Pivot Fellowship

Funding Agency:
Simons Foundation

The Simons Foundation and Simons Foundation International are now accepting applications for the next class of Pivot Fellows. The program provides funding for today’s brightest minds to apply their talent and expertise to a new field in mathematics or the natural sciences.

Pivot Fellows receive support for one year of mentored training in their new discipline, followed by the opportunity to apply for up to three years of research funding in their new field. Successful applicants will have a strong track record of success and achievement in their current field and a deep interest, curiosity and drive to contribute to a new discipline.

The most recent class of fellows includes a theoretical physicist transitioning to working on deep learning problems in AI, a materials scientist applying her skills to bioengineering and a marine biologist switching her focus from animals to plants, soils and microorganisms.

The program is open to faculty in the natural sciences, mathematics, engineering, data science and computer science at academic institutions or equivalent positions elsewhere. The fellowships provide salary support and research, travel and professional development funding. In addition, mentors will receive a $50,000 research fund. At the end of the fellowship year, fellows will be invited to apply for a research award in the new field for up to $1.5 million over three years.

Deadline: May 15, 2024

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Fellows and mentors must hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree in the natural sciences (astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, neuroscience and physics), engineering, mathematics, data science or computer science — and all sub-disciplines therein — and be faculty at an academic institution or hold an equivalent position. Fellows must demonstrate that the fellowship will take place in a new discipline, distinct from their current field of study, within astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, neuroscience, physics or mathematics — and all sub-disciplines therein. In order to receive the fellowship, fellows must be approved by their institution for a full year of leave. Fellows must not hold any other fellowship that will provide them with salary support during the training year of the Pivot Fellowship.

Amount Description

A Pivot Fellowship provides one year of salary support of the fellow’s academic-year salary, whether normally paid over 9 or 12 months and a $10,000 research, travel and professional development allowance during the fellowship training year. Mentors will receive a $50,000 research fund during the fellowship year. The mentor’s research funds may be used for salary support for the mentor and lab personnel, small and large equipment (including major research instrumentation), supplies, travel, publication, tuition and other research expenses. Indirect costs are limited to 20 percent of the modified total direct costs (see grant policies). Funding for fellowships must be activated within 18 months of award notification. Please note that in the event of budgetary or other considerations The Simons Foundation, Inc. reserves the right to refer an application to The Simons Foundation International, Ltd. (SFI) for consideration and funding, in which case SFI’s grant policies would apply.

At the end of the fellowship year, fellows will be invited to apply for a research award in their new field for up to $1.5 million, including indirect costs, over five (5) years.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

May 15, 2024