CALL FOR PROSPECTIVE MENTORS 2013
The London Mathematical Society (LMS) and the International Mathematical Union (IMU) in association with the African Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative (AMMSI) are seeking applications for grants to support mathematics and its teaching in universities in Africa. Four mentoring partnerships are to be awarded, each for a duration of two years.
The project is designed to counter the mathematics ‘brain-drain’ by supporting qualified mathematics professionals in situ. Continuing professional links to a centre in the developed world, professional mentoring and opportunities for periodic research travel will contribute to the possibility and relative attractiveness of contributing one’s mathematical expertise at home rather than moving permanently to the developed world.
The MARM awards will focus on building infrastructure and networking in mathematics in Africa. They offer postgraduate scholarships, visiting lectureships and conference support for the benefit of advanced students and young researchers in the mathematical sciences, helping to improve research and graduate education in the longer term.
The MARM programme will support mentoring relationships between mathematicians in countries with a strong mathematical infrastructure and their African colleagues, together with their students. Its sharpest focus is on cultivating longer-term mentoring relations between individual mathematicians and students.
13 mentoring relationships have previously been supported through a MARM project (funded by the Nuffield Foundation and Leverhulme Trust) in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. This further initiative aims to build on these successes and to continue to support mathematics in Africa.
We are looking for mathematicians interested in being part of these mentoring collaborations. We welcome applications from those with no prior experience of collaborating with research workers in Africa, as well as from those with existing links with African research.
Prospective mentors are asked to indicate any particular institutions (or countries) with which they would like to collaborate, although we naturally cannot make any guarantees. Alternatively, applicants may wish to make a strong case for an existing link.
We will expect a willingness to make at least one short visit to Africa and to host a short visit from Africa, as well as a commitment to a continuing mentoring responsibility.
A typical mentoring relationship may involve:
- short visits by UK and European mathematicians to African institutions and reciprocal visits by African mathematicians to their colleagues in UK and European institutions;
- creation of joint research projects between UK and European mathematicians, their colleagues in Africa and doctoral students of those colleagues;
- graduate student fellowships;
- research support.
The success of the collaborations will be evaluated by asking whether the research collaboration has:
- resulted in a mathematical publication in a research mathematics journal of international standing;
- produced an MSc or PhD thesis?
- formed the basis of an on-going research group? or
- resulted in programmatic improvements in or outside support for advanced mathematics at the host institution?
Each project, when approved by the MARM Board, is awarded a grant for two years, during each of which the mentor visits the partner department, and there is usually a return visit in the second year. When an application is received, the LMS begins a process of matching with corresponding applications from African departments on the basis of common research interests and, if possible, preferred locations. The result is then put to the mentor and department for agreement. When this is reached, the partners draw up a proposal for the Board. Once this has been approved, the partners correspond by e-mail as a preliminary to the first visit. A key point is the mentor’s first visit, which is preceded by preparatory lectures within the partner department on a topic arranged by e-mail beforehand. In the course of that visit, a leader is found within the department, the main needs of that department are identified and the broad outline of a research project is agreed, subsequently to be pursued by e-mail and further visits. A contract is sent out by the MARM Board after the first visit, and the mentor is expected to submit progress reports at the end of each year.
Further information and application forms can be found in the links below. Applications must be received by the deadline of 31 October 2013.
African Universities interested in submitting an Expression of Interest should visit the AMMSI website for further information and details on how to apply.
To discuss potential partnerships please contact Frank Neumann (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Applications should be submitted either:
- by post to Katy Henderson, London Mathematical Society, De Morgan House, 57-58 Russell Square, London, WC1B 4HS, UK
- or by email to Katy Henderson, email@example.com
The Mentoring African Research in Mathematics (MARM) scheme was devised to support mathematics and its teaching in the countries of Africa.
The programme was designed to counter the mathematics "brain-drain" from Africa by supporting qualified mathematics professionals in situ. The scheme concentrates on the creation of joint research partnerships between UK and European mathematicians, their colleagues in Africa, and doctoral students of those colleagues.
New partnerships in 2013 will be supported by funding from the London Mathematical Society and the International Mathematical Union, working in association with the African Mathematics Millennium Science Initiative. Previously the scheme was supported by the Nuffield Foundation and the Leverhulme Trust. The scheme is overseen by the MARM Board.
General enquiries should be directed to Katy Henderson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Submitted by Katy Henderson on