Simons Foundation: Collaborations in Mathematics and the Physical Sciences



The aim of the Simons Collaborations in MPS program is to stimulate progress on fundamental scientific questions of major importance in mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science.

A Simons Collaboration in MPS should address a mathematical or theoretical topic of fundamental scientific importance, where a significant, new development creates a novel area for exploration or provides a new direction for progress in an established field. The questions addressed by the collaboration may be concrete or conceptual, but there should be little doubt that answering them would constitute a major scientific milestone. The project should have clearly defined initial activities and goals by which progress and success can be measured. The support from the foundation should be seen as critical for the objectives of the project.

A Simons Collaboration in MPS is budgeted at up to $2 million per year for an initial period of four years, including indirect costs as outlined in the grant policies. The scientific impact of the collaboration will be evaluated at the year-four annual meeting, and an extension of three additional years may be granted. Additional funding beyond year seven will not be considered. The foundation would allow the annual budget to vary from $2 million as long as the total four-year budget is no more than $8 million.


The project should involve outstanding researchers in a range of career stages. Excellence of the scientific leadership is one of the main criteria in the selection process. The project should be organized and managed in a manner engendering a high level of collaboration.

Each collaboration is led by a collaboration director who is expected to determine the scientific agenda, coordinate the scientific activities of the other members, determine (in collaboration with the other members) the scientific themes, coordinate a collaboration website and organize collaboration meetings and activities as appropriate, including a two-day annual meeting at the foundation. The director will be the foundation’s main point of contact for the activities of the collaboration and will be responsible for monitoring the overall progress of the research effort and deciding on research directions and personnel as the collaboration evolves.

PIs are expected to perform research that advances the goals of the collaboration and to collaborate as appropriate with other members of the collaboration. PIs are also expected to assist the director and other PIs in fulfilling the additional collaboration obligations outlined above.

Proposals should specify a core group of PIs. Additional PIs may be added at later stages as the collaboration evolves. Interinstitutional and international collaborations are allowed.

The foundation strongly encourages the participation of PIs from underrepresented groups.

The collaboration director must hold a tenured faculty, or equivalent, position at a U.S. or Canadian educational institution, on a campus within these countries, with a Ph.D. program in the director’s department at the time of application. PIs and co-Investigators (co-Is) must hold a tenured or tenure-track faculty, or equivalent, position at an educational institution at the time of application. There are no restrictions on the department and/or discipline of the director or PIs/co-Is. PIs, co-Is and other collaboration participants may be from non-U.S. institutions. A co-I must be employed by or be affiliated with a PI institution or another organization participating in the project under a consortium agreement.


Letters of Intent must be submitted by November 1, 2022, at 12. PM EDT. 
A review of the LOI may lead to a request for a full proposal, which will be due by February 23, 2023, at 12 p.m. EST.

More information?

More information, such as allowable expenses and further information on how to apply, can be found on the Simons Foundation Website



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