Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards

Important Dates
  • LOI Available
  • Reference Letters Deadline
  • LOI Deadline
  • LOI Notification
  • Full Proposal Deadline (Finalists Only)
  • Award Notification
  • Award Start Date
Contact Info

Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards 2018 Request for Applications

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 6, 2017, 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Overview

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 will advance our understanding of marine microbial ecology and evolution through experiments, modeling or theory. Projects focusing on the microbiomes of invertebrates or vertebrates or on paleontological records will not be considered this year. Investigators with backgrounds in different fields are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility

Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. She/he must have carried out research in a tenure-track or equivalent independent position for at least one year and no more than eight years (start date between November 2009 and November 2016) and must currently hold a tenure-track, tenured, or equivalent independent position in a U.S. or Canadian institution. She/he must be the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI currently or within the past year on a research grant from a national governmental agency or major foundation.

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, 2018. Awards will be governed by the Simons Foundation policies, which can be found at http://www.simonsfoundation.org/funding/policies-and-forms/.

Submission of Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants must submit a letter of intent (LOI) by November 6, 2017, 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. LOIs must be completed electronically and submitted using forms provided at https://proposalcentral.altum.com/. 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@altum.com.

The following templates must be downloaded and submitted to proposalCENTRAL:

  1. Biosketch of investigator, including the start date of first appointment in an independent position, complete 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 30, 2017, 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight 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 February 1, 2018.

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 22, 2018. Applicants will be notified of decisions by March 15, 2018. The foundation anticipates appointing up to four investigators in 2018.

Contacts

Administrative inquiries: lifegrants@simonsfoundation.org | 646-751-1280
Technical assistance: pcsupport@altum.com | 800-875-2562

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Important Dates
  • LOI Available
  • Reference Letters Deadline
  • LOI Deadline
  • LOI Notification
  • Full Proposal Deadline (Finalists Only)
  • Award Notification
  • Award Start Date
Contact Info

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LETTER OF INTENT (LOI) SUBMISSION

The submission deadline for LOIs is Monday, November 6, 2017, 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Please plan carefully with your host 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 Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards” program in order to start the LOI and access the templates. After all sections are completed, you will be able to click on the SUBMIT button to send.

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

  1. Title Page
    1. Enter your project title in this section.
  2. Download Templates & Instructions
    1. All templates necessary to complete your LOI are available for download in this module (or the LOI ATTACHMENTS module, where attachments are submitted as PDF-only files; see the LOI 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 LOI. When you give a person access to your LOI, you can give them one of three levels of permissions: View, Edit or Administrator.
  4. Applicant/PI
    1. Enter the name of the principal investigator (PI) for the proposed funding here. While the PI does not need to submit the LOI him/herself, this section must be completed for the intended PI for proper proposal tracking and review.
  5. Organization/Institution
    1. Institution information is preloaded from the institutional profile but may be changed on this screen if necessary.
  6. Letters of Recommendation (Note: deadline is Monday, October 30, 2017.)
    1. Two confidential letters of recommendation from former mentors or other scientists who are familiar with your research are required with LOI submission.
    2. In this section, you will be able to list the references who will submit letters of recommendation 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.
      2. 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, the name will automatically display in the window.
      3. Enter the reference’s full name and click 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 instructions, the reference’s proposalCENTRAL account information and a link for the reference to upload the completed letter of recommendation directly to your grant application. 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 RECOMMENDATIONS section in your LOI. The referee 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 LOI. When each of the letters is uploaded, the status will display as SUBMITTED.
    4. Repeat this process for each referee you wish to add. You will not be able to submit your proposal until two references are uploaded. Please plan accordingly with your references. No extensions will be given.
    5. The deadline for your references to submit the letters of recommendation is Monday, October 30, 2017, 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time. You will not be able to submit your application if both letters of recommendation are not submitted.

NOTE:  References will not have access to any portion of your LOI in the upload process.

  1. LOI Attachments
    1. The following documents are to be uploaded in this section, where the templates are also available for download:
      1. LOI Narrative: Upload a narrative in PDF format describing your research vision and plan (two-page limit, excluding references and up to three figures). Please note that LOI Narratives exceeding the limit of two pages will not be reviewed.
      2. Description of Publication: Upload a paragraph in PDF format 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).
      3. PI Biosketch: Upload a biosketch of the investigator in PDF format, including the start date of first appointment in an independent position, complete publications list, and past, current and pending support (two-page limit, excluding support).
  2. 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 LOI. All missing information that is required will be listed on the screen. Please correct any missing information before proceeding to the next step.
  3. 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.

Contacts:

Program inquiries:            lifesciences@simonsfoundation.org
Administrative inquiries:   lifegrants@simonsfoundation.org | 646-751-1280
Technical Assistance:       pcsupport@altum.com  | 800-875-2562

 

Important Dates
  • LOI Available
  • Reference Letters Deadline
  • LOI Deadline
  • LOI Notification
  • Full Proposal Deadline (Finalists Only)
  • Award Notification
  • Award Start Date
Contact Info
  1. Where do I submit the LOI?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 Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards” program in order to start the LOI and access the templates. After all sections are completed, you will be able to click on the SUBMIT button to send.

    With an accepted LOI, you then gain access to the full proposal application on proposalCENTRAL. (For more information on submitting a full proposal, see Full Proposal FAQs below.)

  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 an LOI?plus--large

    No, the Simons Foundation only accepts LOIs submitted online through https://proposalcentral.altum.com/.

  4. Do I need an institutional sign-off to submit an LOI?plus--large

    No, however, successful finalists will need an institutional sign-off for the full proposal.

  5. Can someone else (assistant, staff member, etc.) submit my application for me?plus--large

    Yes, you can add users with administrator access to the pC application so that someone other than the Principal Investigator (PI) can edit and submit the application. To add another user, go to section 3, “Enable Other Users to Access This Proposal,” and complete the required fields.

  6. Can postdoctoral associates apply as Principal Investigators?plus--large

    No, postdoctoral associates may not apply as PIs. All applicants and key collaborators must hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree and have a faculty position or the equivalent at a college, university, medical school or other research facility. Funds may not be used for stipend supplementation unless specifically authorized under the terms of the program from which the funds are derived.

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

    Applicants must currently hold a tenure-track or tenured position or equivalent at a U.S. or Canadian institution.

  8. Can multiple Principal Investigators apply for a grant?plus--large

    No, we are not accepting applications with multiple PIs for this program.

  9. I will have one or more collaborators on my proposal. May I include multiple PIs or other senior personnel on my budget?plus--large

    No. You may provide funds for others to work on your research or educational activities, but they may not be listed as multiple PIs or in the senior personnel section of the proposal, within the primary budget or within a sub-award to a collaborating institution. However, you may pay someone as a consultant in your project or pay for his or her travel and field/lab expenses, materials and supplies, or access fee to a laboratory.

  10. Can I change the named Principal Investigator?plus--large

    Yes, linked instructions for how to change the named PI can be found in the application.

    The person who starts an application will be named as the PI on the Applicant/PI page. If the Applicant/PI section does not show the correct person (e.g., someone else started the online application and you are the PI, or you started the application and someone else is the PI), then you must update this section before submitting. PI details carry over to the full proposal.

  11. Can Principal Investigators submit multiple applications to this program?plus--large

    No, PIs cannot submit multiple applications to this program.

  12. What are the file format, font style and size requirements of the LOI?plus--large

    Please submit a PDF of the LOI document. Type should be set in 11-point, legible font. All margins should be set at 0.5 inches.

  13. Do I need to submit biosketches with the LOI?plus--large

    Yes. A biosketch is required for the Principal Investigator only.

  14. Can I submit a budget with the LOI?plus--large

    No, a detailed budget is not requested with the LOI.

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

    The SUBMIT button is located in the last section of the LOI. 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.

  16. I get an error message citing a missing section when I try to submit the LOI?plus--large

    The VALIDATE button reviews your LOI 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.

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

    No, please be advised that deadlines are in Eastern Time. We recommend registering early and submitting LOIs 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.

  18. Is there a confirmation email when I submit the LOI?plus--large

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

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

    Before you can make changes to your submitted LOI, you must first contact the Simons Foundation. Please email lifegrants@simonsfoundation.org or call (646) 751-1280. LOIs can only be changed prior to the November 6, 2017, deadline.

  20. Does the Simons Foundation grant extensions for LOIs?plus--large

    No extensions will be given. If you have any difficulties, please email lifegrants@simonsfoundation.org or call (646) 751-1280. Please do not contact pcsupport@altum.com directly.

  21. How do I submit a full proposal?plus--large

    With an accepted LOI, you gain access to the full proposal application on proposalCENTRAL. Log in under APPLICATION LOGIN at https://proposalcentral.altum.com/, select the MANAGE PROPOSALS tab and then click in PROGRESS. Click the EDIT button for the corresponding application you want to complete. Once all sections are complete and the attachments are uploaded, the SUBMIT button will be activated and you can click SUBMIT to send your application.

  22. What are the font style and size requirements of the proposal?plus--large

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

  23. Is there a minimum percent effort for Principal Investigators?plus--large

    We seek applications from independent investigators who can devote a substantial portion of time to this project. While we do not require a minimum Principal Investigator (PI) effort, we expect the PI to commit to a level of effort that reflects a leading role in the project.

  24. Are indirect costs included in the annual budget limits?plus--large

    Yes. For example, the annual limit for an award is $180,000, which includes indirect costs at 20 percent. Please note that indirect costs cannot be taken on equipment with a unit cost of more than $10,000 or on tuition.

  25. Does the Principal Investigator need to sign the signature page?plus--large

    No, only the signing official is required to sign the signature page.

  26. Is there a confirmation email when I submit the proposal?plus--large

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

  27. I get an error message citing a missing section when I try to submit the proposal?plus--large

    The VALIDATE button reviews your full 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.

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

    Before you can make changes to your submitted application, you must first contact the Simons Foundation. Please email lifegrants@simonsfoundation.org or call (646) 751-1280. Applications can only be changed prior to the February 22, 2018, deadline.

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

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

  30. The deadline for notification 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 notification by then.

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