Moore–Simons Project on the Origin of the Eukaryotic Cell: A joint call for proposals


The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Simons Foundation are partnering to support this program.


Origin of the Eukaryotic Cell: A joint call for proposals.

For More Information

For more information including proposal requirements regarding this call, please consult the following links:

Call for Proposals



The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Simons Foundation are partnering to support novel research on the origin of the eukaryotic cell. This major transition in the history of life, estimated to have occurred almost two billion years ago, remains an important yet unsolved puzzle in the biological sciences. This funding opportunity seeks to support the international scientific community to explore why and how this symbiotic event occurred by conducting experiments that illuminate or eliminate possibilities regarding the events that led to the emergence of eukaryotes.

Scientists and engineers from a wide range of disciplines are encouraged to submit proposals for novel research on the origin of the eukaryotic cell, including understanding the processes that may have led to the emergence of the first eukaryotic common ancestor (FECA) and how FECA evolved into the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA).  These grants will advance understanding of the evolutionary, ecological and biological mechanisms that may have allowed emergence of the first eukaryotic cells almost two billion years ago and should aim to demonstrate progress towards clarifying or eliminating eukaryogenesis hypotheses. 


The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Simons Foundation aim to have scientists who represent both early and established career stages and include both current and emerging leaders in their fields. 

Funding Availability

The Foundations have not pre-determined the number or size of projects that will be funded.

Maximum Project Value

The Sponsors have not pre-determined award sizes and will aim to match budgets to project needs. 

Budgets submitted as part of the proposal package are considered preliminary. Budget development will occur in coordination with the respective funding organization.

Indirect Costs

The sponsors provide limited overhead costs and negotiations will occur between the two Foundations and the successful finalist Institutions upon award.  

  • The Moore Foundation’s policy is not to exceed 12.5% of allowable expenses.
  • The Simons Foundation provides 20% of modified direct costs as indirect costs.

Project Duration

2-3 years


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Please submit a signed OR-5 form and full proposal package to

External Deadline

Proposals must be uploaded as PDF documents to the portal by Monday, September 30, 2019 by 23:59 PDT.

For Questions, please contact

For questions about this opportunity or technical support, please contact

Office of Research

Carolyn Dowling-Osborn, Senior Manager, Grants & Contracts
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52935

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