Simons Foundation - Independence Awards


Simons Foundation

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the Simons Foundation website for:

  • Program guidelines
  • Complete eligibility criteria
  • How to apply
  • Policies and procedures


All Independence Award programs engage talented early-career scientists from diverse and/or historically underrepresented backgrounds to pursue research in either autism science (SFARI), computational and systems neuroscience (SCGB), or cognitive aging (SCPAB), while facilitating their transition into independent faculty positions at a research institution.

Independence Awards are currently offered through three programs: the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) Bridge to Independence Award, the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain (SCGB) Transition to Independence Award, and the Simons Collaboration on Plasticity and the Aging Brain (SCPAB) Transition to Independence Award.


To be eligible to apply for the Independence Awards, applicants must meet the following criteria.

  • The program is open to individuals who self-identify as members of diverse groups within these categories: race, ethnicity, disadvantaged social and/or economic background, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability status.
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status is not required.
  • Applicants must hold a Ph.D. and/or M.D., or equivalent degree.
  • Applicants must be currently in a non-independent, mentored training position as recognized by their institution.
  • Applicants must be actively seeking and applying to tenure-track faculty positions at research institutions within or outside the U.S. between September 2024 and May 2025. Independence Fellows are expected to apply, secure and transition to a tenure-track faculty position at a research institution within or outside the U.S. by the end of the 2025–2026 academic year.
  • Applicants may not simultaneously hold other career development awards with similar budgetary scopes, such as: NIH K99/R00, Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award, American Academy of Neurology Career Development Award and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Hanna H. Gray Fellowship.
  • Applicants must not have accepted a formal offer for a tenure-track faculty position by the time of award notification.

Maximum Project Value

Independence Fellows will be provided with up to five (5) years of support, split into two awards: 1) Postdoctoral Award (for a maximum of two (2) years), and 2) Faculty Research Award (over three (3) years). The Postdoctoral Award includes an annual salary of $85,000, fringe benefits, an annual resource and professional development allowance of $10,000, and indirect costs. Upon assumption of an approved tenure-track faculty position, fellows receive the Faculty Research Award of up to $600,000 total over three years including indirect costs.

Indirect Costs



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

Internal Deadline

Applicant to submit a copy of application and signature page along with a complete OR5 form to:

External Deadline

Applications should be started and submitted under the applicant’s own account on Simons Award Manager (SAM). Applicants are encouraged to submit in advance of the deadline to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Refer to the How to Apply instructions for each award.

For Questions, please contact

General Inquiries:

Office of Research

Ariah Easley, Awards & Agreements Officer
Research Services Office

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