Pivot Fellowship Request for Applications

Closed
Important Dates
  • Application available:
  • Application deadline:
  • Applicants notified of funding decisions:
  • Fellowships commence:
    On or before February 1, 2024
Important Dates
  • Application available:
  • Application deadline:
  • Applicants notified of funding decisions:
  • Fellowships commence:
    On or before February 1, 2024
Contact Info

Opportunity

Science benefits from an exchange of ideas, knowledge and approaches across disciplines.  Some of the most impactful work in history has come from individuals who studied across fields.  Marie Curie was a physicist and a chemist, winning a Nobel prize in both categories. Her contributions to physics were recognized for the discovery of radium, and her isolation of the element earned the prize for chemistry. Louis Pasteur was a chemist whose doctoral thesis focused on arrangement of atoms in solids using crystallography. Following an interest in the molecular asymmetry of biological molecules of microorganisms, he made his famous discovery that microorganisms cause disease. Both of these extraordinary individuals brought knowledge and insight from one field to another and made an outsize impact on the pursuit of scientific understanding.

In this spirit, the Simons Foundation invites applications for the Pivot Fellowship program, which will support researchers who have a strong track record of success and achievement in their current field, and a deep interest, curiosity and drive to make contributions to a new discipline. The fellowship will enable today’s brightest minds to apply their talent and expertise to a new field, and will consist of one training year where the fellow will be embedded in a lab of a mentor to learn the new discipline and its culture. Mentorship and support are essential for learning a new discipline and culture. In addition to the qualifications and potential of the applicant, the suitability of the mentor and the environment for mentorship will be strongly considered in the application process.

Eligibility

Fellows and Mentors must hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree in the natural sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Neuroscience and Physics), Engineering, Mathematics, Data Science, or Computer Science — and all subdisciplines therein, and be faculty at an academic institution or hold an equivalent position. Fellows must demonstrate that the fellowship will take place in a new discipline, distinct from their current field of study, within Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Neuroscience, Physics or Mathematics — and all subdisciplines therein. In order to receive the fellowship, Fellows must be approved by their institution for a full year of leave. Fellows must not hold any other fellowships that would provide them with salary support during the training year of the Pivot Fellowship.

Level and Duration of Funding

A Pivot Fellowship provides one year of salary support of the Fellow’s academic-year salary, whether normally paid over 9 or 12 months, and a $10,000 research, travel and professional development allowance during the fellowship training year. Mentors will receive a $50,000 research fund during the fellowship year. Indirect costs are limited to 20% of allowable expenses. Funding for fellowships must be activated within 18 months of award notification. At the end of the fellowship year, fellows will be invited to submit an application for a 3-year research award in the new field for up to $1.5M over the 3-year period.

Instructions for Submission

Applicants must apply through proposalCENTRAL (https://proposalcentral.com/). The deadline to apply is April 29, 2022.

Please refer to the How to Apply tab for instructions.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Many of the greatest ideas and discoveries come from a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds and experiences. The Simons Foundation is committed to grantmaking that inspires and supports greater diversity and inclusiveness by cultivating a funding environment that ensures representation of all identities and differences, and equitable access to information and resources for all applicants and grantees.

The Simons Foundation provides equal opportunities to all applicants for funding without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, pregnancy, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under federal, state and local law. The foundation also funds programs directed at supporting scientists from disadvantaged backgrounds or underrepresented groups, often working closely with professional societies and other funding agencies.

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Important Dates
  • Application available:
  • Application deadline:
  • Applicants notified of funding decisions:
  • Fellowships commence:
    On or before February 1, 2024
Contact Info

The deadline for proposal submission is April 29, 2022, 5:00 p.m. EDT. Please plan carefully with your Mentor’s institution and references to meet this deadline. No extensions will be given.

proposalCENTRAL Log-In Information

New users first need to create a user account on proposalCENTRAL (pC) at https://proposalcentral.altum.com/. To create a new account, go to https://proposalcentral.altum.com/ (pC) and click CREATE ONE NOW under application login. Fill in the required fields, check the boxes to agree to pC’s Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy, and then click SAVE. For all users with a pC account, log in under APPLICATION LOGIN at https://proposalcentral.altum.com/ and select CREATE NEW PROPOSAL or click on the GRANT OPPORTUNITIES tab. Scroll down to Simons Foundation and then click APPLY NOW for the Simons Foundation Pivot Fellowship program in order to start the proposal and access the templates. After all sections are completed, you will be able to click on the SUBMIT button to send.

To submit a proposal, the following proposalCENTRAL modules must be completed:

  1. Title Page
    1. Enter the following in this section:
    2. Your project title
  2. Download Templates & Instructions
    1. All templates necessary to complete your proposal are available for download in this module (or the proposal attachments module, where attachments are submitted as PDF-only files; see the PROPOSAL ATTACHMENTS section below for more details).
  3. Enable Other Users to Access This Proposal<
    1. This module allows you to give other users access to your proposal. When you give a person access to your proposal, you can give them one of three levels of permissions: VIEW, EDIT or ADMINISTRATOR. Please note: an individual needs to be granted edit access to upload attachments.
  4. Applicant/PI
    1. The Fellow should be listed here.
  5. Organization/Institution
    1. This information is preloaded from the institutional profile. The Fellow’s institution will administer the fellowship and have primary responsibility for the fellowship if awarded, and should be listed here.
    2. For both pre- and post-award management, select the appropriate signing officials and financial officers from the drop-down list or enter the email address of a new official and click on ADD. Click on the SAVE or CLOSE WINDOW link. — Tthe official will now be listed as the assigned signing official or financial/fiscal officer.
    3. For a description of the responsibilities of the signing official and financial officer, please see “Policies & Procedures,” https://www.simonsfoundation.org/funding/policies-and-procedures/.
  6. Key Personnel
    1. Add your Mentor in this section by entering their email address and selecting MENTOR from the drop-down menu.
    2. Do not add the Fellow here.
  7. Letters of Recommendation
    1. Two to three (2-3) confidential Letters of Recommendation are required from research scientists who are not the applicant’s Mentor. In addition to the standard elements of a letter of recommendation, please ask your letter writers to speak to why you are specially positioned to switch academic disciplines.
    2. In this section, you will be able to list the References who will submit the letters on your behalf through our confidential submission process. To enter the References:
        1. Enter and confirm the email address of the Reference you have chosen in the text box provided and click the ADD button.

       

        1. A small pop-up window will open, prompting you for the Reference’s first and last name. If the Reference is already registered in proposalCENTRAL, their name will automatically display in the window.

       

      1. Enter the Reference’s full name and click send SEND EMAIL, and then close window.
    3. An email will be sent to the Reference from proposalCENTRAL requesting a confidential Letter of Recommendation. The email will include detailed instructions, the Reference’s proposalCENTRAL account information and a link for the Reference to upload the completed Letter of Recommendation directly to your proposal. To ensure confidentiality, you will not have access to these letters. Once the email is sent, the Reference’s name and contact information will appear under the LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION section in your proposal. The Reference information is displayed in the table: name, email address, date/time email was sent, etc. You can refer to this table to check on the status of the letters that have been uploaded to your proposal. When each of the letters is uploaded, the status will display as SUBMITTED.
    4. Repeat this process for each Reference you wish to add. You will not be able to submit your proposal until all references are uploaded. Please plan accordingly with your References. No extensions will be given.

      NOTE: Reference(s) will not have access to any portion of your proposal in the upload process.

  8. Budget Period Detail:
    The Fellow’s institution and the Mentor’s institution will each be paid directly. Please follow the instructions below to submit separate budget information for each.

    The Fellow’s institution’s budget will be entered in the “BUDGET PERIOD DETAIL” section of the application.

    1. Award start date: Fellowships may commence on the first of each month, from September 1, 2022, to February 1, 2024.
    2. Personnel: Please provide the Fellow’s name, role, appointment type, institutional base salary, percent effort (100%), requested salary, fringe rate and requested fringe to be paid to their institution.
    3. Indirect costs (IDCs): Indirect costs to the primary institution are limited to 20% of direct costs, with the following exceptions: equipment, tuition and any portion of each subcontract in excess of $25,000. The primary institution may take indirect costs on the first $25,000 modified total direct costs of each subcontract. Indirect costs paid to a subcontractor may not exceed 20% of the modified total direct costs paid to the subcontractor. Note: the Mentor’s institution will be paid directly and is not a subcontract of the Fellow’s institution.

    The Mentor’s institution must upload in the “PROPOSAL ATTACHMENTS” section:

    1. Signed signature page (available for download in the “PROPOSAL ATTACHMENTS” and the “DOWNLOAD TEMPLATES AND INSTRUCTIONS” sections). Indicate the appropriate signing officials and financial officers for the Mentor’s institution. The signature page must be signed by the signing official.
    2. Budget template for the mentor’s Mentor’s institution (available for download in the “PROPOSAL ATTACHMENTS” and the “DOWNLOAD TEMPLATES AND INSTRUCTIONS” sections). The mentor’s Mentor’s institution budget should include the fellow’s Fellow’s research stipend of $10,000, the mentor’s Mentor’s research stipend of $50,000 and IDC on eligible expenses not to exceed 20% (see above for exceptions). Direct costs for the mentor’s Mentor’s institutions must be included in the “BUDGET PERIOD DETAIL” (section 8) of the application in the “CONSORTIUM & CONTRACTUAL DIRECT” section, and any indirect costs should be included in the “Indirect Costs” section.
  9. Budget Summary
    1. The Budget Summary will populate from the saved BUDGET PERIOD DETAIL section and will provide an overview of the proposed budget.
  10. Proposal Attachments
    1. The following documents are to be uploaded in the PROPOSAL attachments ATTACHMENTS module, where they are also available for download:From Applicant:
        1. Scientific Narrative (up to 6 pages): – Please describe the work you want to pursue in a new discipline, and how it differs from your current work, including:
            1. What inspired you to pursue changing disciplines?

           

            1. What are the questions you hope to be able to understand more deeply and address as a result of this fellowship?

           

            1. What do you hope to bring to the new field from your current discipline?

           

            1. Explain how and why the new discipline is a big change from your current field. Questions to consider include:
                1. To what extent is the new discipline a different culture?

               

                1. Is there a different approach to publication in the new discipline?

               

              1. Is there a different approach to experiment or theory in the new discipline?

           

          1. How will this fellowship affect your career development?

       

        1. Summary of Previous Scientific Accomplishments (up to 2) pages

       

        1. Fellow Curriculum Vitae: Upload CV.

      From Mentor:

        1. Statement of Mentorship (2 pages): – An invested and committed Mmentor is the key to learning a new discipline. A statement of mentorship should address:
            1. Mentor’s willingness and availability to host applicant for the fellowship

           

            1. Applicant qualifications

           

          1. Plan for how the applicant will be trained in the new discipline, including:
              1. What are the most important aspects of the scientific culture of the new field?

             

              1. What questions in the new field are important and why?

             

            1. What details and ways of looking at those questions are indispensable for making an impact on the new field?

       

        1. Mentorship History (up to 2 pages): Please provide brief descriptions of up to 10 past mentees, including their scientific accomplishments under your mentorship, current position, and current scientific field.

       

        1. Mentor Curriculum Vitae: Upload CV.

       

        1. Detailed Budget Template:The Mentor institution’s budget signed by the financial officer

       

        1. Signed Signature Page (Mentor institution): Applications with multiple institutions that will be paid separately must submit a signed signature page from each institution.

       

      1. 501(c)(3) Determination or Equivalency Letter (foreign institutions only): Please upload, if available, a copy of your U.S. IRS 501(c)(3) determination or equivalency letter as part of the application (see Simons Foundation policies).
  11. PI Data Sheet
    1. The Fellow’s professional profile will populate this section of the application. If revisions are required to for the information in this section, please select EDIT PROFESSIONAL PROFILE and revise the information within section 4 (Personal Data for Applications).
  12. Validate
    1. You must click the VALIDATE button on the bottom of the page to check for any missing information or files that are required to submit the proposal. All missing information that is required will be listed on the screen. Please correct any missing information before proceeding to the next step.
  13. Signature Page
    1. (Fellow’s Institution) The Signature Page is available for download in the signature page module and must be signed by the signing official, then re-uploaded in the proposal attachments. Please plan accordingly with your institution to retrieve this signature by the proposal deadline. No extensions will be given.
  14. Submit
    1. You will be unable to submit if you have not provided all the required information. Any missing information will be listed on the screen. If your submission is successful, you will receive a confirmation message on the screen and a confirmation email.
Important Dates
  • Application available:
  • Application deadline:
  • Applicants notified of funding decisions:
  • Fellowships commence:
    On or before February 1, 2024
Contact Info
  1. How do I submit a proposal?plus--large

    New users first need to create a user account on proposalCENTRAL (pC) at https://proposalcentral.altum.com/. (For instructions on how to create an account, see the FAQ How do I create a proposalCENTRAL user account? below.) For all users with a pC account, log in under APPLICATION LOGIN at https://proposalcentral.altum.com/ and select CREATE NEW PROPOSAL or click on the GRANT OPPORTUNITIES tab. Scroll down to SIMONS FOUNDATION and then click APPLY NOW for the SIMONS FOUNDATION PIVOT FELLOWSHIP program in order to start the proposal and access the templates. After all sections are completed, you will be able to click on the SUBMIT button to send.

  2. How do I create a proposalCENTRAL user account?plus--large

    Go to https://proposalcentral.altum.com/ (pC) and click CREATE ONE NOW under APPLICATION LOGIN. Fill in the required fields, check the boxes to agree to pC’s Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy and then click SAVE.

  3. Can I email or mail my proposal?plus--large

    No. The Simons Foundation only accepts proposals submitted online through https://proposalcentral.altum.com/.

  4. Do I need institutional sign-off to submit a proposal?plus--large

    Yes. The Signature Page is available for download in the signature page module and must be signed by the signing official, then re-uploaded in the Proposal Attachments module. Please plan accordingly with your institution to retrieve this signature by the proposal deadline. No extensions will be given.

  5. I have a tenure-track position. Am I eligible to apply?plus--large

    Yes; those with tenured and tenure-track positions are eligible for the fellowship.

  6. Can foreign institutions apply for this grant?plus--large

    Yes; foreign institutions may apply. Please see Simons Foundation policies regarding international grants.

  7. Does my faculty position need to be at a U.S. institution?plus--large

    No.

  8. What are the font style and size requirements?plus--large

    Type should be set in legible 11-point font. All margins should be set at 0.5 inches.

  9. To whom is the grant awarded?plus--large

    Two separate grants will be awarded, one to the Fellow’s institution, which will cover their salary support, and one to the Mentor’s institution, for the research stipends.

  10. Can I make changes to the proposal once it has been submitted?plus--large

    Before you can make changes to your submitted proposal, you must first contact the Simons Foundation. Please email sfgrants@simonsfoundation.org. Proposals can only be changed prior to the April 29, 2022, deadline.

  11. Where is the SUBMIT button?plus--large

    The SUBMIT button is located in the last section of the proposal. You will be unable to submit if you have not provided all the required information. If the submission deadline has not passed, use the VALIDATE button to check for missing requirements. If the problem persists, please contact pcsupport@altum.com.

    If the deadline has passed, the submission period has closed, and you will not be able to submit.

  12. Does the Simons Foundation grant extensions for proposals?plus--large

    No extensions will be given. If you have any difficulties, please email sfgrants@simonsfoundation.org. Please do not contact pcsupport@altum.com directly.

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

    No; please be advised that deadlines are in Eastern time (ET). We recommend registering early and submitting proposals 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.

  14. Will I get a confirmation email when after I submit?plus--large

    A confirmation email is sent upon submission of the proposal. Please contact pcsupport@altum.com if you have not received a confirmation email within 10 minutes after you have submitted your proposal. Make sure your spam filters allow emails from pcsupport@altum.com. The proposal will be in the SUBMITTED tab when you next log in.

  15. I get an error message citing a missing section when I try to submit. Why does that happen?plus--large

    The VALIDATE button reviews your proposal for missing sections. The submission instructions list the required sections and attachments. You must complete the missing sections listed. If you are still receiving error messages after completing and saving the indicated sections, please contact pcsupport@altum.com.

  16. Is validating my proposal the same as submitting it?plus--large

    No. Validating the proposal checks for errors and omissions, and will alert you to missing requirements of your proposal. If the proposal is complete, you must then click SUBMIT. You should receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes. Contact pcsupport@altum.com if you do not receive confirmation and do not see your proposal in the SUBMITTED tab or with the status changed to SUBMITTED.

  17. The deadline for notification about whether or not I have been selected or not has passed. What is the status of my proposal?plus--large

    You should receive notification within 24 hours of the deadline. Please check your spam filter settings if you have not received a notification by then.

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