University of Southern California


Simons Foundation – Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems

Slots:                                                    One
Nomination per School:               One
Proposals may not be submitted directly by the PI; nominations are submitted by the School’s Research Dean’s Office.    

LOI:                                                        NA                         
Internal Deadline:                           July 28, 2014
External Deadline:                          October 28, 2014

Award Information:                        Level and Duration of Funding A Simons Investigator in MMLS is appointed for a period of five years. Appointments will begin August 1, 2015.

An Investigator position may be interrupted and resumed for reasons that would normally justify a leave from a university, such as illness, the need to care for family members or time off for national service. Periods of sabbatical or research leave do not count as interrupting the Investigator position. Support may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the foundation, but it is expected that termination of the award at times other than five years would occur only rarely.

Materials to Office of Research: Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt.). CV – (4 pages maximum)

Link to Award: Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems Request for Nominations_2015 Final

Purpose: The Simons Foundation invites nominations for Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems (MMLS). These Investigators are outstanding scientists, often with mathematics or theoretical physics backgrounds, who are now engaged in mathematical-model-based research in the life sciences and to whom the Simons Foundation is dedicated to providing long-term support for their work.

Rationale and scope: Mathematical-model-based approaches are making increasingly important contributions to the life sciences. The MMLS program aims to support such approaches and to foster a scientific culture of theory-experiment collaboration similar to that prevailing in the physical sciences. To encourage young researchers to pursue this endeavor, the MMLS program will provide a long-term, stable base of support, enabling a focus on model-based approaches to important issues in the life sciences.

A broad spectrum of research areas within the life sciences will be considered, ranging from cellular-level issues of organization, regulation, signaling and dynamics through morphogenesis to the properties of large organisms, as well as neuroscience and evolution; however, preference will be given to areas in which modeling approaches are less established, and for this reason bioinformatics and genomics will fall outside the scope of the program. In all cases, preference will be given to work that relates closely to experiment, developing models that can explain data, suggest new classes of experiments and introduce important new concepts.

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

The foundation reserves the right to determine eligibility, but, generally, a ‘primary appointment’ is defined as one where an Investigator is a full-time employee of an academic institution and with a teaching load that is comparable to that of other faculty members in the same department. Investigators may transfer their awards to new educational institutions within the United States or Canada, subject to approval from the foundation and the old and new institutions. The award will be interrupted or terminated, at the foundation’s discretion, if an Investigator takes up a primary long-term position at a research institute, national laboratory, non-U.S./Canadian or for-profit organization or accepts a major administrative responsibility that significantly reduces the time available for research.

Investigators are expected to attend annual meetings at the Simons Foundation (at the foundation’s expense) to discuss their activities.

Basis for Awards: The intent of the 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.