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AMS-Simons Research Enhancement Grants for Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI) Faculty

AMS-Simons Research Enhancement Grant for Primarily Undergraduate Institution Faculty.  Image of desks and chalkboard.

The American Mathematical Society is pleased to announce a new program to foster and support research collaboration by mathematicians employed full-time at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs), i.e., those that do not award doctoral degrees in mathematics. With generous funding from the Simons Foundation; the AMS; and Eve, Kirsten, Lenore, and Ada of the Menger family; at least 40 awards will be made per year. In support of AMS’s continuing efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in the mathematical research enterprise, we strongly encourage and welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences. The AMS is committed to selecting a diverse group of researchers from PUIs across the country, from small liberal arts colleges to large public universities with master’s (but not doctoral) mathematics degree programs.

View the 2023 Recipients

Read the news release.

Who is eligible?

Mathematicians with an active research program employed full-time in tenured or tenure-track positions at PUIs in the United States are eligible to apply. For the purpose of this program, PUI institutions are those that do not confer doctoral degrees in mathematics. Additionally, to be eligible, applicants must have earned a PhD degree at least five years before the start of the grant. For the 2023 application cycle, that was prior to August 1, 2018.

The applicant's research must be in a disciplinary research area supported by the Division of Mathematical Sciences of the National Science Foundation. Faculty with appointments solely in statistics departments are not eligible. The intended awardees will not concurrently hold external research funding exceeding \$3,000 per year and will not be in residence at a National Science Foundation institute.

What will this grant provide?

Each year for three years, awardees will receive \$3,000 to support research-related activities. Annual discretionary funds for an awardee’s department and administrative funds for an awardee's institution will be available to institutions that administer the grant on behalf of the AMS. No additional institutional overhead or indirect costs will be covered with these award funds. 

Allowable expenses

Activities that will further the awardee’s research program are allowed. These expenses include but are not limited to conference participation, institute visits, collaboration travel (awardee or collaborator), computer equipment or software, family-care expenses, hiring a teaching assistant, publication expenses, stationery, supplies, books, and membership fees to professional organizations. During the three-year funding period, the awardee may spend up to $2,500 on electronic devices to support their research activities.

What is the timeline for this grant?

Applications were accepted on from January 31, 2023, through March 20, 2023. No new applications are being accepted. Applicants who applied by March 20, 2023, will be notified of their status via email in late June 2023. For 2023–2024 awardees, reimbursable expenses may be incurred no earlier than July 1, 2023.

Application Materials

Applications will be accepted through Application materials will include:

  • Cover letter. In this cover letter, up to one page, you will describe how you expect the award to have an impact on your research and on your development as a mathematician. The cover letter may include information on factors affecting research productivity, such as teaching loads, significant institutional or departmental duties, and features of the student population and type of institution. You may also wish to address any special circumstances not addressed elsewhere in the application, including but not limited to career interruptions.
  • NSF-style biographical sketch. This document should be at most three pages and include the following sections: professional preparation, appointments, products (at most five products most closely related to the proposed research), other significant products (at most five products, whether or not related to the proposed project), and synergistic activities (at most five specific activities that demonstrate the broader impact of the individual’s professional and scholarly activities).
  • Summary of previous research. This summary, up to one page, should describe your past research results.
  • Research proposal. This proposal should be at most two pages describing the research goals and/or objectives and the potential for the proposed work to add new knowledge and impact the profession. You should include potential collaborators and geographic locations where the work will be conducted
  • NSF-style summary of current and pending support. This list should describe current and pending support.
  • Budget statement. This one-page statement should detail the anticipated expenses and their connection to the outcomes described in the research proposal.


More questions?

Email AMS Programs Staff with questions. We are here to help! Please note the frequently asked questions below.

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Frequently asked questions:

May teams submit proposals?

No, individuals submit proposals. Each eligible member of a collaborative effort is encouraged to submit a proposal. Applicants are prompted in the application to identify collaborators.

My university offers some doctoral degrees. Am I at a PUI?

For purposes of this award, an applicant is at a PUI if their college or university does not offer a PhD in mathematics.

I got my PhD four years ago. Am I eligible?

For 2023, eligible applicants will have earned their PhD prior to August 1, 2018.

I am at a community college. May I apply?

Yes, the only institutional requirements are that the applicant’s college or university is in the United States and does not offer a PhD in mathematics.

My research is in mathematics education. Am I eligible?

No, the applicant's research must be in a disciplinary research area supported by the Division of Mathematical Sciences of the National Science Foundation. This list does not include mathematics education.

Is AMS membership a requirement?

No, AMS membership is not a requirement.

Is U.S. location or U.S. citizenship a requirement?

Applicants must be employed full-time at a college or university in the United States. There are no citizenship or permanent residency requirements.

May I include student conference travel funding in my budget statement?

The proposed activities must directly further the awardee's research program, so the applicant must detail how student expenses will meet that expectation.

My institution does not offer tenure. Am I eligible?

Yes. Note that the application allows for the response, "My college or university does not confer tenure."

I received a grant of over $3,000 that was extended to 2024 because of the pandemic. Am I eligible?

No, but you will be eligible when you no longer have external research support of $3,000 or more.

Are references included in the page counts for the Summary of Previous Research and the the Research Proposal?

Yes, the one-page limit for the Summary of Previous Research and the two-page maximum for the Research Proposal both include references.