Simons Foundation Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics and Theoretical Computer Science 2020

Sponsor Name: 
Simons Foundation
Description of the Award: 

Rationale: The Simons Investigators program aims to provide a stable base of support for outstanding midcareer scientists, enabling them to undertake long-term investigations of fundamental questions in their fields. The intent of the program is to support these scientists in their most productive years, when they are establishing new research directions, providing leadership in the field and effectively mentoring junior scientists.

Level and Duration of Funding: A Simons Investigator is appointed for an initial period of five years for up to $132,000 per year. Renewal for an additional five years may be considered, contingent upon the evaluation of scientific impact of the Investigator prior to the end of year five. Renewal beyond the ten-year period will not be considered. Appointments will begin August 1, 2021. An Investigator will receive research support in the amount of $100,000 per year. An additional $10,000 per year will be provided to the Investigator’s department. The Investigator’s institution will receive an additional 20 percent per year in indirect costs.

Institutional Limits: Each institution may submit up to two nominations in each of the Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics and Theoretical Computer Science programs (e.g., two in Mathematics, two in Physics) and up to one additional nomination in Theoretical Physics in Life Sciences (e.g., three total in Physics — two for Theoretical Physics and one for Theoretical Physics in the Life Sciences).

Eligibility: To be eligible to be nominated for an Investigator award, a scientist must be engaged in theoretical research in mathematics, physics, astrophysics or computer science and must not have previously been a Simons Investigator. He/she must be midcareer (typically, early-stage tenured full professors), have a primary appointment as a tenured faculty member at an educational institution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom or Ireland, on a campus within these countries, and the primary department affiliation must have a Ph.D. program (note that the appointment need not be in a mathematics, physics, astrophysics or computer science department). A nominee must be in place at the institution submitting the nomination at the time of the appointment start date.

Simons Foundation asks that nominations for the Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics and Theoretical Computer Science programs be treated confidentially – the nominees should not know they are being nominated, if possible.

Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Oct 28, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Nominator must upload one PDF file (File name: Nominee's Last Name_Simons MPACS_2021.pdf) containing the following items in order no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

Title Page:

  • Nominee's First and Last Name
  • Nominee's Ph.D. year
  • Nominator's name, role, position/title, department

Nomination Letter (two-page limit):

  • Written by the nominator (someone other than the nominee), explaining the distinctive scientific contributions of the nominee, focusing on scientific accomplishments of the past five years and including discussion of a few important papers.

Nominee's Curriculum Vitae:

  • The nominee's CV, including Ph.D. year, institution, advisor, postdoctoral institutions and advisors, positions held subsequent to award of doctorate, a list of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows mentored by the nominee and the nominee's up-to-date publication list.

Formatting Guidelines and Page Limit:

  • Font/size: Times New Roman (10 pt.)

  • Document margins: 0.5” (top, bottom, left and right)

  • Standard paper size (8 ½” x 11)

The Office of Foundation Relations is available to consult on proposal narrative elements and answer other foundation-related questions. Please contact Holly Lowe, ( for additional support.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 4:00pm