Targeted Grants to Institutes

Important Dates
  • Application Deadline
  • Award Notification
  • Award Start Date
    No later than July 1, 2019
Contact Info

The Simons Foundation’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) division invites applications for the Targeted Grants to Institutes program.


The program is intended to support established institutes or centers in mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science through funding to help strengthen contacts within the international scientific community. Our aim is to enable institutes to extend and enhance their missions; this program will not provide primary support for operating or establishing an institute.

Level and Duration of Funding

The Targeted Grants to Institutes program provides funding for up to five years and up to $200,000 per year, which includes 20 percent per year in indirect costs to the institution. Awards will not be considered for renewal. Awardees must reapply to the Targeted Grants to Institutes program for new funding for a period after their current award ends.

Allowable Expenses

The funding provided is flexible and based on the type of support requested by the institution in the proposal.

Please see the foundation’s grant policies for further guidelines. The foundation’s indirect cost policy allows up to 20 percent of direct cost expenditures. Please note there are no restrictions on salary support, and travel expenses are not capped at $4,000 per year per individual for this program.


Applications may be submitted by established U.S. and foreign public and private educational and nonprofit institutes and research centers. The program is not intended to support institutes or centers whose main purpose is to provide a focal point for research of faculty at a specific university. This program will not support national labs, or the equivalent, with a primary focus on experiments.

Examples of institutes and activities the foundation is currently supporting through this program can be found in the Awardees list.

Unspent Funds

Generally, any grant funds not spent after one year may be spent in subsequent years without prior approval. Unspent funds at the end of the grant period must be returned to the foundation; no-cost extensions may be considered.


Annual financial statements and progress reports are due within 60 days of the end of each grant year.

Number of Awards

The foundation expects to award up to three grants each year.

How to Apply

Institutions, via single applicants, must apply through proposalCENTRAL ( The deadline to apply is September 27, 2018, at 11:59:59 p.m. EDT.

Please refer to the How to Apply tab for further instructions.



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Important Dates
  • Application Deadline
  • Award Notification
  • Award Start Date
    No later than July 1, 2019
Contact Info

Please see the general instructions for application submission.

Please be sure to submit a proposal using the appropriate application (Mathematics and Physical Sciences — Targeted Grants to Institutes).

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

Please complete the application as follows:

  1. Title Page: Enter the title of the application..
  2. Download Templates & Instructions: A “Current and Pending Support” template is provided and can be used for the proposal attachment requirement noted below.
  3. Enable Other Users to Access this Proposal: This screen allows users to give other users access to the grant application, if necessary.
  4. Applicant: This information is preloaded from the applicant’s professional profile.
  5. Organization/Institution: This information is preloaded from the institutional profile. For both pre- and post-award management, select the appropriate signing official and financial officer 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; the official will now be listed as the assigned signing official or financial/fiscal officer.

    NOTE: The applicant cannot act as the signing official and/or financial officer. Please see the Simons Foundation grant policies (Glossary of Terms) for a description of the responsibilities of the signing official and financial officer.

  6. Key Personnel: Indicate up to five key scientific personnel directly involved in the proposal. If the applicant can be considered key scientific personnel, please include him/her in this section.
  7. Budget Period Detail: Provide a detailed, yearly, three- to five-year budget in U.S. dollars. Awards must begin no later than July 1, 2019. After entering in the budget period start and end dates, please skip the section labeled DO NOT USE THIS SECTION. In the Proposal Budget for Direct Costs section, please itemize anticipated costs per program, within the designated sub-categories. A program could be, for example, a visiting professorship, a visiting scholars program, a conference or a fellowship program. To add a new line item under each category, click on the Add button.

    For each program, please select a sub-category for each line item, and provide an appropriate description. Each description should include the program name.
    For example:

    Program One:
    Line Item 1 Sub-Category: Salaries. Description: Visiting professorship summer salary
    Line Item 2 Sub-Category: Fringe Benefits. Description: Visiting professorship benefits package
    Line Item 3 Sub-Category: Travel. Description: Visiting professorship travel to and from institution

    Indirect Costs in total for all programs should be entered per budget period.

  8. Budget Summary & Justification: This section summarizes the budget entered in the Budget Period Detail section. Please provide a detailed justification for each program budget included in the Budget Period Detail section. The character limit for each box is 8,000.
  9. Proposal Attachments (attachments must be uploaded as unlocked PDFs; please confirm this before uploading):
    • Requested Support Summary (six-page limit, plus up to two pages for references and figures): A summary of the support requested, including the specific scientific goals, background relevant to the application and the significance of the proposed support.
    • Budget: In addition to entering the budget in the Budget Period Detail section, the institution must upload a detailed, yearly, three- to five-year budget in U.S. dollars in their template for additional reference.
    • A Curriculum Vitae: To be submitted for all individuals noted in the Key Personnel section above. Required information includes:
      • information about professional preparation, positions held, and honors and awards;
      • a list of current and former collaborators, postdoctoral fellows supervised and Ph.D. students trained within the past five years; and
      • a list of up to ten relevant publications.
    • Current and Pending Support: To be submitted for the applicant and all individuals noted in the Key Personnel section above. The list should include all financial resources — whether federal, non-federal, commercial or institutional — that are available in direct support of the individual’s research endeavors, including but not limited to research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts and/or institutional awards. The provided template does not have to be used, but each support item listed should include the following:
      • indication of active or pending,
      • award/project number,
      • principal investigator,
      • source of support,
      • title of project,
      • dates of approved/proposed project and
      • annual direct costs.
    • 501(c)(3) Equivalency Determination Letter from the IRS (if applicable):
      • See Simons Foundation policies for requirements for grants to international institutions.
      • For international institutions, upload a copy of the institution’s equivalency determination letter from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stating exemption under 501(c)(3) and, furthermore, either a 509(a)(1), (2) or (3) classification.
      • If an international institution does not have this letter at the application stage, do not upload anything for this attachment type.
      • If an international institution is selected for funding and does not have the aforementioned documentation, the foundation will require that the institution complete an equivalency determination with NGOsource. The foundation will handle all administrative and financial aspects of this determination.
      • IRS letters should not be uploaded for U.S. institutions.
    • Signed Signature Page:
      • Must be downloaded in the Signature Page(s) section of the application, signed by the designated signing official from the institution’s sponsored research office (or equivalent) and then re-uploaded as a proposal attachment.
      • Please note that not all fields on the generated signature page will be populated and those fields should be left blank.
      • Only the signed first page of the signature page PDF file needs to be uploaded for this requirement.
      • An application should not be submitted without a signature on the signed signature page.
  10. 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.
  11. Signature Page(s): Once all sections are completed, the signed signature page is to be downloaded in this section of the application, signed by the signing official from the institution’s sponsored research office (or equivalent) and then re-uploaded as a proposal attachment.
  12. Submit: This section will only appear if the deadline has not passed.
Important Dates
  • Application Deadline
  • Award Notification
  • Award Start Date
    No later than July 1, 2019
Contact Info
  1. Who should be the individual at the institute who submits the application?plus--large

    Although this is at the discretion of the institute, the applicant is typically the director of the institute.

  2. Are the selection criteria different for institutes in developing countries?plus--large

    For institutes in developing countries, the foundation will also consider how the grant can help stimulate the progress of science in those countries and how it can help connect developing countries to the scientific mainstream.

  3. May applications come from a center or institute within a larger university, rather than freestanding institutes?plus--large

    Yes, centers/institutes within larger universities are eligible, as long as their main purpose is to support a field by strengthening contacts within the scientific community. Centers/institutes whose primary purpose is to provide a focal point for the research of local faculty at that university are not appropriate for this program.

  4. Are chemistry-focused institutes eligible?plus--large

    Chemistry is outside the purview of the program and the MPS division, which focuses on mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science.

  5. If my institute is not awarded a targeted grant this year, can we reapply next year?plus--large

    Yes, there is no limit to the number of times an institute can apply.

  6. Can my institute submit more than one application during an application cycle?plus--large

    Yes, there is no limit to the number of applications per institution.

  7. Is the cost of insurance to cover the exchange rate allowed as a direct cost?plus--large

    No, this would not be an allowable cost.


The Simons Foundation is pleased to announce the 2018 Targeted Grants to Institutes awardees:

Small Group Collaborations at the American Institute of Mathematics

The American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) advances the frontiers of mathematical knowledge by fostering collaborations among diverse groups of researchers. AIM’s primary scientific programs are weeklong, focused workshops and small research groups called Structured Quartet Research Ensembles (SQuaREs). Simons Foundation funding will go toward increasing the number of SQuaREs held each year.

The Simons Emmy Noether Fellows Program at Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is an independent, resident-based research institution devoted to theoretical physics. The Simons Emmy Noether Fellows Program is designed to provide a strategic boost to outstanding early- and mid-career female physicists. While resident at Perimeter Institute for periods of up to one year, Fellows will be able to pursue their research intensively, free of teaching and administrative duties, and to develop new international peer networks.

The Multifarious Minds Initiative at the Institute for Nuclear Theory at the University of Washington

The Institute for Nuclear Theory offers scientific programs in various areas of nuclear theory, bringing together large numbers of distinguished scientists from around the world. The Multifarious Minds Initiative aims to gather people from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds, with an emphasis on the developing world, providing an environment where young scientists can critically assess promising new ideas.

Institute of Mathematics, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology

The Institute of Mathematics, part of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, is an institution for advanced research in mathematics, promoting mathematical applications in economic and social development and developing scientific cooperation with research institutions in Vietnam and abroad. The Simons Foundation funding will go to support thematic programs, conferences and workshops, scientific schools for graduate students, and a postdoctoral fellows program, aiming to strengthen the collaborations between members of the institute and foreign colleagues.


Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics at Brown University

The Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) develops and hosts research programs and activities that support and broaden the relationship between mathematics and computation. The Simons Foundation will support the Simons Research Professorships at ICERM program, which will provide substantial stipend support for key scientists to be in residence for three months at ICERM. The foundation will also support the programming of hot topic workshops, enabling the institute to respond rapidly to exciting research developments.

Saint Petersburg Department of V.A. Steklov Institute of Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Saint Petersburg Department of V.A. Steklov Mathematical Institute is an independent institute within the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Simons Foundation will support thematic programs, conferences and workshops each year, as well as international meetings that include scientific schools for graduate students and new postdoctoral fellows.

Mandelstam Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand

The Mandelstam Institute for Theoretical Physics (MITP) aims to encourage discussion and multidisciplinary collaboration between traditionally separated areas of theoretical physics and to provide an environment conducive of quality research. The Simons Foundation funds will go toward improving research competitiveness and international integration of the research activities in South Africa, through supporting month-long visits by leading researchers, joint postdoctoral fellowships and workshops and outreach activities at the MITP.

Centre de Recherches Mathématiques at the Université de Montréal

The Centre de Recherches Mathématiques (CRM) serves as a national center for fundamental research in mathematics and their applications. The Simons Foundation will provide funding to establish the Simons CRM Scholars program, which will allow the CRM to invite junior- and senior-level researchers for extended visits.


Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA

The Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) sponsors programs that bring together researchers from different disciplines or from different areas of mathematics with the goal of sparking long-term interdisciplinary collaboration. The Simons Foundation will provide support to enable senior participants to participate in long programs as well as the enhancement of IPAM’s video facility to make lectures more widely accessible.

Niels Bohr International Academy at the University of Copenhagen

The Niels Bohr International Academy (NBIA) is an independent center of excellence hosted by the Niels Bohr Institute. Its mission is to attract the best and brightest to Denmark, to an environment that enables breakthrough research in the physical sciences and mathematics. The Simons Foundation will support a three-year program of Simons Visiting Professorships in theoretical physics at the NBIA, for a total of six four-month professorships.

Institut Mittag-Leffler of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Institut Mittag-Leffler (IML) is an international center for research and postdoctoral training in mathematical sciences. The Simons Foundation will support two larger conferences during the major research programs at the IML and enable prominent scientists normally not able to come for longer periods to participate in the IML activities to the benefit of existing research programs.

Hamilton Mathematics Institute at Trinity College Dublin

The Hamilton Mathematics Institute (HMI) aims to foster and support the economic, cultural and societal benefits of mathematics and fundamental science as drivers of progress in Ireland. The Simons Foundation will provide funding for three new appointment types in pure mathematics and theoretical physics: Simons Distinguished Visiting Professor, Simons Postdoctoral Fellow and Simons Visiting Scholar.

International Mathematical Union

International Mathematical Union (IMU) Commission for Developing Countries is a program of cooperation with and in support of mathematical institutions and individual mathematicians in the developing world. The Simons Foundation will provide funds to establish the IMU-Simons African Fellowship Program, to support individual research-related travel and living costs for mathematicians from developing countries in Africa to travel to a center of excellence in any part of the world for collaborative research.


International Centre for Theoretical Sciences of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (ICTS-TIFR)

The International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) is a multi- and interdisciplinary effort with a mandate to take new initiatives on the frontiers of science, and catalyze and promote collaboration in research. Support from the Simons Foundation will establish Simons postdoctoral fellowships, a visiting scholars program and a distinguished chair.

Galileo Galilei Institute at the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare

The Galileo Galilei Institute for Theoretical Physics (GGI) hosts small-scale advanced workshops in theoretical particle physics and related fields. The Simons Foundation supports a fellowship program that enables eminent scientists to make extended visits to the institute.

Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences

The Banach Center, as part of the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IMPAN), fosters mathematical research at the highest level by supporting conferences, workshops, short courses and hosting visits of research groups. With Simons Foundation support, the Banach Center will establish Simons Semesters, in which distinguished senior researchers and outstanding young researchers are appointed as Simons Semester Fellows to come to IMPAN to lead long-term (2–4 months) programs in forefront research areas.

Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research (BICMR) of Peking University

The foundation has extended the support of the Simons Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Beijing International Center for Mathematical Research, part of Peking University.


Centre de Recerca Matemàtica

The Simons Foundation supported the establishment of the Simons Visiting Program at the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, aimed at enhancing the existing Thematic Research Programs by offering financial support to senior researchers for visits from 2 to 6 months long.

ICTP South American Institute for Fundamental Research

The Simons Foundation approved funding to the International Center for Theoretical Physics South American Institute for Fundamental Research to supplement the Sao Paulo State Research Funding Agency Fellowship in order to create a competitive tenure-track position.

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences

The Simons Foundation provided funding to the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences to create a Simons Fellowship Program with the aim of encouraging key participants, including program organizers, to stay longer than they otherwise would by offering an enhanced support package.


The Aspen Center for Physics

The Simons Foundation has provided funding to the Aspen Center for Physics to support the participation in the Aspen Summer Program of outstanding scientists based in developing countries.

The Erwin Schrodinger International Institute for Mathematical Physics

The Simons Foundation has established a Simons Junior Professor in Mathematics or Mathematical Physics at the Erwin Schrodinger International Institute for Mathematical Physics.

International Centre for Theoretical Physics

The Simons Foundation has provided funding to The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics to support the ICTP Associates Program. This program enables a selected group of research-active scientists from developing countries to maintain a connection with ICTP by visiting for extended periods over the course of several years, and by sending students or post-doctoral fellows to ICTP.

International Mathematical Union

The Simons Foundation has provided funding to support the IMU’s Commission for Developing Countries program, which supports collaborative research visits of mathematicians working in the developing world.

Mathematical Research Institute Oberwolfach

The Simons Foundation has initiated the Oberwolfach Simons Visiting Professors Program at the Mathematical Research Institute Oberwolfach. Each year, this program will support 40 Simons Visiting Professors, distinguished scientists from outside Europe, who wish to combine an invitation to a workshop at MFO with a research visit to a European university.

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute

The Simons Foundation has founded the Simons Center for the Study of Living Machines for data-driven theoretical biology at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, a division of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

Tsinghua University

The Simons Foundation has provided funding to the Tsinghua University Education Foundation to support the Tsinghua Sanya International Mathematics Forum’s weekly workshops being held starting in 2014.


Independent University of Moscow

The Simons Foundation has provided a grant to the IUM to support the funding of Simons IUM-Fellowships and Simons Stipends for Students and Graduate Students. Simons IUM-fellowships support outstanding researchers working at the IUM who are chosen by a selection committee consisting of the faculty members of the IUM. Stipends for Students and Graduate Students are awarded to the best students at the IUM doing successful research.

Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada

The Simons Foundation has provided funding to the IMPA to establish two new tenure track faculty positions, the Chern Chair in Geometry and the Simons Chair in Geometry. Two tenure track researchers, José Espinar and Mikhail Belolipetsky, were chosen after a thorough selection process with candidates from all over the world.

Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics

The Simons Foundation is providing funding for the Simons Visiting Scientist Program at the KITP at the University of California at Santa Barbara. This program provides support to scientists leaving their home institutions for extended periods of time to visit the KITP and participate in its programs.


American University Of Beirut

The Simons Foundation has endowed the Michael Atiyah Chair in Mathematics.

Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques

The Simons Foundation pledged €5 million gift for general operating support. This challenge gift is a one-to-one matching grant and requires IHES to raise €5 million in cash or pledges from third party donors by September 30, 2016.

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)

Simons Professorships

For more than 10 years the Simons Foundation has given $100,000 each year to support the cost of bringing leading mathematicians to MSRI. In the last four years MSRI has hosted 23 Simons Professors.

Eisenbud Professorship

In 2007, the Simons Foundation awarded a grant of $10 million to establish MSRI’s endowment, which included a direct grant to endow the Eisenbud Professorship. To date, 40 mathematicians have spent time at MSRI with support from this grant.

In 2013, the foundation awarded additional funds to support postdoctoral fellows and senior participants at the institute.

Other Funding Opportunities
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