Simons Investigator Program

Program Description | MPS Policies and Procedures | Awardees

Each year, the Simons Foundation invites nominations from universities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom for the Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Theoretical Computer Science and the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems (MMLS) programs. Simons Investigators are outstanding theoretical scientists who receive long-term research support from the Simons Foundation. In 2016, the foundation also invited nominations for a new program, Simons Investigators in Astrophysics.

The foundation also invites nominations each year from universities in the United States and Canada for the Math+X Investigators program. This program is designed to encourage novel collaborations between mathematics and other fields in science or engineering.

Only nominations from eligible universities will be accepted. Please refer to the nomination instructions provided to eligible universities in the Simons Foundation’s request for nominations.

Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics
and Theoretical Computer Science:

Basis for Awards: The intent of the Investigator in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics and Theoretical Computer Science programs is to support outstanding scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing creative new research directions, providing leadership to the field and effectively mentoring junior scientists.

Level and Duration of Funding: A Simons Investigator in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics or Theoretical Computer Science is appointed for an initial period of five years. Renewal for an additional five years is contingent upon the evaluation of scientific impact of the Investigator.

An Investigator will receive research support of $100,000 per year. An additional $10,000 per year will be provided to the Investigator’s department. The award is administered through the institution at which the Investigator is appointed, and this institution will receive 20% in indirect costs.

Allowable Expenses: The funding provided to the Investigator may be used at the Investigator’s discretion to support research expenses, including salary support for postdoctoral, graduate or undergraduate research assistants, domestic or international travel, short or long-term visitors, and research equipment.

Funding provided for the Investigator’s department would be used at the discretion of the department Chair to provide support for seminars, visitors, refreshments, and related expenditures that benefit the research activities of the department.

Eligibility: To be an Investigator in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics or Theoretical Computer Science, a scientist must be engaged in theoretical research in mathematics, physics or computer science and must have a primary appointment as a faculty member at a U.S., Canadian or U.K. institution with a Ph.D. program and not have previously been a Simons Investigator.

Simons Investigators in MMLS:

Basis for Awards: The intent of the Investigator in MMLS program is to help launch the research careers of outstanding junior scientists. Nominees to the program will normally be in the first few years of their first faculty appointment. Nominations will be evaluated on the basis of nominees’ potential for scientific accomplishment.

Level and Duration of Funding: A Simons Investigator in MMLS is appointed for a period of five years. An Investigator in MMLS will receive research support of $100,000 per year. An additional $10,000 per year will be provided to the Investigator’s department. The award is administered through the institution at which the Investigator is appointed, and this institution will receive 20% in indirect costs.

Allowable Expenses: The funding provided to the Investigator in MMLS may be used at the Investigator’s discretion to support research expenses, including salary support for postdoctoral, graduate or undergraduate research assistants, domestic or international travel, short or long-term visitors, and research equipment.

Funding provided for the Investigator’s department would be used at the discretion of the department Chair to provide support for seminars, visitors, refreshments, and related expenditures that benefit the research activities of the department.

Eligibility: To be a Simons Investigator in MMLS, a scientist must be engaged in research related to the program, must not previously have been a Simons Investigator, and must have a primary appointment as a faculty member at an educational institution in the United States, Canada, or United Kingdom with a Ph.D. program. At the time of appointment, an Investigator should be in the early stages of an academic career (within eight years of the start of his/her first faculty position) and, typically, be holding an assistant professorship or equivalent position.

Math+X Investigators:

Basis for Awards: This program is designed to encourage novel collaborations between mathematics and other fields in science or engineering by providing funds to professors at U.S. and Canadian universities to establish programs at the interface between mathematics and other fields of science or engineering.

Level and Duration of Funding: A Math+X Investigator is appointed for a period of five years and will receive support in an amount of $300,000 per year, which includes up to 20 percent in indirect costs to the Investigator’s institution. Renewal for an additional five years is contingent upon the evaluation of the scientific impact of the Investigator.

Allowable Expenses: The funding provided to a Math+X Investigator may be used at the Investigator’s discretion to support activities that develop connections between mathematics and the X partner department discipline.

Eligibility:

  • Mathematics and X Partner Departments: The X partner should be a department of science or engineering at the Investigator’s university that will engage in significant collaboration with the mathematics department in an area where such collaboration is not the norm. Both departments must have doctoral programs.

  • Math+X Investigators: The Math+X Investigator must be a current tenured faculty member with a primary appointment in the mathematics department at a U.S. or Canadian institution. The Investigator will be expected to teach both in the mathematics and the X partner departments and be appointed in both departments by the award’s start date (courtesy appointments will be allowed).