Simons Symposia Program

The Simons Foundation’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences division is currently soliciting proposals for its Simons Symposia series, which brings together mathematicians, theoretical physicists and theoretical computer scientists to interact and collaborate in a series of three symposia, held every second year and focusing on one topic or a tightly connected group of topics.

The first meetings in the new set of series will start in the winter or spring of 2019. The foundation expects to fund up to three series to start in 2019.

Format of a Symposium Series: An individual symposium series consists of up to three weeklong meetings on one topic or a tightly connected group of topics. A symposium series is initially approved for one year and renewed for up to two more meetings if successful. If the first meeting in the series occurs in year N, then subsequent meetings would occur in years N+2 and N+4.

Each symposium in the series may have up to 23 participants, including its organizing committee (two to four leaders in a field). It will have a focused theme and a schedule that leaves plenty of time for collaboration and open-ended discussion. In some areas, a tight focus on a new research development or a specific research problem would be appropriate; in others, a symposium might help set an agenda for the field. Please see previous Simons Symposia for reference.

Participation in a symposium is by invitation only. The Simons Foundation will issue invitations upon the recommendation of the organizers. The foundation will also make travel arrangements for all symposium participants and will provide support at the conference site. All expenses, including travel, lodging and meals, will be paid by the foundation.

Criteria for Judging Proposals: Proposals for new series will be judged on the basis of the significance and timeliness of the topic, the appropriateness of the symposium format, the likelihood of interesting science being completed or sparked and the scientific quality of the organizing committee.

How to Apply: Applications to organize individual symposium series that start winter or spring of 2019 are due by October 31, 2017, and are available on proposalCENTRAL ( The application should be submitted by a member of the organizing committee.

Please note: Institutional involvement and approval are not required for application.

Please see the Application Instructions for further information on and requirements for submitting an application. The organizing committees will be notified by December 31, 2017.

Application Requirements Include:

  1. Title of the symposium series.
  2. Organizing committee: a list of the members of the organizing committee, their institutions and contact information — one of the members should be designated as liaison with the foundation.
  3. Description of symposium series subject (three-page limit): Attention should be paid to the timeliness of the subject and to the question of why the symposium format is appropriate. Careful justification should be provided for the number of symposia in the proposed series.
  4. Key Invitees: A list of the key invitees and their institutions.
  5. Dissemination plan (three-page limit): a method, appropriate to the field and topic, of disseminating the results of the symposium to a wider scientific community.
  6. Curriculum vitae (two-page limit) for each member of the organizing committee.

Important Dates:

Application Deadline Notification Symposia Start Date
October 31, 2017 December 31, 2017 Winter/Spring 2019

Contact Information:
mps(replace this with the @ sign)

Elizabeth Roy
Senior Program Manager, Mathematics and the Physical Sciences
eroy(replace this with the @ sign)

Download the Simons Symposia RFA as a PDF here.