Africa Mathematics Project

The Africa Mathematics Project (AMP) of the Simons Foundation invites applications for grants to support mathematical activities in Africa, including research of faculty at African universities, the training of graduate students, and the organization of international exchanges and conferences.

Deadline for submission of proposals is August 31, 2016 at 11:59:59 PM EST. Notification of awards is planned for on or about July 1, 2017.

Level and Duration of Funding: Each AMP award will receive 90,000 USD per year for up to five years, which includes 20 percent for indirect costs (overhead) to the awardee’s institution. Continued support after the first three years will be contingent on the ongoing evaluation of the project.

Allowable Expenses:

  • Graduate training (tuition, stipends, benefits, housing, etc.).
  • Salary supplements for faculty for research and for mentoring of Ph.D. and master’s degree students. Salary supplements should not exceed 40 percent of the annual grant total during any year of the grant and should be justified on the basis of an explicitly stated percentage of released time from other professional duties.
  • Domestic or international travel for project investigators per the institution’s travel policies (i.e., travel to conferences or to collaborate).
  • Stipends and expenses (travel, lodging and meals) for visiting faculty and students.
  • Research equipment (including maintenance and servicing), supplies, and other expenses directly related to the project, including computers, computer support, professional literature and publication expenses.
  • Secretariat office expenses (these expenses should not exceed 10 percent of the annual grant amount).
  • Other expenses related to the support and administration of the project (i.e., publicity and web design).

Indirect costs are limited to 20 percent of the modified total direct costs, with the following exceptions being disallowed expenses: equipment, tuition, and any subcontracts with budgets that include indirect expenses. Indirect costs paid to a subcontractor may not exceed 20 percent of the direct costs paid to the subcontractor. Indirect costs on equipment costing up to $5,000 are permissible.

Expenditures in other expense categories may be possible but must be approved in advance by the foundation.

Institution Requirements: Proposals must be submitted by applicants employed at an accredited institution of higher education within the African continent.

Academic Director Requirements: Each project will designate an academic director, based at one of the participating universities, to provide overall guidance for and coordination of the project’s training and research activities. The academic director must have a Ph.D. and a tenure-track or tenured position, be a leader and motivator, a practicing scientist with stature in the academic community, and have strong management skills. He or she will serve as principal investigator/lead researcher for the AMP proposal and will be responsible for preparing annual reports and assessments of the network’s operations.

Investigator Requirements: Each co-investigator must have a Ph.D. and a tenure-track or tenured position, or be a professor emeritus, at one of the participating universities. All participating PIs, including sub-contract PIs, must be at African universities.

Review Criteria: Selection will be conducted through a peer-reviewed process. The primary selection criteria will be scientific merit, training capacity and the quality of research activities. Evidence of institutional support, networking and potential for sustainability will also be important.

Reporting Requirements: A yearly progress report and financial statement will be required no later than 60 days following the end of each grant period. A determination regarding the renewal of the award for the last two years will be made based on the years one and two progress reports.

Institutional Official Requirements: Each proposal must designate a signing official and financial officer who will be responsible as follows:

  • A signing official (SO) has institutional authority to legally bind the institution in grants administration matters. The individual fulfilling this role may have any number of titles in the grantee organization. The SO is responsible for the proper administration of the grant including, but not limited to, overseeing the submission of the grant activation agreement and progress reports. Additionally, the SO is required to certify that all information submitted is accurate, that the terms of the award are acceptable, and that the institution will comply with all applicable laws and Simons Foundation policies. For most institutions, the SO is located in its Office of Sponsored Research or equivalent.
  • The financial officer (FO) is responsible for the proper accounting of grant funds. The individual fulfilling this role may have any number of titles in the grantee organization, including secretariat. In this role, the individual is required to complete the required annual financial statements, as well as any budgets, and are required to submit any changes to the payment information as needed. Additionally, the FO is required to certify that all information submitted is accurate, that the terms of the award are acceptable, and that the institution will comply with all applicable laws and Simons Foundation policies.

Number of Awards: The foundation anticipates awarding five sites to start no earlier than September 2017. All awards must start by May 1, 2018.

Current AMP awardees that would like to receive additional funding to start May 1, 2018, after the completion of their current award, should submit an application for this request.

How to Apply: Applicants may apply through proposalCENTRAL ( beginning May 2, 2016. The deadline to apply is August 31, 2016, at 11:59:59 PM EST.

Please coordinate submission of the proposal with the appropriate officials in accordance with institution policies. Please refer to the Application Instructions for further information on and requirements for submitting an application.

Application Requirements Include:

  • Concept Narrative (15-page limit, plus up to two pages for references and figures): The first page should state the overall goals of the project, followed by a succinct and focused statement describing two or three main objectives and a short description of its operation. The remaining pages should be a focused narrative containing the following required elements:

    • Identification of a single mathematical area that is to be the principal focus of the proposed research and postgraduate training. Explanation of how any proposed research and training in other (related) areas serves the main research and training goals of the project. If more than one research group or mathematical area is listed, care must be taken to fully justify a close relationship with the common focus of the proposed research. The inclusion of researchers, however distinguished, whose work is not directly supportive of and closely related to the central research focus is discouraged.
    • Detailed research and training plan to be carried out over a five-year period together with its rationale, including the identification of the individual(s) primarily responsible for each aspect of the work.
    • Program outline and projected timeline for studies of participating graduate students.
    • Estimated outcomes:

      • Research deliverables (e.g., approximate number of publications in international journals expected).
      • Training deliverables (e.g., approximate number of Ph.D. and master’s degrees expected).
    • A networking plan for contact with other centers or projects on the continent that have compatible mathematical interests and objectives.
    • A detailed plan for an efficient and transparent system for budget administration, disbursement and reporting.
    • Additionally, the following elements are strongly suggested to be incorporated:

      • Identification of international research partner(s),
      • Project participation in an existing mathematical research network with a compatible mathematical focus,
      • A plan for sustainability of the project through an additional five-year period, and
      • A plan for incorporating women mathematicians in the project and/or identifying and nurturing female mathematical talent.
  • Resources & Research Environment Capacity: Describe the individual, group and institutional capacity for carrying out the proposed research and training. (The group may include several universities in the region.) Specify the facilities to be used for the conduct of the proposed research. Indicate the project sites and describe capacities, pertinent capabilities, relative proximity and extent of availability to the project.
  • Five-Year Budget: To be entered directly in the application, itemized for each of the allowable expense categories of funding noted above. The maximum cost allowed per year is 90,000 USD and the total maximum cost for five years should not exceed 450,000 USD.
  • Budget Justification: An explanation of budget categories, which should also indicate additional sources of financial or in-kind support for the project (three-page limit).
  • Curriculum vitae for the applicant/academic director and all co-investigators to be funded under the project; each CV must include at least Ph.D. year, institution and advisor, and positions held, and should focus on education, positions, activities and publications relevant to the proposed research (three-page limit).
  • An official signed letter of support from the vice-chancellor of the applicant/academic director’s The letter should include a commitment of in-kind matching support from the institution (e.g., classroom or office space, reliable Internet connectivity, conference hosting and support).
  • A list of academic institutions and principal collaborators participating in grant activities.
  • A list of current or pending research support for the applicant/academic director and all co-investigators to be funded under the project.
  • The Simons Foundation requires an equivalency determination letter from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stating exemption under 501(c)(3) and, furthermore, either a 509(a)(1), (2), or (3) classification. If an international institution is selected for funding and does not have the aforementioned documentation, the foundation will require that the institution complete an equivalency determination with NGOsource (see MPS policies) prior to award activation. The foundation will handle all administrative and financial aspects of this determination.

Important Dates:

Application Available Application Deadline Notification Award Start Date
May 2, 2016 August 31, 2016 July 1, 2017 No earlier than September 1, 2017

Contact Information:
amp(replace this with the @ sign)

Elizabeth Roy
Senior Program Manager
Mathematics and the Physical Sciences
eroy(replace this with the @ sign)

Further Information: