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Volunteer Lecturer Program

The Volunteer Lecturer Program (VLP) of the IMU Commission for Developing Countries was established in 2008.

It is a program to foster research and international cooperation between mathematicians in developing countries and the international mathematical community, by offering financial assistance to universities in developing countries to host a volunteer lecturer for a 3-4-week intensive course.

In 2022 a new strand Virtual Volunteer Lecturer Program (VVLP) was established. VVLP aims to support lectures to take place remotely only.

For both the VLP and the VVLP the course given by the volunteer should be A) part of a regular mathematics undergraduate or master degree program at the hosting university and B) in subjects where the applicant university has a lack of expertise. Only host institutions can apply for the grant in the VLP.

VVLP applicants (host institutions) can use the VLP application form (and application proccess), but  don’t need to include the travel liability declaration of the volunteer.

In the case of lectures will be held partially online and partially in person the host institution has to apply to the VLP.

This program is partially funded by the American Mathematical Society and the Niels Henrik Abel Board (Norway).


    The next deadlines for Mathematics Insitutions in developing countries to apply for participation in the program are:

    • March 15, 2023 for courses to be held between July 1, 2023 and July 1, 2025
    • June 1, 2023 for courses to be held between November 1, 2023 and November 1, 2025
    • September 1, 2023 for courses to be held between February 1, 2024 and September 1, 2025
    • December 1, 2023 for courses to be held between May 1, 2024 and April 1, 2026

    Program Outline for Universities in Developing Countries


    IMU/ CDC welcomes applications by universities and mathematics degree programs in the developing world that are in need of, and can provide the necessary conditions for productive collaboration in the teaching of advanced mathematics. We seek universities interested to host a lecturer for intensive 3-4 week mathematics courses, at the advanced undergraduate or master level.

    Applications for lectures developed  to be held partially online and partially as an intensive in person period are encouraged. Applications for online teaching collaboration are also welcome in the new program VVLP.

    The course given by the volunteer should be part of a regular mathematics undergraduate or master degree program at the hosting university.

    Funding can cover the following costs:

    (A) and B) in the case of ther regular VLP program and only B) in the case of the Virtual Volunteer Lecturer Program (VVLP)

    A) Costs of the Volunteer Lecturer
    (up to 4,400 EUR):

    • Travel expense of the lecturer (Economic flight, bus, train cost)
    • Visa, travel health insurance, vaccination for the lecturer
    • Accommodation (we suggest a guest house if possible)
    • Basic living cost for the time of the course (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.

    B) Complementary Funding

    This includes the possibility of buying and shipping books and/or buying "online kits". The VLP complement funding can fund:

    1. Preparation of course material
    Up to 1.000 EUR per course and volunteer and or host institution (receipts necessary).

    • printing cost
    • photocopying cost
    • text books etc.
    • shipment cost

    2. "Online Kit"
    Possible expenses for the acquisition of material or use of services to conduct lectures entirely or partially in the online format up to 2.000 EUR (receipts necessary).

    The online kit consist of technical equipment like:

    • a camera
    • microphones,
    • a one year license for virtual meeting platforms such as zoom,
    • buying a projector
    • a monitor

    The projector or any technical equipment as listed above becomes property of the host department after the Volunteer Lecturer course.

    The aim for 2. is to support activities to take place remotely and most importantly allow developing countries and its institution to stay connected and involved despite the travel restrictions.

    The lecturer needs to provide a list of the items that are planned to be bought for 1. Preparation of course material and 2. "Online kit" and only  when its approved by CDC the items can be bought.

    No salary is paid to the lecturer. No assistant can be paid either.

    Role and Requirements for the host university

    The course should be

    • in a university in a developing country (for a list of the CDC definition for developing countries please click here)
    • an intensive 3-4 week course in mathematics for students of a mathematics degree In the case of VLP. No restriction about duration applies to the Virtual Volunteer Lecturer Program.
    • include examinations
    • be an integral component of a regular mathematics degree program at the host university
    • Substantial course enrollment (15-20 students) has to be guaranteed.

    The host university decides the course content and guides the volunteer towards desired syllabus.

    • schedule the course and help the volunteer lecturer in preparing the course syllabus and assists when necessary during the course
    • coordinate living arrangements and local transportation for the volunteer lecturer
    • prepare the students for the course beforehand
    • help with student mentoring and assessment and take care of any necessary follow up.

    The Host Institution is also required to fill out a report form after the visit of the volunteer.

    When warranted, continuing participation in the VLP or VVLP by a single university in the developing world is encouraged.

    List and Database of Volunteers

    The CDC maintains the Volunteer Lecturer Database, a database of the mathematicians interested in volunteering. It includes the mathematician's curriculum vitae (CV), the areas of focus in mathematics in which they are prepared to teach, language abilities, as well as previous experience.

    You need to log in here, to see the Volunteer Lecturer Database. If you are not yet registered on the IMU website, please register first here.

    Lecturers interested to participate in the program, should read the guidelines for lecturers and register here.

    If you experience problems, please contact