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Abel Visiting Scholar Program

Logo.pngThe International Mathematical Union invites applications from mathematicians professionally based in developing countries to visit an international research collaborator for a period of one month.

In case the length of the visit exceeds one month, the candidate should 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 result is announced on the Abel Visiting Scholar Recipients page.

The following deadlines apply:

  • December 31, 2021 for visits between May 1 and August 31, 2022
  • April 30, 2022 for visits between September 1 and December 31, 2022
  • August 31, 2022 for visits between January 1 and April 30, 2023

If your application is not complete by the deadline, it cannot be considered for the evaluation round.

Please send your application at least one week in advance for us to review.

For all applicants applying for CDC funding for activities scheduled from now till the end of 2021:
Please note that we will request a confirmation letter from the head of the hosting department (where the activity is supposed to take place) confirming the dates of the planned activity. Please also check if there are any travel warnings for specific countries before you apply for CDC funding.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, costs incurred from COVID-19 tests, quarantines, as well as COVID-19 vaccines can be covered by the CDC upon request.

Eligibility Requirements

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 Application Form must include:

  1. A curriculum vitae of applicant and host, including a list of recent publications (max. 3 pages each)
  2. A 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. An official invitation from the institution of the international research partner
  4. Letter of recommendation - If the letter of recommendation is not written by the international research partner (the host), the application should include a statement from the host approving the research plan.
  5. A copy of the PhD certificate
  6. A statement about the current employment status/position in the home institution signed and stamped by employer. The statement should include the duration of employment. Please use the template attached.
  7. A budget estimation. Please, use the Tentative Budget Form. (for more information see 'Financial Support')
  8. A photograph of the applicant for the IMU website
  9. 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 onto the Online Application Form.

Applications not completed by the deadline, cannot be considered for evaluation. Applicants are asked to submit their application at least two weeks in advance.

Grant Details

The grant can cover for one month and only for the applicant up to 4,400 EUR (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.
      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.
  2. Visa fees
  3. Travel insurance charges 
  4. 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.
  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.

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.

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 send 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 original invoices and boarding tickets (excluding the living expenses).
  • The financial and activity report should be sent 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 from Africa should also consider to apply to the IMU Simons African Fellowship Program which has the same conditions and approx. 10 Scholarships available per year. Please note that if you are applying for the IMU-Simons African Fellowship, you cannot apply for the Abel Visiting Scholar Program at the same time.
  • Applications must be received at least four months before the desired starting date
  • In case of questions, please contact: cdc.grants(at)mathunion.org

Good luck!

Abel Visiting Scholar Recipients