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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems 2017

To:Chairs and Administrators; Departments in the Physical and Biological Sciences; Associate Deans for Research; School/College Research Administrators
From:Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Education
Date:July 22, 2016
Subject:Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems


Deadline for Internal Review:September 19, 2016

Project Description

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.

New approaches in mathematically based modeling are making increasingly important contributions to the life sciences. The MMLS program aims to support such approaches and foster a scientific culture of theory-experiment collaboration similar to that prevailing in the physical sciences. To encourage young researchers to pursue this endeavor, the MMLS program will provide a long-term, stable base of support, enabling a focus on model-based 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 that relates closely to experiment, developing mathematical models that can explain data, suggest new classes of experiments and introduce important new concepts.

The intent of the program is to help launch the research careers of outstanding junior scientists.  Nominees to the program will normally be in the first few years of their first faculty appointment.  Nominations will be evaluated on the basis of nominees’ potential for scientific accomplishment.

Amount per Award: $100,000 per year in research support plus an additional $10,000 per year to the Investigator’s department.
Duration of Award: 5 Years
Number of Awards: In 2017, the foundation expects to appoint eight Simons Investigators in MMLS




To be an Simons Investigator in MMLS, a scientist must be engaged in research related to the program and must not previously have been a Simons Investigator. He/she must have a primary appointment as a faculty member at an educational institution in the United States, Canada, or United Kingdom, on a campus within these countries, and the primary department affiliation must have a Ph.D. program. At the time of appointment, an Investigator should be in the early stages of an academic career (within eight years of the start of his/her first faculty position) and, typically, be holding an assistant professorship or equivalent position.

UW-Madison may submit a maximum of two nominations


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, follow this link:

Please include the following information:

• Nomination letter (two-page limit) written and signed by the nominator (a relevant university
official; for example, a department chair or dean), explaining the distinctive scientific
contributions of the nominee and including discussion of a few important papers.

• The nominee’s curriculum vitae, including email address, Ph.D. year, institution, advisor,
postdoctoral institutions and advisors, positions held subsequent to award of doctorate and the
nominee’s up-to-date publication list.

• A list of postdoctoral fellows and Ph.D. students supervised by or currently under the
supervision of the nominee.

• A research statement prepared by the nominee that outlines the nominee’s research vision and
plans. (Two-page limit; references and figures do not need to be included in the page limit but
should not exceed an additional page.)

Sponsor Deadlines

Applications are due to Simons Foundation by October 28, 2016.