University of Southern California


Simons Foundation – Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics, and Computer Sciences 2018

Slots:                                                     Two (up to two nominees for each of the fields)              

LOI:                                                        NA                         

Internal Deadline:                           Contact the Office of Research if interested.

External Deadline:                          October 31, 2017, 11:59:59 pm EST

Award Information:                       

Investigators are appointed for an initial period of five years. Renewal for an additional five years may be considered, contingent upon the evaluation of scientific impact of the Investigator. Renewal beyond the ten-year period will not be considered. Appointments will begin August 1, 2018.


An Investigator award provides $100,000 per year in research support for the Investigator and $10,000 per year to the Investigator’s department. The award will be administered through the Investigator’s institution, which will receive an additional 20 percent per year in indirect costs.


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 Support may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the foundation, but it is expected that termination of the award at times other than five or ten years would occur only in rare cases.


Anticipated Number of Awards: In 2017, the foundation expects to appoint up to four Investigators in mathematics, up to five in physics, up to two in astrophysics and up to three in theoretical computer science.

Cost Sharing:

The funding provided to a Simons Investigator may be used at the Investigator’s discretion to support research expenses in the following categories:


Expenditures in other expense categories may be possible but must be approved in advance by the foundation. Investigator funds may not be used for sabbatical salary support or teaching relief of any kind.


Funding provided for the Investigator’s department should 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. Funds may also be used to subsidize meals for faculty, students and visitors. In addition, these funds may be used to help pay for furniture and research infrastructure, such as copiers, computer servers and computer support.


Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission under Grant

through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit:

Link to Award:


Who May Serve as PI:

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 have a primary appointment as a 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 or computer science department). At the time of the appointment start date, an Investigator must be tenured.

The foundation reserves the right to determine eligibility, but, generally, a ‘primary appointment’ is defined as one where the Investigator is a full-time employee of an academic institution 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, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Ireland, 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 (i) takes up a primary long-term position at a research institute, national laboratory or other institution outside the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Ireland or another campus of their current institution, which falls outside the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Ireland; (ii) at a for-profit organization; or (iii) accepts a major administrative responsibility that significantly reduces the time available for research.

Investigators are not eligible to hold a Simons Fellowship or another Simons Investigator award for the duration of the Simons Investigator award.

Investigators are expected to attend annual meetings, held at the Simons Foundation each fall, to discuss their activities. Costs associated with attending this meeting will be covered by the foundation.

Purpose: The Simons Investigators in Mathematics, (Theoretical) Physics, (Theoretical) Astrophysics and Theoretical Computer Science program aims to provide a stable base of support for outstanding 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.

Please visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.