Targeted Grants to Institutes

The Simons Foundation’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) division invites applications for the Targeted Grants to Institutes program.

Rationale: The program is intended to support centers of excellence in the mathematics and physical sciences through funding to help establish scientific culture and strengthen contacts within the international scientific community. Our aim is to enable institutes to extend and enhance their mission; the program will typically not provide primary support for operating or establishing an institute.

Level and Duration of Funding: A typical targeted grant to an institute from the foundation provides funding for three to five years at a level of $100,000 to $200,000 per year, which includes 20 percent in indirect costs to the institution.

Allowable Expenses: The funding provided under the targeted grant is flexible and based on the type of support requested by the institution in the proposal.

Indirect costs are limited to 20 percent of direct costs, unless specified otherwise in a program’s guidelines or award letter and with the following exceptions: equipment, tuition, and any subcontracts with budgets including indirect expenses. Indirect costs paid to a subcontractor may not exceed 20 percent of the direct costs paid to the subcontractor.

Additional funding policies are available on our Policies and Procedures page.

Unspent Funds: Any funds not spent in one year of the grant, excluding salary, may be spent in subsequent years without prior approval. Unspent funds at the end of the grant period must be returned to the foundation unless express permission is obtained for a specified future use. Requests for no-cost extensions will be considered.

Reporting: Annual financial statements and progress reports are due within 60 days following the end of each grant year. Specific deliverable requirements will be outlined in the award notification.

Eligibility: Applications may be submitted by established U.S. and foreign public and private institutes and stand-alone research centers. The program is not intended to support centers whose main purpose is to provide a focal point for research of faculty at a specific university.

Examples of institutions and programs the foundation is currently supporting can be found here.

Number of Awards: The foundation expects to award up to three targeted grants each year.

How to Apply: Institutions, via single applicants, may apply through proposalCENTRAL ( beginning July 1, 2015. The deadline to apply is October 15, 2015, at midnight EST. No extensions will be granted. There is no limit to the number of applications per institution.

Please coordinate submission of the proposal with the appropriate officials in accordance with institution policies. Please refer to the Application Instructions for further information on and requirements for submitting an application.

Application Requirements Include:

  • A summary of the support requested (six-page limit, plus up to two pages for references and figures), including the specific scientific goals, background relevant to the application, and the significance of the proposed support.
  • A detailed three- to five-year budget and justification with proposed start and end dates.
  • An NSF-style biosketch for all key personnel directly involved in the proposal, which should include:
    • Information about professional preparation, positions held, and honors and awards,
    • A list of current and former collaborators, postdoctoral fellows supervised, and Ph.D. students trained within the past five years,
    • A list of up to ten relevant publications.
  • Statement of current and pending support for all key personnel directly involved in the proposal.
  • 501(c)(3) equivalency determination letter from the IRS for international institutions.

Funding decisions will be announced by December 31, 2015, and funding will begin no later than July 1, 2016, depending on the proposal funded.

Important Dates:

Application Available Application Deadline Award Notification Award Start Date
July 1, 2015 October 15, 2015 December 31, 2015 No later than July 1, 2016

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

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

Further Information: