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IMU–Simons African Fellowship Program

The IMU – Simons African Fellowship Program supports research sabbaticals for mathematicians from African developing countries employed in Africa to travel to an internationally known mathematical centre of excellence (worldwide) for collaborative research. All travel and living expenses of the grantees will be covered by the fellowship up to 5,000 USD.



This program is funded by the Simons Foundation, NY, USA, a private foundation based in New York City, incorporated in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons. The Simons Foundation’s 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.


  • The “IMU – Simons African Fellowship Program” will run until 31.08 2022.

  • The program is intended to support mathematicians for a limited research period and not for postgraduate courses or post-doctoral training.

  • The grant covers travel and basic living expenses of African mathematicians working in Africa (from a developing country, as defined by the IMU for all its schemes) during the sabbatical.


Grant Details

The grant con covers only for the applicant up to 5,000 USD:

  1. Travel costs

  • Flight costs (Economy) During the pandemic grantees are asked to book the flights independently. The flight costs can be transferred prior booking or reimbursed afterwards as long as invoices are provided.

  • (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).

  • 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.


  1. Visa fees

  2. Travel insurance charges

  3. Basic living cost (daily allowance based on living cost of the visiting country/city, This amount includes the cost for public transport and all other living costs). For a list please go here. If the accommodation includes breakfast or any other meals, the daily amount will be reduced.

  4. Accommodation cost in the host country (hotel is allowed if the host provides a statement that no guesthouse or rented flat is available and max. 4 weeks. 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! You have to pay via a trackable transfer method.

Eligibility Criteria

The following criteria must be met by the applicant to be eligible for the program:

  1. The applicant must hold a valid doctoral degree (PhD) in mathematics.

  2. The applicant must be based (place of work) in an African developing country.

  3. The applicant must be employed as a mathematician in a faculty of a university or an equivalent higher education institution.

  4. The applicant already has established contact with a mathematician in the host institution in a mathematical centre of excellence and have a definite research plan together with the host. This must be submitted as part of the application.

  5. The applicant has been granted an appropriate leave of absence from his/her home institution during the period of the visit.

  6. The applicant must be formally invited by the host institution, through a written letter that clearly specifies the period of the research visit and the extent of the host institutions' financial commitment and support to the applicant. Host institutions are expected to provide office space, free internet access and other basic amenities. The host institution is also expected to help the applicant to find appropriate accommodation. In the event that no guest house or flat is available, the host institution has to issue a letter that accommodation is only possible in an economic hotel/apartment hotel with a kitchenette. The invitation must be signed by the dean/head of the faculty of the host institution (not the host).

  7. The minimal length of a visit is one month. There is no maximal length, however, this is a sabbatical/ research visit and not a fellowship position in the host institution (e.g. doing a post-doctoral).


Application Procedure

Complete and submit the online application form for the IMU-Simons Programs. A completed application form must include all requested documents as one PDF Document:

  • CV of applicant

  • CV of the host

  • Detailed research plan

  • Invitation letter by the host institution

  • Confirmation Letter by the home institution

  • Tentative budget (in USD).

Only applications submitted and completed by the deadline can be considered for the program. Applicants are advised to send in applications at least two weeks prior to the deadline, in case of missing information or documents.


Online Application Form

Tentative Budget Form

Eligible Countries for the IMU-Simons African Fellowship Program

Grant Reporting Form


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