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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems 2019

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 27, 2018
Subject:Simons Investigators in the Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems


Deadline for Internal Review:August 28, 2018

Project Description

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.

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.

Amount per Award: $100,000 per year in research support
Duration of Award: 5 Years
Number of Awards:  The Foundation expects to appoint up to 7 Simons Investigators in MMLS

MMLS Program Announcement


To be a Simons Investigator in MMLS, a scientist must be engaged in research related to the program; must not previously have been a Simons Investigator; and must have a primary appointment as a 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. At the time of appointment, 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.

UW-Madison may submit two nominations to the Investigators in MMLS program.


Internal Competition Application Instructions

Applications for Internal Review

To submit your application, follow this link:

  • Nomination Letter (two-page limit): Written and signed by the nominator (someone
    other than the nominee), 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. Co-signed letters are
    acceptable within the page limit.
  • Curriculum Vitae: including 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.
  • Postdoc and Student List: A list of postdoctoral fellows and Ph.D. students supervised by or currently under supervision by the nominee.
  • Research Statement (two-page limit, plus up to one additional page for references and figures): Prepared by the nominee and outlines the nominee’s research vision and plans.

Sponsor Deadlines

Applications are due to Simons Foundation by October 31, 2018.