Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards

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The Simons Foundation is now accepting applications for its Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards. The deadline for receipt of letters of intent (LOI) is November 2, 2015, 5:00 PM Eastern Time.


Microbes inhabit and sustain all habitats on Earth. In the oceans, microbes capture solar energy, catalyze biogeochemical transformations of important elements, produce and consume greenhouse gases, and provide the base of the food web.

The purpose of these awards is to help launch the careers of outstanding investigators who use quantitative approaches to advance our understanding of marine microbial ecology and evolution. Investigators with backgrounds in different fields or with an interest in collaborating with modelers or theorists are encouraged to apply. Investigators may focus directly on marine microbes or on fundamental problems that are highly relevant to understanding marine microbial ecosystems.


Applicants must hold the Ph.D. or equivalent degree. She/he must have carried out research in an independent position (tenure-track or equivalent) for at least two years and no more than eight years (start date between November 2007 and November 2013) and must currently hold a tenure-track or tenured position, or equivalent, in a U.S. institution. She/he must be the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI currently, or within the past year, on a grant from a federal agency or major foundation. Applicants may currently be working in a related field but must submit an innovative proposal for research that will advance the understanding of marine microbial ecology and/or evolution.

About the Awards

Grants will be for $180,000 USD per year, including indirect costs (limited to 20 percent of modified total direct costs), for a period of three years, subject to annual reviews and continuation of research in areas relevant to the purpose of this program. Appropriate expenses include salary support for the Investigator and postdoctoral and graduate research assistants, travel, equipment, supplies and other research expenses. Awards will begin April 1, 2016. Investigators will participate annually in related Simons Foundation activities. All travel and accommodation expenses exclusively related to such events will be reimbursed outside of the award funds. Awards will be governed by the Simons Foundation Life Sciences policies, which can be found at

Submission of Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants must submit a letter of intent (LOI) by November 2, 2015, 5:00 PM Eastern Time. LOIs must be completed electronically and submitted using forms provided at Please log in as an applicant, go to the grant opportunities tab, scroll to simons foundation and click apply now for the “Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards” program. For assistance, please call 800-875-2562 or email pcsupport(replace this with the @ sign)

The following templates must be downloaded and submitted to proposalCENTRAL:

1. Biosketch of Investigator, including the start date of current appointment, publications list, and past, current and pending support (two-page limit, excluding support).

2. Narrative describing your research vision and plan (two-page limit, excluding references and up to three figures).

3. Paragraph describing the significance of your most important publication during the last five years and your contribution to the work reported in the paper (250 words).

4. Two letters of recommendation from former mentors or other scientists who are familiar with your research. Confidential letters must be submitted through proposalCENTRAL (see instructions available for download in proposalCENTRAL) by October 26, 2015, 5:00 PM Eastern Time.

Review Process

The review process will include evaluations by experts in the field, who will make recommendations to the Simons Foundation Life Sciences staff. LOIs selected for further consideration will be announced by January 14, 2016.

Full applications will require submission of a budget and brief budget justification, renewable reagents and data-sharing plan, and signature page with institutional approval by February 4, 2016. Applicants will be notified of decisions by March 15, 2016. The foundation anticipates appointing up to four Investigators in 2016.

Simons Foundation Life Sciences Policies

Deadline and Notification Schedule

LOI Available Reference Letters Deadline LOI Deadline LOI Notification Full Proposal Deadline (Finalists Only) Award Notification Award Start Date
August 20, 2015 October 26, 2015 November 2, 2015 January 14, 2016 February 4, 2016 March 15, 2016 April 1, 2016


Administrative inquiries: lifegrants(replace this with the @ sign) | 646-751-1280

Technical assistance: pcsupport(replace this with the @ sign) | 800-875-2562

Download the Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards RFA pdf here.