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Title: Simons Fellows in Theoretical Physics

Funding Agency: Simons Foundation

External Deadline(s):

09/24/2020 08:59 PM PDT (Full Proposal)

Cognizant Office: Office of Sponsored Research/Office of Foundation Relations


The Simons Foundation's Mathematics and Physical Sciences Division invites applications for the Simons Fellows in Theoretical Physics program, which enables research leaves by providing time away from classroom teaching and academic administration. Awards will be based on the applicant's scientific accomplishments in the five-year period preceding the application and on the potential scientific impact of the work to be done during the leave period. Grants awarded will be restricted to sabbatical-eligible faculty who wish to extend a single term sabbatical leave to a full academic year.

Frequency: Typically annual

Total Award: Varies

  • Provides salary replacement for up to 50% of the fellow’s current salary (whether paid over nine or twelve months), up to $100,000
    • May not be used for summer salary (if salary is paid over nine months) or to increase the academic-year salary beyond the university rate
    • If applicable, fringe benefits may be included in the salary replacement funds
  • Provides up to $10,000 for leave-related expenses such as equipment, travel (for both the fellow and his or her family), housing, automobile rental, childcare and support for visitors
    • Salaries for students or research associates will not be supported, but funds may be used to help transport members of the Fellow’s research group to the sabbatical location and provide housing
  • Funding is contingent on the university funding of the contiguous portion of the sabbatical not supported by the foundation

Indirect Costs:

  • Indirect costs are limited to 20 percent of direct costs, with the following exceptions: equipment, tuition and any subcontracts with budgets including indirect expenses
    • Indirect costs paid to a subcontractor may not exceed 20 percent of the direct costs paid to the subcontractor
  • Caltech’s minimum overhead rate is based on the award’s annual gross funding. Please refer to the FY20 Annual Rate Memo for applicable minimum overhead requirements. Applicants must work within their division to account for the required overhead via an approved MORA form.

Duration: Varies

Discipline(s): Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy

Eligibility: Tenured Faculty

  • Fellows must have a teaching or administrative tenured position at a U.S. or Canadian college or university within the physics or related department, at the time of application, throughout the course of the sabbatical, and in the term following the leave
    • This position must be the applicant’s primary position
  • Fellows must be approved by their institution for a full year of sabbatical research leave, consisting of two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters with at least 50 percent of the year fully paid by the home university and no more than 50 percent fully or partly supported by the fellowship
    • If funds from the foundation are insufficient to cover the salary needs for the period supported by the fellowship, other resources can be used for this purpose
    • The foundation will consider circumstances where, for example, the university covers 80 percent of a full year of leave and the fellowship covers the remaining 20 percent
    • Verification of sabbatical approval is not required at the time of application but must be provided to the foundation at least three months prior to the start of the
      applicant’s award
  • Fellows cannot simultaneously hold a Simons Investigator award
  • Fellows must have an active current research program
  • Fellows must be sabbatical-eligible faculty who wish to use the grant for the purpose of extending a single-term sabbatical leave to a full academic year
    • The fellowship program will not support the extension of a full year of sabbatical research leave to an additional term
  • Previous Fellowship awardees are eligible to apply, as long as they follow their universities’ rules on sabbatical eligibility

Research Areas of Interest:

  • Theoretical physics

Research Exclusions:

  • This program is not intended to support research in computer science

Reporting Requirements:

  • Final scientific and financial report

Recent Caltech Recipients:

  • None

Guidelines & Other Information:

Guidelines, FAQ, & Previous Awardees: https://www.simonsfoundation.org/grant/simons-fellows-in-theoretical-physics/

Policies and Procedures: https://www.simonsfoundation.org/funding-opportunities/policies-and-procedures/

Scientific Advisory Board: https://www.simonsfoundation.org/mathematics-physical-sciences/about/people/

Please notify the Foundation Relations team if you anticipate making a submission or if you have any questions regarding this opportunity. We are here to help ensure that Caltech’s proposals are competitive. We can assist with proposal development and advise you on the routing of your paperwork. Interested researchers should work with their division grant manager to prepare the budget, the MORA form, and the Division Approval Form (DAF). Submissions and awards for this grant program will be processed through the Office of Sponsored Research.

Opportunity ID: 435

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