Simons Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, Astrophysics and Computer Science

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the nomination opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary

The Simons Foundation’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences division invites confidential nominations for Simons Investigators in Mathematics, (Theoretical) Physics, (Theoretical) Astrophysics and Theoretical Computer Science. Nominations should be confidential and nominees should not know they are being nominated.

The Simons Investigators program aims to provide a stable base of support for outstanding midcareer 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.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST September 2, 2019

Sponsor Application Deadline: 9:59pm MST October 31, 2019

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Nomination Letter (Up to 2 pages): Written and signed by the nominator (e.g., a relevant university official, whether internal or external to the nominee’s institution, such as a department chair or dean), on letterhead, explaining the distinctive scientific contributions of the nominee, focusing on scientific accomplishments of the past five years and including discussion of a few important papers. Cosigned letters are acceptable within the page limit. Self-nominations are not allowed and nominators should keep nominations confidential.
  • Nominee’s CV: The nominee’s curriculum vitae, including, but not limited to, 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.

To access the online application, visit:


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 be midcareer, have a primary appointment as a tenured 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, astrophysics or computer science department). A nominee must be in place at the institution submitting the nomination at the time of the appointment start date.

This year, up to two Simons Investigator in Physics awards — out of seven — will be granted to well-established midcareer researchers who develop and apply advance theoretical physics ideas and methods in the life sciences.

A 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 that reason, bioinformatics- and genomics-related proposals fall outside the scope of the program.

Furthermore, researchers whose primary theoretical activity is the application of the existing computational platforms to fit or parametrize experimental data will not be considered in this program.

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 renominated.

Investigators are expected to attend the MPS annual meeting, held at the Simons Foundation in October of each year. Costs associated with attending this meeting will be covered by the foundation.

Limited Submission Guidelines

Each institution 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.

Award Information

In 2020, 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.