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Abel Visiting Scholar Program


The Abel Visiting Scholar Program is intended for mathematicians professionally based in developing countries to visit an international research collaborator for a period of one month. For visits that are longer than one month, applicants must provide evidence of financial support from the host institution to cover the living expenses beyond the first month.

The program is designed for post doctoral mathematicians in the early stages of their professional careers. It is designed to offer the opportunity for a ‘research sabbatical,’ a necessary complement to teaching and other academic duties for mathematicians desiring to also sustain a viable research program.

The Abel Visiting Scholar Program is fully funded by the Abel Prize in mathematics and is administered by the Commission for Developing Countries of the International Mathematical Union.

Usually up to 3 Grants are available per year.

Upcoming Deadlines

Applications must be received at least four months before the desired starting date. The selection committee will review the applications and award fellowships every four months.

The following deadlines apply:

  • April 30, 2024 for visits between September 1 and December 31, 2024
  • August 31, 2024 for visits between January 1 and April 30, 2025
  • December 31, 2024 for visits between May 1 and August 31, 2025

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must

     1.   hold at the time of application a PhD in Mathematics,

     2.   be based in a developing country at the time of application (As defined by IMU)

     3.   hold a position in a university/ research institution

     4.   be in the early stages of their professional careers, more precisely: the applicants  should

            4. 1) not yet be of full professorial rank but have a working contract in a university/ college

            4. 2) be under 35 years of age at the day of the application deadline.

The maximum age may be increased by up to three years in the case of an individual with a broken career pattern. This should be noted in the application together with the reason for the broken career pattern. Applications from women mathematicians are strongly encouraged.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria is based on the the quality of the project and the benefit/added value for the home institution/country.

Application Requirements

Each completed application submitted via the online pplication form must include:

  1. CV of applicant and host, including a list of recent publications (max. 3 pages each)
  2. Research statement for the visit - Research statements should explain the research project and list the mathematicians with whom the applicant will collaborate. The applicant must already have initiated research contact with the proposed international research partner(s). Evidence of prior collaboration will be considered a plus. The collaboration should take place at the international partner’s home institution.
  3. Statement from host expressing views on the visit and the research plan
  4. Invitation letter by the host institution which clearly specifies the period of the visit as well as the extent of its financial commitment and support. It is expected that the host institution would at least offer office space, free Internet access and other basic amenities. The invitation has to come from the dean of the faculty for the host institution.
  5. Confirmation letter by the home institution which clearly specifies the employment status of the grantee and that the applicant will be granted appropriate leave of absence from his/her home institution which will cover the period of the visit. Please use the template attached.
  6. A copy of the PhD certificate
  7. Tentative Budget in USD
  8. In case of a research visit longer than a month, applicants must attached proof of matching funds from the host institution to cover living expenses

Please merge all required documents into one (1) PDF file to be uploaded as part of your application.

Applications not completed by the deadline, cannot be considered for evaluation.

Grant Details

The grant can cover for one month and only for the applicant up to US$5,000 Dollars:

  1. Travel costs
    • from the place of work of the applicant to that of the host to the extent of economy class airfare.
    • (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.
  2. Visa fees
  3. Travel insurance charges 
  4. Basic living cost for the first month (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.
  5. 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.

If you travel during public holidays in the host country and while the host institution is closed for public holidays (e.g. during Christmas time) you cannot received basic living cost during the period the institution is closed, but your accommodation cost can be paid. 

Please note that the grant does not cover any travel costs, accommodation and living costs for requests for additional trips (e.g. to participate in conferences/ workshops) during this time. Those costs have to be covered by the grantee or his/her host institution. The living and accommodation cost only cover the research period. In case the grantees stays abroad for private or other purposes not related to the research visit neither living or accommodation cost can be covered from the grant.

The grant is paid in two installments:

  • First payment for accommodation in the host country, travel insurance, visa, transport to the airport and 50% of the living cost before departure.
  • Second payment for the remaining living costs after the visit
  • To receive the second payment the report, pictures and all invoices must be send to the IMU Secretariat before the second payment can be initiated.

The activity and financial report, pictures and all invoices must be submitted to the IMU Secretariat before the second payment can be initiated.

  • Please note that an overview of the expenses need to be listed in the financial report and need to be accompanied by the copies of the original invoices and boarding tickets (excluding the living expenses).
  • The financial and activity report should be submitted to the IMU Secretariat, CDC Administration two weeks after the end of the research visit.
  • Unspent funds need to be returned to CDC/ Abel Funds.

Selection Committee

A selection committee decides which applications are successful.

The Selection Committee consists of

  1. a chairperson chosen by the IMU EC
  2. a member chosen by the CDC
  3. a member chosen by the IMU EC

Members 2. and 3. serve for a three year term with a maximum of two periods. The IMU EC decides on the duration of member 1.

The current terms of the Selection Committee are as followed respectively:

  • 1 August 2021 - 31 December 2022
  • 1 August 2019 - 31 July 2022
  • 1 August 2021 - 31 July 2024

Please note

  • A candidate who is not selected, has the possibility to re-apply
  • Mathematicians above the age of 34 are encouraged to apply to the IMU Simons Research Fellowship Program.
  • Applications must be received at least four months before the desired starting date
  • In case of questions, please contact: cdc.grants(at)

Good luck!

Abel Visiting Scholar Recipients