Simons Foundation - Simons Investigator in Aquatic Microbial Ecology Awards 2023


The Simons Foundation


The purpose of these awards is to support recently tenured, outstanding investigators in the field of microbial ecology in marine or natural freshwater systems, who will advance our understanding through field studies, laboratory experiments, modeling or theory. The program will provide support for establishment of a new research direction or an innovative expansion of current work. Investigators must be currently active in basic research addressing fundamental questions in microbial ecology or microbial biogeochemistry in natural aquatic systems, excluding research focusing on the microbiomes of animals, problems related to pollution, paleoceanography or geobiology. Scientists who intend to transition into aquatic systems from other fields may also be considered if they satisfy the eligibility requirements. Investigators, accompanied by a student or postdoc, will attend an annual meeting at the Simons Foundation.



  • Must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree.
  • Must have been awarded tenure or, for institutions with no tenure track, promoted to an equivalent independent position, at an institution in the U.S. or Canada (on a campus in either of those countries) within the last five years (after December 1, 2017).
  • Must currently be the principal investigator (PI), co-PI or co-investigator (co-I) on a research grant from a national governmental agency or major national or international foundation that awards direct funding to their institution for their research in the field of microbial ecology or microbial biogeochemistry in marine or natural freshwater systems.
    • They may also be eligible if they hold such a grant in a closely related field AND are an author on a publication in the field of aquatic microbial ecology within the last three years. Please contact to confirm eligibility under these circumstances.

Federal government employees are not eligible.



The award is up to $1,750,000 USD over five years, including indirect costs (limited to 20% of modified total direct costs), with continued funding subject to annual reviews of research progress in areas relevant to this program.

Special Notes

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


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

External Deadline

Please submit the application through the Simons Award Manager (SAM) by the external deadline. Please also submit a copy of the full application and signed OR-5 to by the external deadline.

How to Apply

Please submit the application through the Simons Award Manager (SAM) by the external deadline. Please also submit a signed OR-5 and a completed application to by the external deadline.

For more information on the application process, please visit the award website.

For More Information

For more information, contact or contact Please also visit the Simons Foundation website.

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Honours and Awards

Health and Life Sciences