AIMS Alumni Small Research Grants Call for Applications

Objectives of the AIMS Alumni Small Research Grant program (AASRG)

The AIMS Alumni Small Research Grant will fulfil the following objectives:

  • Increase the likelihood of AIMS alumni contributing to Africa’s economic self-sufficiency through applied or industry research.
  • Support AIMS alumni who are interested in applied or industry research within the mathematical sciences and its application.
  • Support AIMS alumni who are conducting research in their home countries and enable them to advance this research.
  • Support AIMS alumni wanting to return to their home institutions to advance their research interest but lack the start-up research funds.
  • Provide opportunities for AIMS alumni to interact with academia, industry, local communities, and government through applied research.
  • Foster existing and new collaborations between AIMS alumni and the AIMS network through joint collaborative research at an AIMS Centre and in partnership with other institutions.
  • Initiate or enhance research activities at AIMS Centres through short-term research visits by the grantee to the Centre.
  • Promote research collaboration between AIMS Centres.

Eligible projects

Awards can be used to support any of the following:

  1. Projects or activities within the mathematical sciences and its applications with a duration of at most 24 months
  2. Applied Post-doctorate research within the mathematical sciences and its applications
  3. Industry-related research activities including industry research internships
  4. AIMS alumni wanting to strengthen the capacity of their existing research group or wanting to set-up a research team through the co-supervision/supervision of students within the mathematical sciences and its applications.

MSc or PhD students must highlight special activities in their research program which merits funding. Such special components could include:

  • Research exchange visit to a partner institution and what makes this visit unique
  • Strong interaction with industry for an internship  or to collect data
  • Strong interaction with a non-academic institution for knowledge transfer/sharing

Grants of $1 000 and up to $20 000 can be requested. This should include the cost of travelling to, and living at the AIMS Centre. However, AIMS-NEI reserves the right to decide on the final amounts that will be allocated to successful applicants.

Awards are tenable at any university/industrial institutions. Grantees will, however, be expected to spend at least 10% of their research time at an AIMS Centre of their choice subject to approval by the AIMS Centre. AIMS-NEI reserves the right to give priority to applicants who choose to be affiliated with “developing AIMS Centres” (Centres that are less than 6-years old – AIMS-Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania and Sénégal). Additionally priority will also be given to applicants who are interested in working collaboratively with a senior supervisor/researcher at an AIMS Research Centre, and are willing to promote cross-Centre collaboration.

What cannot be funded

  • Applications for bursaries or scholarships

Requirements for applicants

Project category 1: Main researchers (who will be supervised on projects) must satisfy the following: 

  • The applicant must be an AIMS graduate or aspire to graduate from AIMS before the 30th of either June or December.
  • The applicant must be affiliated with a senior researcher willing to act as the supervisor or co-supervisor on the project.
  • The research proposal must fall within the mathematical sciences and its applications, be innovative and relevant to Africa’s development.
  • Grants are tenable at any research institution/industrial institution however; applicants must be willing to spend at least 10% of their research time at the AIMS Research Centre.
  • The applicant should have been accepted or admitted into a program at the collaborating institution.
  • Collaborators on the project must be willing to co-author research findings with the AIMS Centre and acknowledge the AASRG from AIMS appropriately. However, this does not imply the student’s degree will be awarded jointly with AIMS if the collaborator is not professionally affiliated to AIMS.
  • The applicant must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership qualities, a passion for Africa, and the potential to become a destiny changer in the chosen field.

Project category 2: Principal investigator/co-investigator (who will supervise or co-supervise projects) must satisfy the following: 

  • The main applicant (person supervising/co-supervising) must be an AIMS graduate and hold a PhD degree.
  • Have the capacity/approval to act as a supervisor or co-supervisor to junior researchers.
  • Be based in Africa or plan to work collaboratively with a tertiary research institution/industrial institution in Africa.
  • The proposed project must be either applied/interdisciplinary or industry-related research within the mathematical sciences and its application.
  • This grant should not constitute the applicant’s main source of funding, except in very extraordinary cases.
  • The alumna/alumnus must act either as the principal investigator or co-supervisor on the project.
  • Either the research student(s) or the applicant must be willing to spend at least 10% of their research time at the AIMS Centre.
  • Collaborators on the project must be willing to co-author research findings with the AIMS Centre and acknowledge the AASRG from AIMS appropriately.
  • Both the applicant and the research student(s) must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership qualities, a passion for Africa’s development, and the potential to be a destiny changer in the chosen field.

Application package

Applicants should submit the following six (6) documents listed below as attachments in a single email. Files exceeding 2MB should be zipped prior to submission. Submitting different files in multiple emails might delay the review of your application. Your application package should be emailed to asrg@nexteinstein.org with the subject line: “Applicant’s names-AASRG2014” e.g. “JohnJake-AASRG2014”.

  1. The Application Form which should include information about the research proposal and the projected budget (maximum 15 pages, 1.15 point spacing, 12 points, Times font).
  2. A cover letter clearly stating your vision of the proposed research project, your future research or career plans, and how this aligns with the vision of AIMS (two-A4 pages).
  3. Curriculum vitae that include a list of publications and awards, your scientific and/or technical contributions to your academic discipline, and names of three referees.
  4. A copy of your most recent academic transcript.
  5. Reprints of your two key publications.
  6. An acceptance or admission or employment letter from the collaborating supervisor or institution.

Applicants will be required to initially discuss with the AIMS Centres their interest in spending some of their research time at the Centre and the possible cost implications for budgeting purposes. During the final review phase, a letter of approval will be requested directly by the grant selection panel, from the AIMS Centre, on behalf of the shortlisted candidates, before a final selection is made.

The applicant must ensure that the following documents are e-mailed directly to asrg@nexteinstein.org by either the referees or the host supervisor:

  • Three confidential reference letters, one of which should come from a previous or current supervisor.
  • A signed letter of collaboration  from the collaborating institution or industry (if applicable) disclosing other resources that are available to the candidate to supplement the requested funds.

Instructions for Grantees

  • Grantees should use the Progress Report to submit progress reports per their grant agreement
  • Grantees should use the Bank details form to submit their bank details
  • At the end of their Grant period, grantees are required to submit a final 2-3 page report highlighting their achievements, results obtained and future aspirations. This report should be accompanied by a completed and signed Progress Report which should capture a complete summary of all their activities and achievements from the time the grant was awarded until the end period of the grant.

Kindly note that grantees will receive periodic payments, which will be initiated upon the receipt of satisfactory progress reports.

For additional information please click on the links below:

Grant Allocation and Reporting Process

AIMS Alumni Small Research Grant Information for Supervisors

Review Process

AIMS Alumni Small Research Activities at AIMS Centres for Grantees 2015