University of Southern California


Simons Foundation – Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems 2019

Slots:                                                  2

Internal Deadline:                        Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                    N/A      

External Deadline:                       October 31, 2018, 11:59pm EST

Award Information:                       Type: Grant

Estimated Number of Awards: 7

Anticipated Amount: $132,000 per year for five years. 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, 2019.

Cost Sharing:                                   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 Investigator’s institution will receive an additional 20 percent per year in indirect costs.

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission 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 in MMLS award, a scientist must be engaged in research related to the MMLS program and must not previously have been a Simons Investigator. He/she must have a primary appointment as a faculty member (tenured or non-tenured) 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. At the time of the appointment start date, an Investigator should be in the early stages of an academic career and must be within ten years of the start of his/her first faculty position.

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.


The Simons Foundation invites nominations for Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems (MMLS), a joint program of the Mathematics and Physical Sciences and Life Sciences divisions of the Simons Foundation. Investigators in MMLS are outstanding scientists, often with mathematics or theoretical physics backgrounds, now engaged in research based on mathematical modeling in the life sciences.

Rationale and Scope: New approaches in mathematically based modeling are making increasingly important contributions to the life sciences. The MMLS program aims to support theoretical approaches making important contributions to the life sciences and, thus, to foster a scientific culture of theory-experiment collaborations similar to that prevailing in physics. To encourage researchers to pursue this endeavor, the MMLS program will provide a long-term, stable base of support, enabling a focus on modelbased 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 morphogenic dynamics to the properties of organisms and ecology, 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-related proposals fall outside the scope of the program. In all cases, preference will be given to work developing deep theoretical ideas relevant to experiments, suggesting new questions and new classes of experiments, introducing important, new concepts, and explaining data.

Theory must connect with experiment, and candidates should articulate their own views about the nature of this connection, rather than accepting conventional wisdom; theory is more than data analysis.

The program explicitly does not support translational or specifically human disease– related research.

Basis for Awards: The intent of the Investigator in MMLS program is to help the research careers of outstanding scientists working on mathematical and theoretical approaches to topics in the life sciences. Nominations will be evaluated on the basis of nominees’ potential for scientific accomplishment in these areas.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.