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Volunteer Lecturer Program

The Volunteer Lecturer Program of the IMU Commission for Developing Countries was established in 2008. It is designed to foster research and international cooperation between mathematicians in developing countries and the international mathematical community by providing financial assistance to universities in developing countries to host a volunteer lecturer for an intensive course. This program is partially funded by the American Mathematical Society and the Niels Henrik Abel Board (Norway)

    Purpose and Requirements

    The purpose of the program is to provide funding for the organization of courses given by external lecturers of the following types:

    •  (C1) Courses that are part of a regular mathematics undergraduate or master degree program at the hosting university on topics where the applicant university has a lack of expertise
    • (C2) Courses at doctoral level which can be beneficial to PhD students and researchers of one or several research institutions

    The proposed lecturer for the course can be freely chosen by the applicant or selected from the database of Volunteer Lecturer Database maintained by the CDC. 

    The course must fulfill the following requirements:

    • The course must take place in an institution of a developing country (for the list of developing countries according to CDC click here)
    • A course of type (C1) must be an integral component of a regular mathematics degree program at the host university and include examination
    • In the case of a course of type (C2), the applicant must describe the relevance of the project and the expected outcome.
    • The course must last at least 10 working days and include at least 20 hours of teaching (including training sessions)
    • A substantial enrollment for the course must be guaranteed (at least 15 students for a (C1) course and 10 participants for a (C2) course)

    The Host Institution is responsible for organizing the course throughout the activity, it:

    • decides the course content and guides the volunteer towards desired syllabus
    • schedules the course and assists when necessary during the course
    • coordinates living arrangements and local transportation for the volunteer lecturer
    • prepares the students for the course beforehand
    • helps with student mentoring and assessment and takes care of any necessary follow up

    The Host Institution is also required to fill out a report form after the visit of the volunteer.



    The funding provided by the Volunteer Lecturer Program can be used to cover the following costs:

    • Travel expenses of the lecturer (economic flight, bus, train cost)
    • Visa, travel health insurance, vaccination for the lecturer
    • Accommodation (we suggest a guest house if possible)
    • Basic living cost for the time of the course (daily allowance based on living cost of the visiting country/city, see here). 

    The accommodation cost and the basic living cost will be covered only under exceptional circumstances. Usually only the flight cost are covered by CDC.
    We encourage the applicants to request a funding to their institution to cover those costs prior to submitting their application to CDC. 

    How to Apply

    Only host institutions can apply for a grant. Applications can be made by following the steps described here.


    The next deadlines for mathematics institutions in developing countries to apply for participation in the Volunteer Lecturer Program are: 

    • September 1, 2023 for courses to be held between March 1, 2024 and March 1, 2025
    • December 1, 2023 for courses to be held between June, 2024 and June 1, 2025
    • March 15, 2024 for courses to be held between August 15, 2024 and August 15, 2025
    • June 1, 2024 for courses to be held between December 1, 2024 and December 1, 2025

    Volunteer Lecturer Database

    The CDC maintains the Volunteer Lecturer Database, a database of the mathematicians interested in volunteering. IIt includes the mathematician's curriculum vitae (CV), the areas of focus in mathematics in which they are prepared to teach, language abilities, as well as previous experience.

    You need to log in here, to see the Volunteer Lecturer Database. If you are not yet registered on the IMU website, please register first here.

    Lecturers interested to participate in the program, should read the guidelines for lecturers and register here.

    If you experience problems, please contact