Fully-funded The Abel Visiting Scholar Program PhD in Mathematics by the International Mathematical Union(IMU) and The Commission for Developing Countries (CDC) in Germany, 2024

Written by catherine.caoile on August 4, 2023

4 min read

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Scholarship details

  • Area of study

  • Country of the Scholarship

  • Scholarship Valid Until (Year)

  • Type of scholarship

    Ph.D. scholarship
  • Scholarship amount given

    > 12000
  • Type of scholarship administrator

    Private sponsor
  • Mode of scholarship (Online/Offline)

  • Applier's country

  • Expenses covered

    Monthly subsistence allowance, Travel and visa costs, Insurance, Tuition fees
  • Scholarship Contact Details

The Abel Visiting Scholar Program aims to support mathematicians based in developing countries by providing them with the opportunity to collaborate with international researchers for one month. If the visit extends beyond one month, applicants must demonstrate financial backing from the host institution to cover living expenses for the additional duration.

This program primarily targets post-doctoral mathematicians in the early stages of their professional careers. It offers a valuable chance for a “research sabbatical,” which complements their teaching and other academic responsibilities, allowing them to maintain a sustainable research program.

Funded entirely by the prestigious Abel Prize in Mathematics, the Abel Visiting Scholar Program is under the administration of the Commission for Developing Countries of the International Mathematical Union. Generally, there are up to three grants available per year.


Source: International Mathematical Union(CDC)

Scholarship Providers: The Commission for Developing Countries (CDC) 

The Commission for Developing Countries (CDC) was founded in 2011 as part of the International Mathematical Union (IMU). For several decades, the IMU has been actively engaged in fostering collaboration with and providing assistance to mathematical institutions and mathematicians in developing countries. The support initiatives encompass research travel grants, conference funding, volunteer lectures, collaborative research projects, and donations. In the past, these endeavors were overseen by the IMU’s Commission for Development and Exchanges (CDE) and the Developing Countries Strategy Group (DCSG).

In the past decade, the International Mathematical Union (IMU) has significantly intensified its focus on addressing the mathematical needs of developing and economically disadvantaged countries. As part of this enhanced commitment, in August 2009, IMU and its affiliated organizations decided to merge the Commission for Development and Exchanges (CDE) and the Developing Countries Strategy Group (DCSG) into a single commission, named the Commission for Developing Countries (CDC).

CDC is dedicated to supporting all endeavors that promote mathematics in the developing world. It recognizes the immense reservoir of untapped mathematical talent in these regions. Students’ eagerness to learn mathematics and pursue careers in the field is on the rise. However, the economic resources available to support advanced mathematics studies and exceptional students remain significantly inadequate. The Commission for Developing Countries (CDC) provides various scholarship schemes aimed at supporting students in developing countries to pursue graduate studies in the mathematical sciences, leading to Master’s or PhD degrees.

Through these scholarship schemes and project initiatives, the CDC is committed to fostering a thriving mathematical ecosystem in developing nations and empowering individuals to contribute significantly to the field’s progress and application.

Scholarship Summary

  • Applicant’s Nationality: Developing Countries
  • Degree Level: PhD
  • Fields: Mathematics
  • Number of Awards: 3
  • Scholarship Country: Germany
  • Scholarship Awards: Fully-funded
  • Renewable: NA
  • Offered Annually: Yes
  • Duration: One Month

Scholarship Eligibility 

Before proceeding with the application the students must meet the eligibility criteria of the program.

  • Hold a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the time of application.
  • Be currently based in a developing country, as defined by IMU.
  • Hold a position in a university or research institution.
  • The applicants must be in the early stages of their professional careers, meeting the following criteria:
    • Not yet hold a full professorial rank but have a working contract in a university or college.
    • Be under 35 years of age at the time of the application deadline.

Important Note

Applicants who have experienced a broken career pattern may be eligible for an age extension of up to three years. Such instances should be clearly mentioned in the application, along with the reasons for the career interruption. Additionally, the program strongly encourages applications from women mathematicians to promote gender diversity and inclusivity in the selection process.

Selection Criteria 

The selection criteria for the scholarship awards wil be based on the quality of the project and the added benefit value of the candidate’s home country and institution.

Application Process 

All completed applications must be submitted in an online portal provided by the CDC.

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the applicant and host, providing a list of recent publications (maximum 3 pages each).
  • Research statement, explaining your research project and listing the mathematicians with whom you plan to collaborate. Prior research contact with the proposed international partners is advantageous, and evidence of prior collaboration will be considered positively. The collaboration should take place at the international partner’s home institution.
  • Official Invitation Offer from the institution of the International Research partners.
  • Letter of recommendation – If the letter of recommendation is not from the international research partner (the host), please include a statement from the host endorsing your research plan.
  • Ph.D. Certificate Copy
  • Statement coming from the current employer, stating your position and status must be signed and stamped. The statement should also include the duration of employment.
  • Applicants photograph
  • Budget estimation using the Tentative Budget Form.
  • In cases where the research visit may extend to longer than a month, the candidates must attach proof of matching funds.

It is important to compile all required documents in an ePDF file to be uploaded to the online application portal. Incomplete applications by the deadline will not be considered for evaluation. All applications are encouraged to be submitted at least two weeks before the deadline.


  • The grant covers up to 4,400 EUR (5,000 Dollars) for one month, limited to the applicant only.
  • Travel costs from the scholar’s workplace to the host’s location, with economy-class airfare.
  • All flight costs will be reimbursed.
  • (Public) transport costs by rail or bus between the nearest airport and the candidate’s headquarters or host institution may be covered, with up to four taxi fares allowed for travel between home and airport/railway station (arrival and departure).
  • If the scholars will stay in the hotel before departure or upon arrival, the budget must be for one night only.
  • Travel and visa coverage
  • Insurance
  • Living allowance
  • Accommodation cost

Application Deadline 

The deadline to complete and submit the application or the next scholar visit is until August 31, 20203. The next visit application deadline will be December 31, 2023.

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