from ORCID” button. Once the window opens, a list of your ORCID publications will display.

    To import other support, navigate to the “Other Support” tab and select the “Import Other Support from ORCID” button. Once the window opens, a list of your ORCID Other Support records will be displayed.

    Only publications and other support whose visibility is set to “Everyone” or “Trusted Parties” in ORCID will be visible and available for selection. Please note that if you update the visibility settings of your publications in ORCID, you must refresh the display of those records in SAM by following these steps:

    • Log in and select the
    • “Update/Edit
    • Profile” shortcut

    • Click on “ORCID” in the gray panel on the left-hand side of the screen

    Select the “Re-import ORCID Data” toward the top right-hand corner of the screen
    Author information will not be imported from ORCID through this process. More information on how to connect with ORCID and import publication and other support information can be found here.

  • 25. How do I import publications from OpenAlex or PubMed? plus--large

    Navigate to the “Profiles” tab of the gray navigation panel on the left-hand side of your profile and select the relevant content profile. From there, click on the “Publications” tab. Next, select the “Import publications from OpenAlex” button, or the “Import publications from PubMed” button.

    For OpenAlex, use keywords and information to search for publications. Please note you cannot search for both title/date information and author names; you must choose one to search. Select the publications you’d like to import, and then select the blue “Import Selected Records” button. Your publications will be imported to your profile.

    For PubMed, use keywords and information to search for publications. Multi-select, or select all, publications you wish to import using the checkboxes to the left of the list of publications, and then click “Add Publications.” SAM will ask you to confirm that you want to leave the current screen. Once you do so, your publications will be imported to your profile. Save your profile to display the imported publications.

  • 26. How do I add degrees, publications and other support to someone else’s profile?plus--large

    Anyone with access to a user’s content profile may add degrees, publications and other support on behalf of the user. See question #7 on how to give another user access to your profile.

    Once a user has access to your content profile, they can navigate to your content profile by clicking on the “Update/Edit Profile” shortcut, selecting the “Profiles” tab on the gray navigation panel and then selecting the relevant content profile. From here, they can add degrees or import publications or support.

  • 27. How do I add degrees, publications and other support to my application?plus--large

    Please navigate to the “Profiles” tab of the gray navigation panel on the left-hand side of your profile and select your content profile. Fill in the relevant information in the “Publications,” “Other Support” and “Degrees” tabs. Degrees entered into the profile will automatically populate in applications that request degree information.

    For applications that request publications and/or other support, navigate to the “Publications & Other Support” tab. You can choose to upload publications and support and/or to import them from your profile. More information on how to add publications and other support to an application can be found here.

Institutions and Contact Management

  • 28. How do I add institution contacts to my institution’s profile?plus--large

    Institution Administrators, including Financial Officers, Signing Officials, Institution Administrators, Authorized Institution Officials and Contact Delegates, are able to add new contacts to their institution. To do so, navigate to the institution’s profile, click on the “Contacts” tab on the gray navigation panel and select the “Create New Contact” button. The user will receive an email prompting them to create a password and activate their account.

  • 29. As a certified Authorized Institution Official, how do I approve institution officials?plus--large

    Once you are certified as an Authorized Institution Official (AIO), there will be shortcuts on your homepage for “IOs pending approval” and “CDs pending approval.” IO stands for institution official, including Financial Officers (FOs) and Signing Officials (SOs), and CD stands for contact delegate. When you open those shortcuts and click into a user’s profile, you will see buttons at the bottom to approve them in that role (i.e., “Approve as FO,” “Approve as SO” or “Approve as CD”). Once you have approved the user, they will be removed from the shortcut. If the role should not be approved for the user, you may update the user’s role to the appropriate role to give them the correct permissions in the system. An instructional video on how to approve new institution officials and Contact Delegates can be found here.

  • 30. How do I change a user’s role?plus--large

    Certified Authorized Institution Officials and approved Contact Delegates are able to change the role of a user at their institution. To do so, navigate to the user’s profile, click on the “Update Role” tab, and mark off roles you would like to add or remove from the user’s profile. Select the “Save Updated Role(s)” button once finished.

    Please note that there are certain combinations of roles that that system does not allow users to have; a warning message will pop up if someone attempts to add a role that cannot be combined with one already held by that user.

  • 31. How do I become a certified Authorized Institution Official?plus--large

    Once a user has been added to their institution’s SAM account as an Authorized Institution Official (AIO), the Simons Foundation will verify and confirm their role. Once certified, AIOs can manage contacts at their institution, view all applications/grants connected to their institution and manage Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs).

Award Letters and EFTs

  • 32. How do I sign an award letter for my institution?plus--large

    Award letters that require signature will populate in the “Award letters to sign” shortcut. The signee must select the award letter from the list, enter or upload their signature, and then click the “Sign award letter” button. Some award letters will require signing official signatures, while others require a combination of signatures from the signing official and the applicant. Once all required signatures have been collected, select the “Submit signature” button to submit the countersigned award letter to the Simons Foundation.

  • 33. How do we check if our award letter has been signed?plus--large

    First, open the award in SAM. If you are a contact on the award, you will see the award in the”Applications in Progress” table on your homepage. If you are not a contact, but you are an approved institution official, you can find the award in your institution profile under the ”Application/Grants” tab. On the award page, open the ”Communications” tab and scroll down to the section ”Application and Award Letters.” The table will include a record status for each letter. If the status of the award letter is “Out for countersignature,” the award letter has not been signed; if the status is ”sent,” the award letter has been successfully signed. You can open the award letter by clicking on the appropriate row to see who signed off on the award letter.

    If an award letter has already been sent to your institution and you would like to add a signing official to the award letter, please navigate to the award and add the user as a signing official on the award. This will automatically add them to the award letter as well.

  • 34. What is required in order for an institution to be certified and receive payments?plus--large

    Simons Foundation requires the following in order to certify an institution:

    • Institution legal name
    • Institution EIN
    • Tax status
    • Two approved Authorized Institution Officials (AIOs)
    • Approved Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) form (verified by two AIOs)

    Once an institution has been certified, the status of the institution will update to “Certified.”

  • 35. How do we create and modify Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs)?plus--large

    Institutions are required to recertify existing EFT records annually. Instead of creating a new EFT record, please go to the existing EFT and revise it or select the “Re-certify” button. Only certified Authorized Institution Officials (AIOs) are able to create and modify EFTs for their institution. Certified AIOs will see an EFT tab on their institution’s profile, as well as a button to create a new EFT. Two certified AIOs must sign off on an EFT in order to submit it to the Simons Foundation.

  • 36. How do we re-certify Electronic Fund Transfers (EFTs)?plus--large

    To re-certify an expired or expiring EFT as an Authorized Institution Official (AIO), navigate to your institution profile, and on the EFT tab, select the relevant EFT. Scroll to the bottom of the EFT and answer the question of whether banking information has changed since the last certification. Then, click on the “Re-certify” button. If the banking information has not changed, you will be prompted to sign and send the EFT for a second signature. If the banking information has changed, all fields will re-open for editing. Once the necessary edits have been added, add your signature on the “Signature” tab and send for a second signature.

  • 37. How do we know whether to submit a new Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) or re-certify an existing one?plus--large

    If you have previously submitted an EFT with Simons Foundation as an Authorized Institution Official and your banking information hasn’t changed, you need to re-certify an expired or expiring EFT. Please login to SAM, navigate to Institution Profile on your dashboard, and click on EFTs to view your existing EFTs. If you wish to edit the EFT (in the case of changes in the routing number, account number or any other details of your current EFT), please answer “No” to the question “Banking information has changed since last certification?” If your institution has acquired an entirely new set of banking information, you may create a new EFT, by navigating to the “Main” tab and clicking on “Create EFT.”

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