Simons Symposia

Important Dates
  • Application Deadline
  • Notification
  • Symposia Start Date
    Winter/Spring 2020
Important Dates
  • Application Deadline
  • Notification
  • Symposia Start Date
    Winter/Spring 2020
Contact Info

The Simons Foundation’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences division is currently soliciting proposals for its Simons Symposia series, which brings together mathematicians, theoretical physicists and theoretical computer scientists to interact and collaborate in a series of three symposia, held every second year and focusing on one topic or a tightly connected group of topics.

The first meetings in the new series will start in the winter or spring of 2020. The foundation expects to select up to one mathematics and one theoretical physics or theoretical computer science series to start in 2020.

Format of a Symposium Series

An individual symposium series consists of up to three weeklong meetings on one topic or a tightly connected group of topics. A symposium series is initially approved for one year and renewed for up to two more meetings if successful. If the first meeting in the series occurs in year N, then subsequent meetings would occur in years N+2 and N+4.

Each symposium in the series may have up to 23 participants, including its organizing committee (two to four leaders in a field). It will have a focused theme and a schedule that leaves plenty of time for collaboration and open-ended discussion. In some areas, a tight focus on a new research development or a specific research problem would be appropriate; in others, a symposium might help set an agenda for the field. Please see previous Simons Symposia for reference.


Participation in a symposium is by invitation only and participants are required to attend all events during the symposium. The Simons Foundation will issue invitations upon the recommendation of the organizers. The foundation will also make travel arrangements for all symposium participants and will provide support at the conference site. All expenses, including travel, lodging and meals, will be paid by the foundation.

Criteria for Judging Proposals

Proposals for new series will be judged on the basis of the significance and timeliness of the topic, the appropriateness of the symposium format, the likelihood of interesting science being completed or sparked and the scientific quality of the organizing committee.


Institutional involvement and approval are not required for the application, and applicants from within or outside the U.S. are eligible.

Guest Policy

The foundation does not allow spouses, families or others to join participants during the symposium.

Participants who choose to invite guests to come before or stay after the meeting do so at their own expense. The Simons Foundation will not cover expenses associated with such extensions.

How to Apply

Applications to organize individual symposium series that start in winter or spring of 2020 are due by October 31, 2018, and must be submitted on proposalCENTRAL (

Please see the How to Apply tab for further instructions.

The organizing committees will be notified by December 31, 2018.




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Important Dates
  • Application Deadline
  • Notification
  • Symposia Start Date
    Winter/Spring 2020
Contact Info

Please see the general instructions for application submission.

Important Note: The application should be submitted by a member of the organizing committee. Institutional involvement and approval are not required for this application.

Please be sure to submit a proposal using the appropriate application (Mathematics and Physical Sciences — Simons Symposia).

Proposal attachments should be typewritten, single-spaced and in typeface no smaller than 10-point font. Margins, in all directions, must be at least ½ inch.

Applications contain the following elements:

  1. Title Page: Enter the symposium title.
  2. Enable Other Users to Access this Proposal: This screen allows users to give other users access to the application, if necessary.
  3. Applicant: This information is preloaded from the applicant’s professional profile.
  4. Abstract & Subject Classifications: Please provide a brief abstract of the scientific content of the proposed symposium series. The abstract text box has a 3,000-character limit. Select subject classification as indicated.
  5. Proposal Attachments (attachments must be uploaded as unlocked PDFs; please confirm this before uploading):
    • Organizing Committee: A list of the members of the organizing committee (up to four), their institutions and their contact information.
    • Description of Symposium Subject (three-page limit, plus up to one page for references): Attention should be paid to the timeliness of the subject and to the question of why the symposium format is appropriate. Careful justification should be provided for the number of symposia in the proposed series (1–3).
    • Key Invitees: A list of key invitees and their institutions — Total participants including the organizers should not exceed 23.
    • Dissemination Plan (three-page limit): Must include some method of dissemination appropriate to the topic and the field.
    • Curriculum Vitae (two-page limit): One is needed for each member of the organizing committee and needs to include Ph.D. year, institution, advisor and positions held.
  6. Validate: Click the Validate button to check for any missing REQUIRED information or files. All missing required information will be listed on the screen and must be corrected before the application can be submitted.
  7. Submit: This section will only appear if the deadline has not passed.
Important Dates
  • Application Deadline
  • Notification
  • Symposia Start Date
    Winter/Spring 2020
Contact Info
  1. How long will each symposium last?plus--large

    The symposium runs Monday through Friday. Participants arrive the Sunday before and depart the Saturday after.

  2. What will happen day-to-day at the symposium?plus--large

    There will be a small number of lectures and dedicated time for interactions and collaborations.

  3. What is the AV setup of the meeting room?plus--large

    The meeting room comes equipped with three six-by-four-foot blackboards as well as a projector and screen for digital presentations. A lavalier microphone is also available if needed.

  4. Will the participants have any free time during the symposium?plus--large

    There will be a group activity planned, such as a nature hike, on Wednesday afternoon. There is also an extended lunch break each day for participants to spend time collaborating.

  5. Can I extend my stay at the resort, either a few days before or after the symposium?plus--large

    Participants are welcome to extend their stay at the resort at their own cost. The resort will honor the group rate three days before and after the symposium.

  6. Does the symposium publish any proceedings?plus--large

    Each symposium will have a dissemination plan, which may include published proceedings. Symposium notes, slides and summaries will be posted to the foundation’s website.

  7. Is there a registration fee to submit a proposal?plus--large


  8. Are all areas of mathematics, computer science and physics eligible?plus--large

    Simons Symposia cover a wide range of fields in mathematics, physics and computer science.

  9. Am I allowed to apply if I am already on another symposium’s organizing committee?plus--large


  10. If my organizing committee and I are not awarded a symposium series this year, may we apply again?plus--large


  11. To whom is the symposium awarded?plus--large

    The symposium is awarded to the organizing committee, although no funds are directly awarded. The foundation will administer all expenses.

  12. Who will be making the decision about whether a proposal is selected?plus--large

    Decisions will be made by the MPS directorship and the MPS scientific advisory board.

  13. How do I get reimbursed for eligible expenses?plus--large

    Information pertaining to reimbursement will be provided in advance of the symposium.

Other Funding Opportunities
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