IMU–Simons African Fellowship Program for African Mathematicians in USA 2021

Applications are currently being accepted for the IMU–Simons African Fellowship Program for African Mathematicians in the USA in 2021.

The Program is funded by the Simons Foundation, NY, USA and supports research sabbaticals for Mathematicians from African developing countries. This includes those employed in Africa to travel to an internationally known mathematical centre of excellence (worldwide) for collaborative research.

The Simons Foundation is a private foundation incorporated in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons. Its mission is to advance the frontiers of research in Mathematics and the Basic Sciences. They sponsor a range of programs in the Sciences, including grants programs in Mathematics and the Physical Sciences.

The primary focus of the foundation’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences division is the theoretical sciences radiating from mathematics: in particular, the fields of mathematics, theoretical computer science and theoretical physics.

Worth of Award

All travel and living expenses of the grantees of the IMU–Simons African Fellowship Program will be covered by the fellowship which is worth up to 5,000 USD. This includes

Travel costs  

    1. from the place of work of the applicant to that of the host to the extent of economy class airfare. The flight will be booked and directly paid by the IMU Secretariat.
    2. (Public) transport (surface transport by rail or bus between the nearest city where the airport is located and the headquarters of the candidate or the city/town where the host institution is located, if necessary). Maximum four (4) Taxi fares (on submission of receipts) may be allowed to travel between the home and the airport/railway station (upon arrival and departure).
    3. Also, just in case the applicant has to stay in a hotel before departure or upon arrival, this needs to be mentioned in the budget details. Maximum one (1) night (both arrival and departure) can be paid from the grant.

In the same vein, the grant covers

  1. Visa fees
  2. Travel insurance charges
  3. Basic living cost (this includes daily allowance based on living cost of the visiting country/city such as the cost for public transport and all other living costs). Similarly, if the accommodation includes breakfast or any other meals, the daily amount will be reduced.
  4. Yet again, it includes hotel accommodation cost in the host country (if the host provides a statement that no guesthouse or rented flat is available and max. 4 weeks. However if you stay longer than 4 weeks you have to rent a suitable apartment or guesthouse). Receipts for cash payments for accommodation costs can not be accepted!  Instead, you have to pay via a trackable transfer method.
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It is very important to note that all invoices for travel cost, visa, insurance, accommodation and up to four taxi receipts and all boarding tickets have to be kept by the grantee and be sent (original) to the CDC/ IMU Secretariat by regular mail.


As far as your application goes, please ensure that you carefully go through all the requirements listed below before sending yours in. This includes the fact that the applicant

  • Has to hold a valid doctoral degree (PhD) in Mathematics.
  • Must be based (place of work) in an African developing country.
  • Has to be employed as a mathematician in a faculty of a university or an equivalent higher education institution.
  • Should already have established contact with a mathematician in the host institution in the mathematical centre of excellence worldwide. You should also have a definite research plan together with the host, which must be submitted along with the curriculum vitae of both mathematicians at the time of applying for this grant. This plan should be approved by the host as well.

That’s not all, the applicant

  • Should have been granted an appropriate leave of absence from his/her home institution which will cover the period of the visit.
  • Must also accompany the application with a formal letter of invitation from the host institution. The institution should clearly specify the period of the (short) research visit and the extent of the host institution’s financial commitment and support.

How to Apply

In order to apply for the IMU–Simons African Fellowship Program, please take the following steps:

  • Fill out and submit the online application form for the IMU-Simons Programs.
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Upload all requested documents which include

  • Two CVs: of the host and the applicant
  • Detailed Research plan
  • Invitation letter by the host institution
  • Letter by the home institution
  • Tentative budget details in USD as 1 joint PDf to the Online Application Form.
  • A picture of you which will be published on the website (upload separately to the Online Application Form). Like this: if the applicant is chosen, so PLEASE upload a NICE picture in good quality!)

If your application is NOT completed by the deadline, it CANNOT be considered for evaluation. Please send your application at least two weeks in advance so it can be checked.

Deadline: The deadlines for applications are as follows: January 15th, 2021 for research visits between May 15th, 2021 and May 15th, 2022. April 15th, 2021 for research visits starting between August 1st, 2021 and August 1st, 2022. July 15th, 2021 for research visits starting between November 1st, 2021 and November 1st, 2022. October 1st, 2021 for research visits between January 15th, 2022 and January 15th, 2023.

For all applicants applying for CDC funding for activities scheduled between June 1, 2020, and March 30, 2021:

Please note that a confirmation letter from the head of department (where the activity is supposed to take place) confirming the dates of the planned activity will be requested for.

Click here for more details and to apply