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IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowship Program

Thanks to a generous donation by the winners of the Breakthrough Prizes in Mathematics – Ian Agol, Jean Bourgain, Simon Donaldson, Alex Eskin, Christopher Hacon, Martin Heirer, Maxim Kontsevich, Vincent Lafforgue, Jacob Lurie, James McKernan, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor – the International Mathematical Union, with the assistance of FIMU, maintains a fellowship program to support postgraduate studies, in a developing country, leading to a PhD degree in the mathematical sciences.

The IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowships offers a limited number of grants for excellent students from developing countries.

Professional mathematicians are invited to nominate highly motivated and mathematically talented students from developing countries who plan to complete a doctoral degree in a developing country, including their own home country. Nominees must have a consistently good academic record and must be seriously interested in pursuing a career of research and teaching in mathematics.

It is the hope of the donors, the IMU and FIMU that the fellowship helps educate the next generation of mathematicians and hopefully results in extended benefits to the home countries of those chosen for the fellowships.


2021 Call for nominations:

The nomination process will open on February 1, 2021 and conclude at 09:00 AM hours CET on May 31, 2021.

Taking into account the difficulties that mathematicians in many countries are still suffering due to the pandemic restrictions, IMU has decided to extend the deadline of the 2021 Call till July 1, 2021 at 9:00 am CET.

Eligibility Conditions

The nomination form has to be filled out online and be submitted by the nominator. Students cannot apply themselves for the fellowship. Changes after submission are not possible.

Conditions for Nominator (Professional Mathematician)

  • Professional mathematicians (including those who have superannuated, but continue to mentor young students).
  • It is preferred that the nominator has been mentoring the nominee.

Conditions for Nominee (Student)

  1. The student must be a resident AND a citizen of a developing country
  2. The student must be either
    • A) pre-accepted to join a doctoral program in the first academic year after the time of selection in a university or research institution which is based in a developing country. OR
    • B) already enrolled in a doctoral program in a university or research institution which is based in a developing country
  3. There is no age limit for the student.

Nomination for women students is strongly encouraged.

Grant Information

The fellowship can cover the entire period of the doctoral program up to four years of the student (nominee).
The following costs up to a maximum of USD 10.000 per year can be covered by the grant:

  1. Full tuition fee
  2. Accommodation expenses 
  3. Travel expenses to the host institution (if different from the home country)
  4. Basic living expenses that will depend on the cost of the living of the country in which the student will study his/her doctoral program 

Fellowship Conditions

  1. The fellowship is incompatible with any other scholarship.
  2. The fellowship will be awarded starting from the time of selection Fellowship (i.e. without retrospective effect) in case of awardees already enrolled in a doctoral program, and from the time the awardee enrols in a recognized doctoral program otherwise.
  3. The fellowship will be sanctioned for one year at a time and is renewable annually, based on satisfactory progress of the awardee and will cease to be awarded when the awardee completes the doctoral program or at the end of four years, whichever is earlier.

Nomination/Application Process

The nomination has to be filled out and submitted online by the nominator.

Before you can access the online nomination form, please register in IMU website and log in.
If you have previously registered in IMU website you can use the same credentials.

Once your are logged in, you can find the online nomination form here:

Information to be filled out online (by the Nominator)

For an overview of the nomination form, please download the nomination form here (pdf file).
Please notice that application is not to be uploaded, but filled out online. Paper submissions cannot be accepted.

Material to be uploaded as part of application: (Only in PDF format)

  • Statement from nominator
  • Scanned copy of student (nominee) passport
  • Official letter of pre-acceptance in the PhD Program
  • Budget of total expenses requested
  • PhD Supervisor CV (up to 5 pages)
  • Research Project
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation - they must NOT be written by the  nominator
  • Transcripts of coursework (certified copies (e.g. stamped by the university)) of the student
    • A) BSc degree or equivalent
    • B) MSc degree or equivalent
  • Nominee CV
  • Nominee letter of motivation, research project and future plans of the student
  • Nominator declaration
  • PhD Supervisor declaration
  • Nominee (student) declaration

Both nominations and accompanying documentation must be submitted in English only. If the documentation furnished were incomplete the entry would not be accepted for consideration.

Questions before submitting the nomination

In case of questions please contact the London Mathematical Society (LMS) at

Selection Process

LMS will administer this programme during and after submission of the nomination on behalf of IMU and will liaise with the awarded nominees. The selection will be done by the CDC Breakout Graduate Fellowship Selection Committee.

Obligations of the Awardees

The awardees of the fellowship and their PhD advisors will be asked to submit annual reports to LMS. All awardees will be asked, on the completion of the PhD programme, to submit a copy of the approved thesis and a final report on the work carried out to LMS.

Awardees 2016

The 2016 recipients are, listed in alphabetical order:

Do Thai Duong is a Vietnamese PhD student at the Institute of Mathematics of  the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology

María Alejandra Ramírez Luna is a Colombian PhD student at the Universidad del Valle, Colombia 

Abebe Regassa Tufa (Ethiopia) received the scholarship to obtain his PhD at the University of Botswana. He has obtained his Ph. D. in June 2018 

furher information about the awardees

Awardees 2019

The 2019 recipients are, listed in alphabetical order:

Phan Thang Hong is a Vietnamese PhD at the Institute of Mathematics of  the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology

Darya Sukhoresbka is an Ukrainian PhD student at the B. Verkin Institute for Low Temperature Physics and Engineering of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Adeolu Taiwo is a Nigerian PhD student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal of South Africa

further information about the awardees

Awardees 2020

The 2020 recipients are, listed in alphabetical order:

Christelle Judith Agonkoui is a Beninese PhD student at the Institute of Mathematics and Physics (IMSP) of the University Abomey-Calavi.

Annisa Nur Falah is an Indonesian PhD student at Padjadjaran University in Indonesia.

Caroline Namanya is an Ugandan PhD student at the Makerere University in Uganda.

further information about the awardees