Simons Foundation

08/08/2014, 5:00 PM

This year the Simons Foundation, for the first time, has selected the University of Massachusetts Amherst as a targeted institution - an important step forward.

Founded by former C.E.O. and founder of the hedge fund management company, Renaissance Technologies, James and Marilyn Simons have committed to The Giving Pledge. The Simons will give away at least half of their wealth to philanthropy. Current assets are over $2B; total giving last year was $186M. UMass has had significant recent success with Simons (Please see analysis below).

As an invited institution, we may submit a total of 8 applicants for 3 separate Simons’ limited-submission programs:

1)      Simons Investigators- 2 nominations for each of the following categories - $550K over 5 yrs. (plus indirect; renewable for up to 5 more yrs.

At the time of their appointment as a Simons Investigator (May 15), the researcher should be tenured.

a.      Mathematics: 3 awards

b.      Physics: 7 awards

c.       Theoretical Computer Science: 3 awards

Simons has requested that ournominations for the Investigators in Mathematics, Physics, and Theoretical Computer Science Mathematics be treated as confidentially as possible. Following the selection of our nominees for these programs, no campus wide announcement will be made. All candidates will be advised individually about the outcome of their specific application.

2)      Math+X- 1 nomination - $1.5M over 5 yrs.; renewable for 5 more yrs.: 2 awards nationally

PI’s primary appointment must be mathematics department;supports novel collaboration with other fields in science or engineering.

3)      Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems- 1 nomination - $550K over 5 yrs. (plus indirect); 4 awards nationally

Support for outstanding scientists, often with mathematics or theoretical physics backgrounds, who are engaged in mathematical-model-based research in the life sciences.

Please announce these opportunities and share the attached PDFs, as appropriate, to your faculty.

Amanda Leigh-Hawkins, will contact you shortly to schedule the internal vetting meeting. To be considered, faculty must submit their materials per the below instructions by Friday, August 8, 2014, to Linda Sopp with a copy to Amanda Leigh-Hawkins.