Volunteer Lecturer Program
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Program Outline and Requirements for Lecturers

We seek mathematicians interested to lecture for intensive 3-4 week courses at universities in the developing world, at the advanced undergraduate or master level in topics such as statistics, differential equations, numerical analysis, etc., the capacity for which is lacking at many universities in developing nations.

The lecturer would be assisted by a local mathematics professor who prepares the students beforehand, assists when necessary during the course, and takes care of any necessary follow-up. These courses should have a student audience of 15-20 or more, be controlled, with examinations, and be part of a regular degree program at the university at which they are offered.

Past experience in the developing world is desirable but not necessary. However what is required is tolerance for working in circumstances of modest resources, unexplained inefficiencies, and limited physical comforts.


Funds for all living expenses, including travel, visa, health insurance, necessary vaccination, accommodation and living costs (up to USD 5.000), will be provided by IMU/ CDC or its partner organizations; however, we request that the mathematician's home institution offers leave with pay during his/her 3-4 week absence.

We believe that a strong case can be made that cooperation with this program will not only bring personal and professional benefit to the lecturer, but will also redound to the credit of the lecturer's home institution.

Volunteer lecturers should arrange for any additional health insurance, including medical evacuation insurance, prudent during their VLP assignment. Costs of such insurance may be charged against the USD 5.000 support provided by IMU.  Although IMU/CDC makes every effort to insure only placements in relatively safe, secure and healthy environments, neither the International Mathematical Union or its Commission for Developing Countries can assume liability for the health and safety of its lecturers.  We advise all volunteer lecturers to check with their Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ State Department prior to their departure regarding safety, health issues (including immunization). This source also provides helpful guidance and general comments on travel to the country and region hosting the volunteer lecturer.


Once a volunteer's CV, availability and other information is in our database, the process goes as follows:

1. IMU/CDC receives a request for lecturers from a university in a developing country. The institution indicates their preferences for lecturers based on their needs and the kinds of expertise and periods of availability indicated in the database.

2. We then contact the lecturers identified concerning their availability.

3. The lecturer and host institution are put into direct contact to agree on the precise dates and course content, local living arrangements and costs.

4. The lecturer (or, upon request, the IMU/CDC Administrator) researches the travel cost.

5. The lecturer and host institution inform the CDC Administrator about the expected costs of the flight, accommodation and visa (total shall not exceed USD 5.000). 

6. The CDC Secretary approves the grant for the lecturer based on the agreements and availability of funding.

7. The host institution sends an official letter of invitation from the university to the lecturer.

8. If all parties agree and funding is approved the lecturer's visit is scheduled and the flight is booked (either by the lecturer or by the IMU/ CDC administrator).

9. The host institution informs the lecturer about the assistant (local mathematics professor) who prepares the students beforehand, assists the volunteer lecturer when necessary during the course, and takes care of any necessary follow-up and puts both into contact.

10. After the volunteer lecture period the VLP lecturer submits a report about his/ her experience and evaluation including a request for reimbursement ( including a copy of the receipts of all costs e.g. flight cost, vaccination, visa cost, accommodation, living cost, health insurance). 


Application Forms

Mathematicians interested in participating in the Volunteer Lecturer Program, need to fill out the online application form for Lecturers.


We are very grateful to all Volunteer Lecturers for their generosity to share their professional time and talents and also to host universities for their interest in this program!



last updated: 2012-07-19