CIMPA Schools 2023, Call for projects

The organization of research schools in emerging countries is the historical activity of CIMPA. It aims to foster research in mathematics in disadvantaged areas where there is a real drive and a scope for a research project. Each CIMPA School offers an introduction to recent research in some field of mathematics and is specifically dedicated to the students and research teaching staff from developing countries. The budget allocated by CIMPA to the school is essentially used to cover the participation costs of those participants.

The schools should be seen by the organizers as a tool for the development and promotion of research in the area over the long term. In particular, any willingness to include the School in a long- term project with a local impact, involving, beforehand or later, other CIMPA actions (CIMPA Courses, Schools in Partnership, CIMPA Fellowships) or building on other resources (online courses, university, governmental or private sector agreements) will be strongly supported.

2023 call

The call for projects for 2023 CIMPA schools is open. The project proposals must be submitted online by October 10, 2021, together with a short CV of the coordinators and a supporting letter from the host institution.

The final selection phase of the projects will be completed by the beginning of February 2022.

During the preparation phase of the application, it is strongly advised to contact one of the scientific officers of your specific geographical area. In addition to ideas and contacts, this person will help you to check that you comply with the criteria below. 

What is new for this call?

Here are the main differences with respect to the previous call:

  • Applications are now fully online. The webform will be available soon. You can have a look at the requested information looking at this file;
  • CIMPA financial support can now constitute up to 50% of the total budget (previously 33%) and can reach a maximum amount of €15,000;
  • The below eligibility criteria are the necessary criteria for your school to be considered. The evaluation criteria determine its acceptance. The financial support depends on the profile of each school, taking as a basis the economic situation of the host country and adjusting it according to the other evaluation criteria;
  • All student participants of your school will register via the CIMPA web site.

Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria below are the necessary criteria for the project proposal to be considered (more details will be provided during the online application process).

Coordinators

The CIMPA School project must be set up jointly by two administrative and scientific coordinators, a 'local' one and an 'external' one:

  • The local coordinator must hold an academic or research position in the country where the school is held and must have established strong contacts with the host institution of the school;
  • The external coordinator must hold a position in an institution located in one of the partner countries of CIMPA as of 1 January 2022 (France, Norway, Spain and Switzerland presently, other countries may join CIMPA by 1 January 2022 thus becoming eligible).

Location

The CIMPA School must take place within an academic environment (university, conference centre or equivalent) located in a developing country.

Scientific topic

The topic of the CIMPA School must be related to research activities already present locally and must be part of an active research field in mathematics, either pure or applied mathematics or a related field, such as computer science or theoretical physics.

Level

The CIMPA School is intended first and foremost for young mathematicians from the country in which it is held or from neighbouring countries. The level should be suited to the local situation and offer a range of activities from pre-doc to post-doc level. Under no circumstances should the school be a conference or workshop.

Duration of the school and contribution of each team member

A CIMPA School generally lasts two weeks with about ten days of mathematical activities. In general, a school day should not contain more that 6 hours of scientific activities and a break of at least one day should be planned after 5 or 6 days of work. Each non-local speaker or instructor should provide a minimum of 4 hours of scientific activities.

Gender balance

The scientific and organizing committees as well as the list of lecturers must comprise at least 30% women and at least 30% men. If this criterion cannot be met in exceptional cases, it is imperative that you justify the reasons in the form.

Budget

The provisional budget of the school (resources and expenses) must be sound and described in detail. The financial commitment of local institutions is essential to the success of the project. The financial support provided by CIMPA shall not constitute more than 1/2 of the total budget of the CIMPA School and cannot exceed 15,000 euros. Therefore, the coordinators must seek to secure diversified sources of funding at the local and international level as early as possible (see this document for some ideas).

At least 2/3 of the CIMPA financial support needs to be used for travel and/or living expenses of CIMPA participants, i.e., young participants from developing countries outside the host country. If other sources exist for this purpose, it will be possible to allocate this support differently (after discussion with your scientific officer).

 The CIMPA financial support shall not be used to cover the travel expenses of lecturers affiliated in developed countries. Thus, the coordinators are strongly advised to ask those lecturers and instructors at the beginning of the project if they can cover their travel costs with their own grants, thus supporting CIMPA activities even more. In general, participants respond favourably. If it is not the case, the organizers will have to find sources other than CIMPA to support them.

Finally, it is strictly forbidden to ask for registration fees or to give honorariums to lecturers, whatever the source of funding.

Evaluation criteria

The evaluation criteria determine the acceptance of the project.

School location

The country, the city, and even the host institution serve as the basis to evaluate the geographic relevance of the proposal and the amount of CIMPA financial support. Taking the IMU subdivision as starting point, it is up to €8,000 for a priority 5 country, €10,000 for a priority 4 or 3 country and €12,000 or more for a category 1 or 2 country, within the limit of €15,000. This basis can then be strongly revised upwards or downwards depending on the exact location, the expected number of participants (especially from neighbouring countries) and the other evaluation criteria.

Scientific and pedagogical quality

Besides the global coherence of the project and the interest of each activity, the mode of delivery will be taken into account. A scientific program that maximizes the active participation of students will be evaluated more highly. We wish to make the most of the presence of the teachers. While introductory and advanced level lectures (maximum 8) can of course be offered, it is desirable that they are combined with several sessions of exercises or practical work.

Besides these activities, it will be appreciated if a complementary activity is organized during the school. It can take several forms: a round-table discussion on gender issues in mathematics, on ethical issues of publications, etc. It can also be aimed at other audiences, for example secondary school students or teachers, to introduce them to the world of research.

Do not hesitate to discuss the preparation of your application with your scientific officer in order to get ideas and advice.

Construction of a long-term project

The school is part of a long-term reflection on actions that may take place in the country or region. For example, the School can be combined with “CIMPA courses” or a “school in Partnership” beforehand, or be combined with a local master's degree program.

 It may also take advantage of digital technologies to prepare interactive online courses (see our “online CIMPA courses” format) or offer mentoring for the best students after the school.

The involvement of coordinators and their team in addition to the time strictly devoted to the school is an important evaluation factor of the project.

Local engagement

The coordinators seek to involve as many teachers from the region as possible.

Capture and broadcasting of the courses

The courses given during the school or the videos released beforehand may be useful for those who cannot attend your event and serve as a basis for the development of future activities.

CIMPA will therefore appreciate it if the courses given during the school are filmed (with the prior agreement of the teachers) and this content is freely distributed. CIMPA will be responsible for putting courses online on the carmin.tv platform (which will be released soon).

Alternative format

The health crisis has shown that it is wise to prepare a plan B as early as possible, in case of a major issue. Coordinators should therefore discuss potential backup plans with the pedagogical team so that, at the time of submission, they can advise if lecturers are willing to commit to alternatives. A backup plan can then be outlined.