Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life Postdoctoral Fellowships

Simons Foundation

Grant amount: Up to US $246,000

Next deadline: Dec 4, 2018 2:00pm PST (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Sep 6, 2019 2:00pm PDT (Pre proposal), Sep 11, 2019 2:00pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Fellowship

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within 5 years of receiving their PhD

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Note: Prior to the first stage deadline of September 11, letters of recommendation must be submitted by September 6. 


The origin of life is among the great unsolved scientific problems of our age. To advance our knowledge of the processes that led to the emergence of life, the Simons Foundation established the Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life (SCOL).

The collaboration supports creative, innovative research on topics such as the:

  • astrophysical and planetary context of the origins of life
  • development of prebiotic chemistry
  • assembly of the first cells
  • advent of Darwinian evolution and
  • earliest signs of life on the young Earth

In the past decade, a small number of researchers have developed a “systems” approach to origins-of-life research that connects disciplines, technologies and institutions in new collaborations. It is likely that answers to important scientific questions may come in the next decade, making this a significant moment in the changeover that results from an influx of new talent, new instrumentation and a growing global community of researchers.


The collaboration is now inviting applications for postdoctoral fellowships to support independent research on topics related to the origins of life at one or more laboratories or research institutions in any country. For more information on the Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life, please click here.

The collaboration seeks to engage the ideas and creativity of researchers around the world by providing an array of opportunities for postdoctoral fellows to interact with colleagues from different disciplines and programs, both online and in person, including webinars, workshops and annual symposia. As fellows are expected to participate fully in all SCOL events, these opportunities are designed to not only strengthen the collaboration but also provide the most fruitful mechanism for bringing a growing origins-of-life community together. Applications from all origins-related disciplines are encouraged.


Appointments last for three years, contingent upon continued research on questions relevant to origins of life as assessed by annual progress reports. The annual stipend will be $62,000 USD. The stipend may be supplemented by the host institution or the mentoring PI. There will be up to a $10,000 allowance for health insurance or equivalent insurance in the country in which the fellow’s institution is located, for the fellow and his or her family. The allowance is only for health insurance and not any other benefit(s). Exact health insurance amounts must be included in the second-stage proposal budget. Any unexpended health insurance funds must be returned to the Simons Foundation. An annual allowance of up to $20,000 may be used for supplies, publication costs, small equipment and other research-related expenses. Of the $20,000 allowance, up to $6,000 of it may be used for research-related travel and up to $3,000 of it for relocation costs of the fellow and his or her family to the host institution. Relocation costs must be in accordance with the policies of the host institution. Payment cannot be made directly to fellows. No indirect costs may be taken.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Candidates must have received their Ph.D. or equivalent degree within five years of the fellowship’s start date.
  • Applications may be submitted from scientists in domestic and foreign nonprofit organizations; public and private institutions, such as colleges, universities, hospitals, laboratories and units of state and local government; and eligible agencies of the federal government.
  • There are no citizenship or country requirements. 


  • Postdocs in currently funded SCOL Investigator labs are ineligible to apply.
  • Payment cannot be made directly to fellows.
  • No indirect costs may be taken.