IMU Breakout Graduate Fellowship in Mathematics

Thanks to a generous donation by the winners of the Breakthrough Prizes in Mathematics – Ian Agol, Simon Donaldson, Maxim Kontsevich, Jacob Lurie, Terence Tao and Richard Taylor– the International Mathematical Union, with the assistance of FIMU and TWAS is launching a fellowship program to support postgraduate studies, in a developing country (including India), leading to a PhD degree in the mathematical sciences.

Professional mathematicians are invited to nominate highly motivated and mathematically talented students from developing countries who plan to complete a doctoral degree in a developing country, including their own home country. Nominees must have a consistently good academic record from the high school level and must be seriously interested in pursuing a career of research and teaching in mathematics.

It is the hope of the donors, the IMU, FIMU and TWAS that the fellowship allows students to study in centres of excellence in the developing world, and helps educate the next generation of mathematicians and hopefully results in extended benefits to the home countries of those chosen for the fellowships.

Eligibility Conditions

The nomination form has to be filled out online and be submitted by the nominator. Students cannot apply themselves for the fellowship.

Paper applications are not accepted. Changes after submission are not possible.

Conditions for the Nominator (Professional Mathematician)

  • Professional mathematicians (including those who have superannuated, but continue to mentor young students). 
It is preferable that the nominator has been mentoring the nominee.

Conditions for the Nominee (Student)

  1. The student must be A) resident AND B) a citizen of a developing country which must be contained in the IMU list of Developing countries. See here
  2. The student must either
    • A) be pre-accepted to join a doctoral program in the first academic year after the time of selection in a university or research institution which is based in a developing country from the following list. See here OR
    • B) already be enrolled in a doctoral program in a university or research institution which is based on a developing country from the following list. See here.
  3. There is no age limit for the student.
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Nomination for women students is strongly encouraged.

*For a nomination to be eligible, the country of citizenship of the student, the country of residency and the country where the study will take place must be contained in the list of Developing Countries as defined by IMU for the period 2016 – 2019, those with GNI per capita in USD, not exceeding USD 11,000, in accordance with the United Nations data.

Expenses that can be covered by the fellowship 

The fellowship can cover the entire period of the doctoral program up to five years of the student (nominee). The following costs can be covered by the grant.

  1. Full tuition fee
  2. Accommodation expenses
  3. Travel expenses to the host institution (if different from the home country)
  4. Basic living expenses that will depend on the cost of the living of the country in which the student will study his/ her doctoral program

Fellowship Conditions

  1. The fellowship is incompatible with any other scholarship.
  2. The fellowship will be awarded starting from the time of selection Fellowship (i.e. without retrospective effect) in case of awardees already enrolled in a doctoral program, and from the time the awardee enrols in a recognized doctoral program otherwise.
  3. The fellowship will be sanctioned for one year at a time and is renewable annually, based on satisfactory progress of the awardee and will cease to be awarded when the awardee completes the doctoral program or at the end of five years, whichever is earlier.

Nomination/ Application Process

The nomination has to be filled out and submitted online by the nominator. The online nomination form can be found here.

Information to be filled out online (by the Nominator)

For an overview of the nomination form, please download the nomination form here. Please notice that application is not to be uploaded, but filled out on line and that paper applications can unfortunately NOT be accepted.

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Material to be uploaded during the process: (Only files in PDF format can be uploaded.)

  • Statement from nominator
  • Scanned copy of student (nominee) passport
  • Official letter of pre-acceptance in the PhD Programme
  • Budget of total expenses requested
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation which both cannot come from the nominator
  • Transcripts of coursework (certified copies (e.g. stamped by the university)) of the student
    • A) High school diploma
    • B) BSc degree or equivalent
    • C) MSc degree or equivalent
  • List of publications (if applicable) of the student
  • Nominee letter of motivation, research project and future plans of the student
  • Nominator declaration
  • Nominee (student) declaration

Both nominations and accompanying documentation must be submitted in English only. If the documentation furnished were incomplete the entry would not be accepted for consideration.


Application Deadline: 22 June 2016 09:00 AM Central European Time (CET, Berlin).

Questions before submitting the nomination

In case of questions, please go to

Selection Process

TWAS will administer this programme after submission of the application on behalf of IMU and will liaise with the awarded nominees with regards to their stipends and monitor the progress of the nominees during and after their PhD studies.

The selection will be done by the Breakout Fellowship Selection Committee.

Obligations of the Awardees

The awardees of the fellowship and their research supervisors will be asked to submit annual reports to TWAS and IMU.

All awardees will be asked, on the completion of the PhD programme, to submit a copy of the approved thesis and a final report on the work carried out to IMU and TWAS.

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