Simons Foundation

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Simons Foundation
TypePrivate foundation
HeadquartersNew York City, U.S.
David Spergel
Key people
  • Marlow Kee
  • Marion Greenup
  • Euan Robertson
Revenue (2021)
Expenses (2021)$307,447,716[1] Edit this at Wikidata

The Simons Foundation is an American private foundation established in 1994 by Marilyn and Jim Simons with offices in New York City.[2] As one of the largest charitable organizations in the United States with assets of over $5 billion in 2022,[3] the foundation's mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. The foundation supports science by making grants to individual researchers and their projects.

In 2021, Marilyn Simons stepped down as president after 26 years at the helm, and astrophysicist David Spergel was appointed president.[4]

The Flatiron Institute[edit]

In 2016, the foundation launched the Flatiron Institute, its in-house multidisciplinary research institute focused on computational science.[5] The Flatiron Institute hosts centers for computational science in five areas:

Funding areas[edit]

The foundation makes grants in four program areas:[6][7]

  • Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS)
  • Life Sciences
  • Autism Research / Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI)
  • Outreach, Education, and Engagement

Simons Investigators awardees[edit]

Among other programs, the Simons Foundation funds the Simons Investigators in MPS program[8] which provides a stable base of support for outstanding scientists, enabling them to undertake long-term study of fundamental questions.[9]

Simons Collaborations[edit]

In 2012 the foundation launched a new funding model, the Simons Collaborations, which brings funded investigators — sometimes from different disciplines — together to work on an important scientific problem. To date, 25 Simons Collaborations have been launched by the foundation's Mathematics and Physical Sciences and Life Sciences divisions and by its neuroscience initiatives.[10]

White House BRAIN Initiative Alliance membership[edit]

As of December 2018, the Simons Foundation is listed as a White House BRAIN Initiative Alliance Member.[11] The Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain (SCGB) is working to understand the internal processes underlying cognition.[12]

Major gifts[edit]

In May 2022, the Simons Foundation partnered with Stony Brook University to boost diversity in STEM, with a $56 million gift.[13]

In April 2023, the Simons Foundation pledged $100 million to support “The New York Climate Exchange” (“The Exchange”) on Governors Island in New York City. The Exchange — a $700 million, 172-acre international center for developing and deploying dynamic solutions to the global climate crisis — is set to open in 2028.[14]

In June 2023, the Simons Foundation presented Stony Brook University with a $500 million unrestricted gift, which is one of the largest gifts ever made to a U.S. university.[15]

The Simons Foundation is a major supporter of Math for America, which has built a community of accomplished mathematics and science teachers who make a lasting impact in their schools, their communities, and the profession at large through collaboration and continued learning.[16][17]

Supported institutes[edit]


The foundation also funds two editorially independent online publications: Quanta Magazine and Spectrum (see Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative). Quanta reports on developments in mathematics, theoretical physics, theoretical computer science and the basic life sciences.[18] Spectrum provides news and analysis of advancements in autism research.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Simons Foundation, Inc" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  2. ^ "Simons Foundation: Funder of Basic Science Research, Early Mover in Autism Science". Autism Spectrum News. January 1, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2022.
  3. ^ "Simons Foundation Annual Reports".
  4. ^ Karon, Paul (August 4, 2021). "The Simons Foundation Has A New President For the First Time In Its History". Inside Philanthropy.
  5. ^ Chang, Kenneth (November 22, 2016). "James Simons's Foundation Starts New Institute for Computing, Big Data". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  6. ^ "About Simons Foundation". Simons Foundation. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  7. ^ Callahan, David (August 15, 2017). "Inside the Simons Foundation: Big Philanthropy on the Frontiers of Science". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
  8. ^ Simons Investigators, The Simons Foundation
  9. ^ Simons Investigators Awardees, The Simons Foundation
  10. ^ Simons Foundation Collaborations, The Simons Foundation
  11. ^ "Participants". The BRAIN Initiative.
  12. ^ "Simons Foundation". The BRAIN Initiative.
  13. ^ Genn, Adina (May 11, 2022). "Simons Foundation SBU Aims to Boost Diversity in Stem". Long Island Business News.
  14. ^ Fitzsimmons, Emma G.; Rubinstein, Dana (April 24, 2023). "Governors Island to Be Site of $700 Million Climate Campus". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  15. ^ Stack, Liam (June 1, 2023). "Stony Brook University to Receive $500 Million, an Uncommonly Large Gift". The New York Times.
  16. ^ Conklin, Richard. "Math For America Retains Talented Step Teachers Through Ecosystem of Trust". Education World. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  17. ^ Thomas, Kei-Sygh (September 25, 2017). "15 Million to 1000 Top Math Science Teachers: How 'Math for America' Is Boosting STEM in Schools". The 74.
  18. ^ "About Quanta". Quanta Magazine. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  19. ^ "About Spectrum". Spectrum News. Retrieved September 6, 2022.

External links[edit]