• Proposal: 09/30/2019


  • Duration: up to 3 years


The Moore Foundation and Simons Foundation seek to support novel research on the origin of the eukaryotic cell, including understanding the processes that may have led to the emergence of the first eukaryotic common ancestor (FECA) and how FECA evolved into the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). These grants will advance understanding of the evolutionary, ecological and biological mechanisms that may have allowed emergence of the first eukaryotic cells almost two billion years ago and should aim to demonstrate progress towards clarifying or eliminating eukaryogenesis hypotheses. They also seek to support development of new hypotheses with potential to reveal novel but potentially unexpected insights into eukaryogenesis.

Researchers and collaborative teams will be selected based on their ability to clearly articulate which eukaryogenesis hypotheses frame the proposed research and how the work will inform understanding of different steps in eukaryotic cell evolution.

The foundation will support individuals and/or teams for two- to three-year research efforts. They aim to have scientists who represent both early and established career stages and include both current and emerging leaders in their fields. Researchers will convene at an annual symposium to share research findings and build connections across disciplinary and methodological perspectives.

Eligibility & Submission Requirements

To be eligible for this competition, the proposal lead must hold a tenured or tenure-track position (or equivalent independent position).

The foundation strongly encourages scientists and engineers from a wide range of disciplines to submit a proposal, including those who have not previously worked on this topic. Those new to exploring questions about eukaryogenesis may wish to consider collaborating with those who have previously done research in this area. Numerous disciplines and approaches have important contributions to make, including but not limited to cell biology, evolution, ecology, earth and aquatic sciences, paleontology, genomics, bioinformatics, synthetic biology, biophysics and chemistry.

Contact Information

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