Deadline: 01 Nov 2023

Published: 27 Sept 2023

The Simons Foundation’s Life Sciences division is now accepting applications for its Simons Early Career Investigator in Aquatic Microbial Ecology and Evolution Awards.


Microbes inhabit and sustain all habitats on Earth. In both marine and freshwater systems, microbes capture solar energy, catalyze biogeochemical transformations of important elements, produce and consume greenhouse gases, and provide the base of the food web.

The purpose of these awards is to help launch the careers of outstanding investigators in the fields of microbial ecology, microbial biogeochemistry and/or microbial evolution in marine or natural freshwater systems, who will advance our understanding through field work, experiments, modeling or theory. Investigators must currently be active in basic research addressing fundamental questions in these fields and must focus a large fraction of their lab’s effort in this area. Applicants whose research focuses on the microbiomes of animals or plants, symbioses of microbes with animals, paleoceanography, geobiology or aquatic pollution will not be considered.


Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. They must currently hold a tenure-track, tenured or, for institutions with no tenure track, an equivalent independent position in an institution in the U.S. or Canada (in a campus within these countries) and have carried out research in such a position starting no earlier than November 2018 and no later than January 2023. Federal government employees are not eligible.

They must be the principal investigator (PI), co-PI or co-investigator (Co-I) currently or within the past year 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 and/or evolution 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 or evolution within the last three years. Please contact to confirm eligibility under these circumstances.

About the Awards

Grants will be for $270,000 USD per year, including indirect costs (limited to 20 percent of modified total direct costs), for a period of three years, subject to annual reviews and continuation of research in areas relevant to the purpose of this program.

The deadline for receipt of letters of intent (LOI) is November 1, 2023.