Simons African Fellowship Program
Simons Foundation

Conferences & Travel Grants,Mathematics,Training & Short Courses

Scholarship Overview

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 center 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, and will run until 31.08.2022.
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 following criteria must be met by the applicant to be eligible for the program:

  • The applicant must hold a valid doctoral degree (PhD) in mathematics.
  • The applicant must be based (place of work) in an African developing country.
  • The applicant must be employed as a mathematician in a faculty of a university or an equivalent higher education institution.
  • 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.
  • The applicant has been granted appropriate leave of absence from his/her home institution during the period of the visit.
  • The applicant must be formally invited by the host institution, through a written letter which 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 kitchenette. The invitation must be signed by the dean/head of the faculty of the host institution (not the host).
  • 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).
  • Please note that the program is intended to support mathematicians for a limited research period and not for post graduate 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.

How To Apply

Complete and submit the online application form for the IMU-Simons Programs.

A completed application form must include all of the following documents as one PDF Document:

  • CV of applicant (max. 3 pages)
  • CV of the host (max. 3 pages)
  • Detailed research plan
  • Statement from host expressing views on the visit and the 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.