CIMPA’s international activities in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic

CIMPA’s international activities in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic


The Centre International de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées (CIMPA), founded in France in 1978, is a nonprofit organization that promotes research in Mathematics in developing countries. Located in Nice, it is a UNESCO Category 2 organization. It benefits from the financial support of France, Norway, Spain and Switzerland.

CIMPA is one of the most active and efficient institutions organized by mathematicians to support students and other mathematicians in developing countries. 

CIMPA co-organizes and sponsors numerous activities in developing countries, in all continents. Each activity is funded through a process of calls for proposals concerning:

  • CIMPA Schools: This is the historical activity of CIMPA; it focuses on areas where there is a real drive to develop mathematics and where there is scope for a research project. Calls for proposals are launched every year to organize about twenty CIMPA Schools per year.
  • CIMPA Courses: This program consists in funding the organization of master and research level courses in mathematics within the geographic areas of activities of CIMPA (Africa, Central and South America, Asia). Every year, two calls for proposals are launched with deadlines in early January and early July. 
  • CIMPA Fellowships: CIMPA funds the participation of young mathematicians from developing countries to short-term thematic international programs organized by some of our partner institutions. A call for applications is opened for each program. 

ICIAM is an institutional member of CIMPA, and it supports some of its activities by funding the participation of researchers from developing countries to some of its schools, within the framework of ICIAM’s  conference support. Moreover, there is always an ICIAM representative in the General Assemblies of CIMPA, and there is a clear desire for interaction between the two institutions.

One could wonder what happened to CIMPA’s activities in 2020 and 2021, since most of them became impossible in the current health-pandemic situation.  To lose the impact CIMPA has in the development of mathematics in so many countries of the world would have been such a shame, and indeed, CIMPA reacted very well, and as soon as it was possible, it transformed some of its activities into online events and courses.  Also, a new activity has emerged, that could stay forever as a very useful tool for developing countries:  a new program of CIMPA online courses, which are recorded at CIMPA’s headquarters, in Nice. Unfortunately, some of its schools, and other schools in partnership, had to be postponed and they have been rescheduled.

CIMPA is a wonderful institution, extremely dynamic, and relying on a group of very devoted mathematicians who do not ask for compensation for their efforts to make its extensive list of activities possible. CIMPA has institutional members, like ICIAM, but also some individual members that have or have had some link with its activities and have interest in CIMPA’s goals. The General Assembly is the organ deciding about individual membership upon individual application supported by some individual members.

Are you interested in knowing more about CIMPA? Spend some minutes navigating through its website and learn about the excellent list of events and courses they organize and fund:

Maria J. Esteban, Past-President of ICIAM and individual member of CIMPA








Maria J. Esteban

Maria J. Esteban is a senior researcher at CNRS and works at the University Paris-Dauphine. Her research area includes nonlinear partial differential equations, especially variational methods. Her term as President of ICIAM ended October 1, 2019.