- Application Deadline:
12 p.m. (noon) EDT
- Notification By:
- Earliest Award Start Date:
The Simons Foundation’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) division invites applications for the Simons Fellows in Mathematics program to make sabbatical research leaves more productive by extending them from a single term to a full academic year.
The foundation also strongly encourages applications from scientists from underrepresented groups.
Sabbatical research leaves from classroom teaching and administrative obligations can provide strong intellectual stimulation and lead to increased creativity and productivity in theoretical research.
Basis for Awards
Awards will be based on the applicant’s scientific accomplishments in the five-year period preceding the application and on the potential scientific impact of the work to be done during the leave period.
Level and Duration of Funding
A Simons Fellowship in Mathematics provides salary replacement for up to 50 percent (up to a maximum of $125,000) of the Fellow’s current academic-year salary, whether normally paid over 9 or 12 months, and up to $10,000 for expenses related to the leave. The Fellow’s home institution will receive an additional 20 percent overhead on allowable direct cost expenditures, per the foundation’s indirect cost policy.
The Simons Fellowship will fund up to 50 percent of the 2024–2025 academic year, where, for example, the full leave year period could be January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2024; September 1, 2024, through August 31, 2025; or January 1, 2025, through December 31, 2025. Fellowship funding must be contiguous to the university-supported portion of the leave.
Fellowship awards and sabbatical periods may begin no earlier than January 1, 2024, and no later than January 1, 2025. For sabbaticals beginning January 1, 2024, awards will be retroactively started and grant funds available no sooner than March 2024.
Salary replacement funds are to be used only to replace or partly replace salary during academic terms in which the recipient would otherwise be teaching or engaging in academic administration or other departmental or university committee work. The funding may not be used for summer salary (if salary is paid over nine months) or to increase the academic-year salary beyond the university rate but may be paid out over the course of the full leave. Please follow the university’s policy on costs associated with sabbaticals not supported by the university. If applicable, fringe benefits are allowed within the salary-replacement-funds category, but the total amount requested cannot exceed the maximum allowed ($125,000).
The additional funding is to be used to support expenses related to the leave in a manner consistent with the approved sabbatical plans. Allowable leave-related expenses include small equipment and supplies, travel (including the Fellow and the Fellow’s family members to and from the sabbatical location(s) and the Fellow’s travel to meetings and collaborators), housing (for the Fellow and the Fellow’s family), automobile rental, childcare and support for visitors (including meals). Salaries for students or research associates will not be supported, but funds may be used to help transport members of the Fellow’s research group to the sabbatical location (if different from the home institution) and provide housing. Leave-related expenses may be incurred at any time during the award period; they are not restricted to the terms in which salary is provided by the foundation.
Eligibility is restricted to sabbatical or equivalent leave-eligible faculty who wish to use the Simons Fellowship award for the purpose of extending at least a single-term sabbatical research leave to a full academic year without teaching or administrative responsibilities. The fellowship program will not support the extension of a full year of sabbatical research leave to an additional term. In order to receive the fellowship, you must be approved by your institution for a full year of sabbatical research leave, consisting of two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters with at least 50 percent of the year fully paid by the home university and no more than 50 percent fully or partly supported by the fellowship. If funds from the foundation are insufficient to cover the salary needs for the period supported by the fellowship, other resources can be used for this purpose. The foundation will consider circumstances where, for example, the university covers 80 percent of a full year of leave and the fellowship covers the remaining 20 percent.
Verification of sabbatical approval is not required at the time of application but must be provided to the foundation at least three months prior to the start of the applicant’s award. Please see the How to Apply tab for further information.
A Simons Fellow in Mathematics must have a teaching or administrative tenured position at the same U.S. or Canadian college or university within the mathematics department at the time of application, throughout the course of the sabbatical research leave and in the term following the leave. This must be the applicant’s primary position. Applied mathematics and statistics disciplines are eligible as long as the applicant resides within the mathematics, and not statistics, department. Those doing primarily mathematical education research are not eligible. In addition, a Fellow must have an active, current research program. Fellows cannot simultaneously hold a Simons Investigator award.
Previous fellowship awardees are allowed to apply for another fellowship as long as they follow their universities’ rules on sabbatical or equivalent leave eligibility.
Unspent funds at the end of the grant must be returned to the foundation. No-cost extension requests will typically not be considered.
Number of Awards
The foundation expects to award up to 50 mathematics fellowships for 2024.
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted via the Simons Award Manager (SAM), https://sam.simonsfoundation.org/. The deadline to apply is September 27, 2023, 12 p.m. (noon) EDT.
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.
- Application Deadline:
12 p.m. (noon) EDT
- Notification By:
- Earliest Award Start Date:
The deadline to submit applications is September 27, 2023, at 12 p.m. (noon) EDT. Late applications will not be accepted. Applications must be submitted via the Simons Award Manager (SAM), https://sam.simonsfoundation.org/. Please click on the Funding Opportunities icon. Applications should be started and submitted under the applicant’s own account in the Simons Award Manager (SAM). For the Mathematics and Physical Sciences – Simons Fellows in Mathematics application, please click on Create Application, then Begin Application.
Informational videos on submitting applications in SAM can be found here. Proposal attachments should be single spaced and in a common typeface and font size no smaller than 10 points. Margins must be at least half an inch in all directions.
Please complete the application as follows:
- Applicant Details & Personal Data: Complete all required fields, including academic rank, demographic data, position/title and ORCID iD. This information should be completed in the user’s profile. The applicant may use the Edit Profile button to update their information as needed.
- Academic Degrees: Enter degrees (optional).
- Enter the title of the application.
- Enter the award start and end dates, which should reflect the full-year leave period. These dates will automatically populate in the budget.
- Answer sabbatical certification questions. Sabbatical approval is not required at the time of application but must be provided to the foundation at least three months prior to the start of the applicant’s award.
- Statement of Recent Work (two-page limit, plus up to one page for references and figures, which can be embedded within the text): Upload a statement explaining the candidate’s most significant scientific work over the previous five years.
- Statement of Sabbatical Plans (two-page limit, plus up to one page for references and figures, which can be embedded within the text): Upload a statement summarizing the applicant’s plans for the entire leave period, the institution or institutions at which the leave is to be spent and the main scientific goals.
- Applicant Biosketch: Upload a SciENcv or fillable PDF NIH- or NSF-style biosketch.
- Students List: Upload a list of current or recent (past five years) graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and Ph.D. students, as applicable, including their dissertation topics and likely date of completion.
- If the leave is to be taken at another institution or institutions and will last longer than one month, confirmation must be submitted from the host institution(s) in the form of a letter signed by relevant department chairs or other appropriate university authorities stating that the visit is approved and briefly describing the facilities that will be made available to the applicant.
- If the letter of confirmation from the prospective host institution(s) cannot be obtained, then the application must include a backup plan describing what would be done if the visit(s) were not possible. The location of the sabbatical must be confirmed, in the form of the above-mentioned letter, to the foundation at least three months prior to the start of the applicant’s award.
- The location must be at either the originally proposed host institution or at the institution(s) specified in the backup plan, unless explicit permission is obtained from the foundation no later than three months before the start of the leave. Please use the Letter from Other Institution as the attachment type if including a backup plan.
- Contacts & Personnel Tab: Please refer to the instructions provided in SAM to add required institutional officials.
- Budget Tab: Click the Edit/Modify button to add a detailed, one-year budget in U.S. dollars. In the Personnel Costs section, provide the applicant’s known or expected academic-year salary for the full year of the leave period as the Base Salary. If this is not yet finalized, please note this in the justification column and include the expected date of salary increase. The Request Salary and Fringe Cost should reflect the amount that will be covered by the Fellowship during the full-year leave period. For Leave Related Expenses, provide a brief itemization of anticipated expenses and corresponding justification, not exceeding $10,000. An insufficient budget justification may result in the proposal not being considered further.
- Technical Abstract: Provide a brief summary of where the applicant’s requested leave will take place and the main scientific goals during this time.
- Keywords: Click on the Add/Modify Keywords button to select up to two tags as it applies to the applicant’s research in the last five years. Please note that your choices will be used to select the most suitable reviewers.
- Publications: Provide up to five accepted or published papers from the previous five years via the applicant’s SAM profile or PDF upload.
Other Support: Provide current and pending support via PDF upload or via the applicant’s SAM profile. If providing via SAM profile, please select “Yes.” Then select “Select Other Support from Profile” option. Click the “Assign Other Support for this Proposal” button to add other support to this application. This will display all other support related to the applicant that was previously added to their SAM profile. Click on the Report Overlap button for each entry and select Yes or No as appropriate.
If using PDF upload, NSF format is sufficient and should at least provide the award number, source of funding, title of award, dates of project and annual costs for each support item listed. Please name each PDF as LastName_FirstName_Support.pdf.
Provide all of the applicant’s current and pending external PI or co-PI support, which includes all financial resources, whether federal or nonfederal, available in direct support of this applicant and their research’s research endeavors. It is not necessary to include internal funding or this current application.
- Check Application Progress: Click the Check Application Progress button to check for any missing required information or files. All missing required information will be listed at the top of the screen and must be corrected before the application can be submitted.
- Send for Sign-off: When the application is complete, please click on the Send for sign-off button to send to your signing official for signature. You will receive a notification when the application is signed.
- Submit Application: When the application is complete, please click on the Submit Application button. A confirmation page will appear once the application is successfully submitted, and the application will now appear in the Submitted tab of the Applications in Progress table. Please note that you will not be able to submit an application if the deadline has passed.
My university does not call leaves “sabbatical,” but rather “leave without pay” or “research leave.” Am I still eligible to apply?
You are eligible to apply for the Simons Fellows program if you are eligible for a leave equivalent to a sabbatical, you will be granted a yearlong leave and at least 50 percent of the year’s salary is provided by your university.
I have a tenure-track position. Am I eligible to apply?
No, only those with tenured positions are eligible for the fellowship.
Can I hold a Travel Support Gift Award and a Simons Fellowship at the same time?
Yes, the foundation allows holding both awards simultaneously.
Can the Simons Fellowship support sabbaticals in which recipients remain at their home institutions?
Yes, the fellowship can support this type of sabbatical.
Can my sabbatical location be outside of the United States or Canada?
Yes, this is allowable.
Although I will not be teaching any classes during my sabbatical, I will have graduate students. Is this acceptable?
Yes, this is acceptable.
My primary appointment is in a department of computer science, although my research is primarily mathematics. Am I eligible for a Simons Fellowship in Mathematics?
No, applicants to the Simons Fellows in Mathematics program must have a tenured, primary position in the mathematics department.
Will the foundation accept applications from computer scientists?
It is not our intent to support computer science with this program.
Would you consider mathematical neuroscience an eligible field for the Simons Fellows in Mathematics program?
Yes, mathematical neuroscience would be an eligible field for the fellowship.
My primary research is mathematics education. Am I eligible to apply?
No, you would not be eligible to apply. The program is intended to support theoretical mathematics research.
Can the Simons Fellowship be used to match another external fellowship?
No, the Simons Fellowship cannot be used to match another external fellowship.
If my total academic salary for the foundation-supported term is greater than $125,000, am I allowed to make up the difference from other sources?
Yes, as long as your total salary, including foundation support for the period of the leave, is less than or equal to your academic year salary.
Is there a limit to the number of applicants per university?
No, there is no limit.
Are emeriti faculty eligible?
Retired and emeriti faculty are not eligible.
I have an adjunct appointment. Am I eligible?
The intent of the program is to support scientists at academic institutions. A scientist whose primary appointment (as determined by source of salary and level of teaching commitments) is at a national laboratory or other research institute but who has an adjunct, courtesy or backup appointment at an academic institution is not eligible. An adjunct faculty member whose primary employer is an academic institution and who is eligible on the basis of his or her research is eligible for the Simons Fellowship.
I am not a U.S. or Canadian citizen; am I eligible to be a Simons Fellow?
U.S. or Canadian citizenship is not required, but a grantee’s primary appointment must be at a U.S. or Canadian institution in order to apply to or hold the grant.
If I am not awarded a Simons Fellowship this year, may I reapply next year?
There is no limit on the number of times one can apply, as long as one is eligible for a sabbatical.
To whom is the grant awarded?
The grant is awarded to the Simons Fellow’s home institution.
How do I get reimbursed for eligible expenses?
As the grant is made through the awardee’s institution, one should submit requests for reimbursement and purchases as prescribed by the awardee’s department.