German Research Chair “Mathematics and its Applications” at AIMS

For whom
mathematicians holding a doctoral degree
From where
all countries
For what
funding of up to € 835,000 research stay in foreign countries
Mouhamed Moustapha Fall: ehemaliger Humboldt-Forschungsstipendiat und Inhaber des deutschen Forschungslehrstuhls am AIMS in Senegal vor einer Tafel mit mathematischen Formeln

The closing date for applications has passed. We are no longer accepting applications for the German Research Chair in “Mathematics and its Applications” at AIMS South Africa.

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 Muizenberg, South Africa.

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

AIMS South Africa 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 Senegal, Ghana, Rwanda and Cameroon.

The chair holder will simultaneously be affiliated to a university in South Africa.

For more information please see the following documents.

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 national and international conferences
  • 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 to support 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 South Africa 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 South Africa 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 required documents. Further information and advice important for your application can be found in the FAQ (at the bottom of this page).

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 15 May 2023.

The selection procedure

An independent Selection Committee that also includes representatives of AIMS South Africa 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 South Africa in the autumn of 2023 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.


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 percent of their work.

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 will be in an 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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

You can access 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.

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 percent 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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 industry.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This programme is financed by

Collaborative partners

All awards and grants