German Research Chair at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Senegal

Applications Open

Strengthen mathematical higher education and research in Africa

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is announcing a research chair, under the programme financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) entitled “German Research Chairs”, at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Mbour, Senegal.

The research chair is designed to help strengthen mathematical higher education and research in Africa, promote networking between AIMS Senegal and German higher education institutions and support networking amongst the various AIMS centres in Africa.

AIMS Senegal is part of the AIMS-Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI), which seeks to establish a coordinated network of supra-regional centres of excellence in Africa. Further AIMS centres are located in South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda and Cameroon.

The chairholder will simultaneously be affiliated with a university in Senegal.

For more information please see the AIMS Senegal programme information.

A presentation of the AIMS Centre Senegal and a cooperation agreement with AIMS Senegal and the University of Dakar are still in progress and will be published here soon.

What we offer

The research chair will receive funding of up to 835,000 euros for initially six years. This money may be used to cover

  • the salary attached to the research chair, to be determined depending on your career stage
  • relocation costs
  • research stays in Germany
  • participation in conferences in Rwanda and abroad
  • expenses for organising workshops and conferences at the AIMS centre
  • specialist literature, equipment and expendable materials at the AIMS centre

For more information please see the Regulations on the use of funds (PDF).

We moreover offer access to a wide range of alumni sponsorship measures throughout your professional career, for example, to help you maintain and expand contacts to collaborative partners in Germany.

Once you have taken up post, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will provide you with further funding for establishing your group (PhD students, Postdocs), cooperating with German higher education institutions and supporting networking among AIMS centres mobility.

You must meet the following criteria

We invite you to apply for the German Research Chair in “Mathematics and its Applications” at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Senegal if you

  • have completed your doctorate and established an internationally outstanding research record in mathematics and its applications
  • have several years of experience in research, teaching, and supervising students and, ideally, doctoral candidates
  • conduct application-relevant research into topics with the potential to contribute to the development of the African continent
  • would like to initiate academic collaborations with colleagues at German higher education institutions
  • are willing to relocate to, live and work in Senegal for the duration of the funding period

Please see the programme information for the full application requirements. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation explicitly welcomes applications from qualified female academics.

How to apply

You may only apply online. When filling in the online application form, please observe the guidelines for completing the application and the information on the required documents. Further information and advice important for your application can be found in the FAQ.

If you are uncertain, we will be happy to advise you any time: GermanResearchChairs[at]

Personal consultation via video call is possible upon request.

The application deadline is 1 April 2022.

The selection procedure

An independent Selection Committee that also includes representatives of AIMS Senegal and AIMS-NEI  will select the appointee to the research chair based on an independent peer review.  In a  pre-selection process, suitable candidates will be determined who will be invited to Senegal in the autumn of 2022 to present their work. We will inform applicants of the outcome immediately after the Selection Committee has made its choice.


The Humboldt Foundation expects applicants and funding recipients to abide by the Rules of Good Scientific Practice (PDF) and the Principles of Ethics in Science.


Preparation / Planning

What position is envisaged for German Research Chairs at an AIMS Centre?

Chairholders conduct research independently and largely unencumbered by administrative constraints as the head of a research group.  Research should clearly be the focus of their activities. Administrative tasks and teaching should not comprise more than 20 per cent of their work.

What should the collaboration with the cooperating university in Africa look like?

The chair’s affiliation with a university at the location of the AIMS Centre offers an excellent opportunity for networking with specialist colleagues there. The main features of the collaboration are laid down in the agreement between the Humboldt Foundation, the AIMS Centre and the cooperating university. The chairholder and the university are responsible for further developing the collaboration. They jointly determine the level and type of collaboration.

How do I find a collaborative partner in Germany?

You are free to choose your collaborative partner in Germany. The Humboldt Foundation cannot directly help you with your search. We can however refer you to the following search portals for research institutions in Germany:

Application documents

Will you confirm receipt of my application?

The receipt of your application will be confirmed by an automatically generated e-mail message. After checking your application, we will inform you whether we need additional information or documents from you. This can take several weeks.

Can I hand in additional documents after submitting my application?

Please do not submit an incomplete application! We unfortunately have to reject incomplete applications. However, in exceptional cases – and only after consultation with the Humboldt Foundation – it is possible to submit individual documents after having submitted your application.

Why do I have to enter the particulars of my training and career in the form when I also attach a complete CV?

The large number of applications we receive requires us to facilitate the work of the selection committee. This means we have to prepare the application documents in such a way that all members of the selection committee can quickly orientate themselves. Being able to find a specific piece of information in the same place in the same format is therefore crucial. For this reason, we request applicants to include a complete chronological resumé in the application form. To ensure ease of reference, please enter only those guest stays abroad that lasted at least three months and use the full name of the host institutions.

May I include articles that have not yet been submitted for publication in my list of key publications and in the full list of my publications?

No. Please list only those publications that have already been published, have been accepted for publication or have been submitted for publication. Please attach the publisher’s confirmation of receipt/acceptance for those articles that have not yet been published.

Can the statement from my collaborative partner in Germany also serve as an expert review?

No, collaborative partners can issue only one statement in this capacity; their statements should follow the list of questions that have been provided for this purpose. This list also contains questions regarding your collaboration plans.

Application documents: Financial plan

How do I prepare a financial plan?

You can access the necessary information and pointers for drawing up your financial plan by clicking on the “Hint” button in the online application form.  You will find all the instructions provided for drafting the financial plan gathered together in this overview. Your financial plan will be reviewed for appropriateness and plausibility in the peer review.

I am not familiar with the AIMS Centre. How can I prepare a realistic financial plan?

Generous funding is available for you to establish your chair at the AIMS Centre. Please draw up a financial plan to the best of your ability and provide a conclusive explanation of your plans. Ideally, the financial plan will supplement your comments on the concept behind the design of the chair. Please note:  The maximum limits for the individual expenditure categories may not be exceeded. The financial plan you submit is binding. The total amount of funding you requested therefore cannot be increased during the respective funding period.

We are well aware that you are not acquainted with the conditions at the AIMS Centre. Should it become clear after you have taken up your position that parts of your financing plan must be amended, this is possible within certain limits? The Regulations on the Use of Funds allow for redistributing up to 20 per cent between the spending categories without prior consultation with the Humboldt Foundation. Changes that go beyond this are possible after receipt of the Humboldt Foundation’s prior written consent.

How is my salary determined?

During the selection procedure, the committee consults on the amount of the salary for the successful candidate and makes a non-binding recommendation that takes the individual’s career stage into account. The final salary is then set by the AIMS Centre on the basis of these recommendations. The maximum possible amount of €85,000 per year is orientated to the career stage of an experienced full professor.

How much time should I plan for research stays in Germany?

Research collaboration between AIMS and specialist colleagues in Germany is an important part of the sponsorship. In general, chairholders spend two to three months a year in Germany. Most of them develop additional collaborations with other specialist colleagues in Germany during the course of their sponsorship. Please note that the DAAD provides additional funding for collaboration with German universities.

How should I calculate the cost of stays in Germany? Can I estimate the maximum amount when I don’t stay an entire month in Germany?

You can allow for a maximum of €3000 per month – in addition to the cost of your flight – for your stay in Germany. This amount should cover your costs for accommodation, meals and possible travel in Germany. Should you remain less than one month in Germany, you can estimate a daily allowance of €100 for each day of your stay.

Can my doctoral students accompany me to Germany? Can I use funds provided by the Humboldt Foundation for this?

You may not use the funds provided by the Humboldt Foundation to finance a research stay for your doctoral students. However, DAAD funds may be used for this as a rule.

How can I use the funding for conducting workshops and conferences at AIMS?

This funding is provided with the aim of promoting the chair’s scientific exchange at various levels and with various players. You can use it to organise and conduct regional workshops as well as international conferences. Within this framework, you can also apply to extend invitations to individual researchers and for funding to initiate collaboration with the industry.

How can I make the best use of the material resources being provided? Will the AIMS Centre provide the basic facilities for the chair?

The AIMS Centre will provide office space for the chair and will ensure that maintenance is provided. General office equipment and infrastructure (electricity, internet access, furniture, etc.) will also be provided by the AIMS Centre. To further equip the chair, you can apply for office materials, technical equipment (computers, printers, beamers, servers, software licences) and specialist literature when making your application. Please note that all equipment worth more than €800 becomes the property of the AIMS Centre. This also applies to laptops that have been purchased for your doctoral students.

Accompanying support provided by the DAAD

What do the accompanying measures that the DAAD provides for the German Research Chair consist of?

To flank the funding provided by the Humboldt Foundation, the DAAD generally provides up to four fellowships for doctoral candidates and postdocs so that you can establish your working group at the AIMS Centre. In addition, the DAAD provides funding for collaborations between AIMS and German universities/research institutions in which the implementation of joint research projects play a central role. A list of university collaborations that have been sponsored to date is available on the DAAD website.

How can I help ensure that the DAAD’s accompanying measures are put to the most effective use?

The DAAD advertises university collaborations and fellowships in the framework of its programmes. However, it can move into action only after the Humboldt Foundation has selected a candidate. Newly appointed chairholders should contact the DAAD as soon as possible after accepting their appointment in order to receive additional information and coordinate further action.
Get involved in the process by actively spreading the word about the call for applications. Do you already know a candidate who you think would be suitable for a postdoc or doctoral fellowship? Do you have potential partners in Germany already in mind with whom you would like to conduct research? Then actively draw their attention to the call for applications. Of course, your Humboldt collaborative partner in Germany can also apply for DAAD funding.

What does DAAD sponsorship include in detail?

In addition to providing fellowships, the DAAD can fund the following activities in the framework of University Cooperations:

  • Personnel resources for conducting and supporting projects at the respective German university
  • Study and teaching visits and research stays undertaken by the collaborative partners at the respective partner institution (and other AIMS centres)
  • Participation in and hosting project-related events, specialist conferences and workshops (e.g. summer school, field-specific training measures, networking and working meetings, coordination meetings, excursions)
  • Travel and stays for the above activities
  • Development of digital formats to support the above measures

The project funds are administered by the university collaboration partners in Germany.

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