The aim of the Simons Collaborations in MPS program is to stimulate progress on fundamental scientific questions of major importance in mathematics, theoretical physics and theoretical computer science.
A Simons Collaboration in MPS should address a mathematical or theoretical topic of fundamental scientific importance, where a significant, new development creates a novel area for exploration or provides a new direction for progress in an established field. The questions addressed by the collaboration may be concrete or conceptual, but there should be little doubt that answering them would constitute a major scientific milestone. The project should have clearly defined initial activities and goals by which progress and success can be measured. The support from the foundation should be seen as critical for the objectives of the project.
The project should involve outstanding researchers in a range of career stages. Excellence of the scientific leadership is one of the main criteria in the selection process. The project should be organized and managed in a manner engendering a high level of collaboration.
A Simons Collaboration in MPS is budgeted at up to $2 million per year for an initial period of four years. This includes up to 20 percent per year for indirect costs on allowable direct costs (see grant policies). The scientific impact of the collaboration will be evaluated at the year-four annual meeting and an extension of three additional years may be granted. The foundation would allow the annual budget to vary from $2 million as long as the total four-year budget is no more than $8 million.