Neuroscience Collaborations Vision Statements Call

Will open January 11, 2023
Important Dates
  • Announce Call for Vision Statements:
  • Webinar outlining call for vision statements:
  • RFA open:
  • RFA closed:
  • Review and discussions: April–June 2023
  • Invitation to submit full proposals: June 2023
  • Full proposals due: September 2023
  • Selection of proposals to proceed to workshops: December 2023
  • Workshops: January 2024–September 2024
  • Selection and announcement of next Neuroscience Collaboration(s): November 2024
  • Funding Starts: July 2025
Important Dates
  • Announce Call for Vision Statements:
  • Webinar outlining call for vision statements:
  • RFA open:
  • RFA closed:
  • Review and discussions: April–June 2023
  • Invitation to submit full proposals: June 2023
  • Full proposals due: September 2023
  • Selection of proposals to proceed to workshops: December 2023
  • Workshops: January 2024–September 2024
  • Selection and announcement of next Neuroscience Collaboration(s): November 2024
  • Funding Starts: July 2025
Contact Info

The Simons Foundation

The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Co-founded in 1994 in New York City by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the foundation exists to support basic — or discovery-driven — scientific research undertaken in the pursuit of understanding the phenomena of our world. Marilyn Simons served as president of the foundation until 2021, when David Spergel was appointed president of the foundation.

The foundation pursues its mission through its grant-making division, comprising programs in mathematics and physical Sciences; life sciences; education, outreach and engagement; and neuroscience & autism research; and through its internal research division, the Flatiron Institute.

Simons Collaborations

The Simons Foundation seeks to create strong collaborations and foster the cross-pollination of ideas between investigators, as these interactions often lead to unexpected breakthroughs. Towards this end, in 2012 the foundation launched a new collaborative funding model, the Simons Collaborations, which funds groups of investigators — often from different disciplines — to work together on a timely and important problem. To date, 23 Simons Collaborations have been launched in and across our Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Neuroscience divisions, and another two collaborations through the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI).

The goal of the Simons Collaborations is to bring together groups of outstanding scientists to address topics of fundamental scientific importance, with a focus on fields in which significant new developments have created novel opportunities for exploration. To enable bold, creative and innovative research, each collaboration is funded for ten years (with a review at year five).

Neuroscience Collaborations at the Simons Foundation

The Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain
In July 2014, the Simons Foundation launched the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain (SCGB), a large-scale scientific collaboration that focused on the measurement, analysis and modeling of neural coding and dynamics during behavior, with an emphasis on extending our understanding of the internal brain processes that span the arc from sensory perception to action. The SCGB created a new framework for tackling and elucidating mechanisms of brain function by bringing theoretical and experimental neuroscientists together to unite the latest innovative neurotechnology for recording and stimulating neural populations with the best theory and most powerful forms of analysis and modeling to discover the nature, role and mechanisms of the neural activity that produces cognition.

The Simons Collaboration on Plasticity and the Aging Brain
The success of the SCGB gave rise to a second Simons Foundation Neuroscience Collaboration, the Simons Collaboration on Plasticity and the Aging Brain (SCPAB). The SCPAB began in March 2020 and aims to discover mechanisms of resilience and maintenance in the aging brain and to establish a baseline for age-related changes in plasticity across many model systems, in order to identify potential interventions to minimize cognitive decline and extend healthy lifespan. As the age of the population increases, the need to understand the phenomenon and mechanisms of cognitive decline also increases. SCPAB projects specifically address changes in normal aging, to distinguish from well-funded efforts to study Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases and to distinguish from work focusing on developmental trajectories. Areas of particular interest include mechanisms of resilience and reserve, brain vasculature, neuronal plasticity, neural-immune interactions and sleep.

Call for Vision Statements for New Neuroscience Collaborations

We now seek vision statements to identify new, emerging breakthrough areas of neuroscience that are poised for high-impact funding by the Simons Foundation. We are interested in bold and cutting edge, idea-generating research that focuses on basic principles of brain function and may be overlooked or too risky for other funding organizations.

We will prioritize cross-disciplinary collaborations that integrate many levels of analysis, methodologies, ways of thinking, and scientific communities. We endeavor to encourage conversations within and across fields while bringing together diverse groups of researchers to investigate important questions about the basic principles of brain function. Investigators in a Simons Collaboration are expected to openly share data, code, analysis pipelines, protocols and reagents. We expect proposals to include junior investigators and investigators from a diversity of academic disciplines, genders, races and ethnicities in a Simons Collaboration.

Vision statements should clearly outline the big idea and hypotheses that the proposed neuroscience collaboration will address, including high-level overviews of the methods and approaches that will be used. Why is this work uniquely suited for Simons Collaboration funding? Why should this collaboration be funded now? Why is it difficult to obtain funding to investigate these questions from other funding agencies and foundations? Vision statements should address why and how the support of a large collaborative research project from the Simons Foundation will transform our understanding of how the brain works. Please propose investigators who may be included in the collaboration and an estimated anticipated overall yearly total cost.

Vision statements should be no longer than two-pages, single-spaced, 11 pt New Times Roman font, 0.5 in margins plus one page (if needed) of figures, references, the anticipated overall yearly total cost and list of proposed PIs.

Informational Webinar

There will be an informational webinar on December 12, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET. Click here to join.

Funding Levels and Period

Simons Collaborations will be funded for 10 years (with a review at year 5). The total budget for the new Neuroscience Collaborations will be $25 million per year. We anticipate identifying up to three collaborations, with the funding level of each collaboration determined by the proposed scope and aims of the project. As a guideline, we suggest budgets of between $5–12 million per year, inclusive of 20 percent indirect costs.

Process for Selection

Vision statements will be reviewed by the Simons Foundation with input from outside reviewers. 10–20 submissions will be invited to submit a 20-page full proposal including a finalized list of investigators and a detailed budget. Full proposals will be reviewed, and 3–5 submissions will be invited to the Simons Foundation for workshops with all investigators involved in the proposed collaboration. We anticipate identifying up to three collaborations, with the funding level of each collaboration being determined by the proposed scope and aims of the project.

Eligibility

All investigators must hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree and have a faculty position or the equivalent (eligible for receiving grant funding) at a college, university, medical school or other research facility. In addition, eligible applicants must have independent research space at their institution.

Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign nonprofit organizations; public and private institutions, such as colleges, universities, hospitals, laboratories and units of state and local government; and eligible agencies of the federal government. There are no citizenship or country requirements.

Instructions for Submission

Applicants must apply via the Simons Award Manager (SAM), https://sam.simonsfoundation.org/ beginning January 11, 2023.

The deadline for Letter of Intent (LOI) submission will be 12:00pm EST on March 8, 2023.

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Important Dates
  • Announce Call for Vision Statements:
  • Webinar outlining call for vision statements:
  • RFA open:
  • RFA closed:
  • Review and discussions: April–June 2023
  • Invitation to submit full proposals: June 2023
  • Full proposals due: September 2023
  • Selection of proposals to proceed to workshops: December 2023
  • Workshops: January 2024–September 2024
  • Selection and announcement of next Neuroscience Collaboration(s): November 2024
  • Funding Starts: July 2025
Contact Info

Applicants must apply via the Simons Award Manager (SAM), https://sam.simonsfoundation.org/ beginning January 11, 2023.

The deadline for Letter of Intent (LOI) submission will be 12:00pm EST on March 8, 2023.

Important Dates
  • Announce Call for Vision Statements:
  • Webinar outlining call for vision statements:
  • RFA open:
  • RFA closed:
  • Review and discussions: April–June 2023
  • Invitation to submit full proposals: June 2023
  • Full proposals due: September 2023
  • Selection of proposals to proceed to workshops: December 2023
  • Workshops: January 2024–September 2024
  • Selection and announcement of next Neuroscience Collaboration(s): November 2024
  • Funding Starts: July 2025
Contact Info
Advancing Research in Basic Science and MathematicsSubscribe to our newsletters to receive news & updates