Simons Foundation: 2021 Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards – $660K – Due Dates: Recommendation Letters, October 30, 2020; LOIs, November 5, 2020

Fri, Oct 30, 2020, 5:00 pm
Request for Proposals
Early Career
Life Sciences
Natural Sciences
Various Research Areas


The Simons Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2021 Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards. The purpose of these awards is to help launch the careers of outstanding investigators in the field of marine microbial ecology and evolution who will advance our understanding through experiments, modeling or theory.

Fields of Research:

  • Marine microbial ecology.
  • Evolution.
  • Investigators must be currently active in research on microbial ecology and/or evolution, excluding research focusing on the microbiomes of animals or plants.
  • Investigators with backgrounds in different fields are encouraged to apply.
  • This year the award will be for general career support, not support for this specific project.


Applicants must:

  • hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree;
  • have carried out research in an independent position (tenure-track or equivalent) for at least one year and no more than eight years (start date of first independent position must be between November 2012 and November 2019)
  • currently hold a tenure-track or tenured position, or equivalent, in a U.S. or Canadian institution; and
  • be the Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI currently or within the past year on a research grant on microbial ecology and/or microbial evolution from a national governmental agency or major foundation.


  • Grants will be for $220,000 USD per year, including indirect costs (limited to 20% of modified total direct costs), for a period of three years, subject to annual reviews and continuation of research in areas relevant to the purpose of this program.
  • Appropriate expenses include salary support for the investigator and postdoctoral and graduate research assistants, travel, equipment, supplies and other research expenses.
  • Awards will begin April 1, 2021. Awards will be governed by the Simons Foundation policies, which can be found online here.
  • The foundation anticipates appointing up to five investigators in 2021.


Prospective applicants must complete electronically and submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) using forms provided online at proposalCentral. Log in as an applicant, go to the grant opportunities tab, scroll to Simons Foundation and click Apply Now for the “Simons Early Career Investigator in Marine Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards” program. For administrative inquiries, email or call 646-751-1280. For technical assistance, call 800-875-2562 or email

The following templates must be downloaded and submitted online via proposalCentral:

  1. Bio-sketch of investigator, including the start date of first appointment in an independent position, complete publications list, and past, current and pending support (two-page limit, excluding support).
  2. Letter of Intent narrative including:
    • your most important publication during the last five years and your contribution to the work reported in the paper (250 words) along with the complete reference for this publication (up to 10 authors);
    • Research Statement (one page) describing your long-term research vision, the important question(s) that you are addressing, and what is unique about your program; and
    • research project with title (two pages, excluding references and up to three figures).
    • Research project (two pages, excluding references and up to three figures). Outline a plan for a specific project to provide an example of your approaches and thinking. Provide a title for the project. Again, this year the award will be for general career support, not support for this specific project.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from former mentors or other scientists who are familiar with your research, but preferably not from your institution. Confidential letters must be submitted through proposalCentral (see instructions available for download in proposalCENTRAL) by 5 p.m. ET on October 30, 2020.

NOTE: Process/budget questions which arise should be directed to ORPA and the proposal should be routed following the standard Princeton proposal process (Coeus, etc.)

Due Date(s):

Online submission deadlines are 5:00 p.m. ET on:

  • October 30, 2021 for confidential Reference Letters (2), and
  • November 5, 2021 for completed LOIs.                
  • Applicants will be notified of decisions by March 12, 2021
Categories: Open Call RFPs