Limited Submission – Simons Foundation – Simons Investigator Program

Jul 22, 2021 | Awards & Funding, Research

To: All Divisional Faculty and Researchers
From: Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Subject: Funding Opportunity

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Limited Submission opportunity from the Simons Foundation, for the Simons Investigator Program.

A joint announcement from The Office of Research and the Office of Foundation Relations

UCSC contacts
Samantha Forde, Foundation Relations,
Heather Bell, Office of Research,

The Foundation asks that nominations are kept confidential. The nominees should not know that they are being nominated, if possible.

Click on the link below to view more information. Thank you!

      • Internal Submission Deadline: Monday, August 30, 2021
      • Funding Organization’s Deadline: Wednesday, October 20, 2021
      • Award Cycle: 2022
      • Discipline/Subject Area: Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics and Computer Science
      • Funding Available: $660,000
      • Foundation Name: Simons Foundation
      • Foundation Program Name: Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics and Computer Science


The aim of the Simons Investigators program is to identify and support the most active and creative theoretical researchers during the years when they are developing into and serving as the intellectual leaders of the field, and to provide them with resources to undertake new and creative investigations. The nominees are judged on their potential for innovative contributions to science over the coming years.

The campus 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).

In 2022, the Foundation expects to appoint up to four Investigators in Mathematics, up to seven in Physics (including up to two in Theoretical Physics in Life Sciences), up to two in Astrophysics and up to three in Theoretical Computer Science.

For information on the typical profile of successful nominations, please see a list of current awardees.

IMPORTANT: The Foundation asks that nominations are kept confidential. The nominees should not know that they are being nominated, if possible.


      • A scientist must be engaged in theoretical research in mathematics, physics (or theoretical physics in life sciences), astrophysics or computer science and must not have previously been a Simons Investigator.
      • They must be mid-career (at least 10 years of significant research) and have a primary appointment as a tenured faculty member.
      • The investigator should not hold an administrative position at the time of the appointment start date that significantly reduces the time available for research, including departmental chair or institute director.
      • Investigators are not eligible to hold a Simons Fellowship or another Simons Investigator award for the duration of the Simons Investigator award.
      • Candidates from previous years are allowed to be re-nominated.

** Eligibility Requirements — Investigator in Theoretical Physics in Life Sciences: To be eligible to be nominated for an Investigator in Theoretical Physics in Life Sciences award, a nominee must be a well-established, mid-career researcher who develops and applies advanced theoretical physics ideas and methods in the life sciences.

Award amount & terms

      • A Simons Investigator is appointed for an initial period of five years.
      • Up to $132,000 per year (of which the Investigator receives $100,000).
      • Renewal for an additional five years may be considered.
      • Appointments will begin August 1, 2022.

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% per year in indirect costs. For allowable expenses, please consult the program guidelines.

To nominate a candidate

Nominators should submit the candidate’s nomination materials via InfoReady by August 30, 2021. The Foundation asks that nominations are kept confidential from the nominees.

Select “Nominate” from the menu on the right-hand side. Requested materials include:

      • Nomination Letter (two-page limit): Written and signed by the nominator (someone other than the nominee), on letterhead. Please explain the distinctive scientific contributions of the nominee, focusing on scientific accomplishments of the past five years and including discussion of a few important papers. Co-signed letters by more than one nominator are acceptable within the page limit.
      • Nominee’s Curriculum Vitae: The nominee’s curriculum vitae, 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.


August 30, 2021 (5 p.m. PST): Nominations due in InfoReady for campus review
September 21, 2021: Campus selection of nominees complete
October 20, 2021 (11:59 p.m. EDT): Nominations due to Simons Foundation
May 31, 2022: Notification Date
August 1, 2022: Award Start Date

For support developing the nomination materials for the campus selection process, please contact the Research Development Specialist assigned to your unit or send a request to (

Once a nominee is selected to move forward, the nominators will need to submit a proposal intake form and meet UCSC’s internal Institutional Deadlines. The Offices of Foundation Relations and Research Development will be available to support the submission process and review materials.

Call sent: July 21, 2021

The Office of Foundation Relations is a unit of University Relations. The FR team creates and maintains mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with private organizations, matching grant initiatives with educational and research programs and centers. FR supports faculty and staff to identify and approach these and other private foundations for funding, to assist in strategic positioning of the grant application, and to facilitate funder campus visits.

For a list of recent funding opportunities, please visit the FR website. FR Calls for Funding.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact,