Centre International de Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées



Ministère Enseignement Supérieur et Recherche, France UNESCO
Universitè de Montpellier UNS
Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research

Accueil > Écoles de recherche > Feuille de route > Roadmap

How to prepare, run and evaluate a Research School ?

This document gives a broad outline on the procedures used by CIMPA.
Each CIMPA Research School has its specificities. The Director, the Scientific Officers (RS) and the administrative office of CIMPA contribute to the preparation and the success of each project.

Note that in case the main guidelines of the road map are not met, CIMPA may consider suspending or reporting the Research School.

This document covers the following points :

  • Preparation of the project
  • Before the Research School
  • During the Research School
  • After the Research School

Research Schools in applied mathematics or related to applications of mathematics are specially welcome.

Those in the most mathematically or economically deprived areas will be given priority.

It is preferable that a Research School does not coincide with a conference.

The safety and security of participants in our research schools is a matter of utmost importance to CIMPA. The Director and the Executive Committee regularly view the websites of the French, Spanish, Norwegian and Swiss foreign ministers. We draw up our programmes more than a year in advance and it does not make sense to take safety and security factors into account at that stage, except in certain exceptional circumstances. Indeed, the conditions may improve.

The Steering Committee has given the matter some consideration and if the formal ministerial advice on the websites is negative six months before the date of a research school, the Executive Committee will take the decision to cancel it. We realise that a good deal of preparation will have been carried out and that our colleagues will have already invested time and work in it. However, we cannot ignore these ministers’ advice. The alternative of a last minute cancellation would be much worse and we do our best to avoid this.


Acceptance or rejection of a school project is decided by the Steering Council based on recommendations of the Scientific Council.


  1. A CIMPA Research School is intended first and foremost for young mathematicians of the country in which it is held, and for those of countries nearby. The level is pre-Doc. or post-Doc. Women are especially encouraged to take part at all levels.
  2. It is held preferably in a place where mathematics are in the process of development, in order to support the structuring of mathematics in this place and to be of interest to young people there or in the vicinity.
  3. The subject of the Research School must correspond to preliminary local work. It must have a foreseeable development in the region.
  4. A CIMPA Research School is a training by and for research. A connection with teaching or research activities in the region where the school is held is desirable.
  5. It aims to develop exchanges and links between all participants.
  6. Any mathematician of any country can ask to take part.
  7. After each Research School, a scientific production in the form of notes of courses deposited on the Internet in a perennial way is welcome. A hard-copy edition by an editor is possible.
  8. A Web site of the Research School is essential, to be maintained by the organizers. It should specify the language used for each course.


  1. A project must be planned approximately two years in advance. It is possible to submit a pre-project between 1st of March and 15th of June of a year X. A final project needs to be submitted before 1st of October of year X, and then it is considered by the scientific committee (CS) and the Steering Council (StC). The results are known at the beginning of the year X+1, the Research School is held during the year X+2.
  2. Each Research School has two main scientific people in charge, one local and the other from a participant State to CIMPA (France, Spain, Norway or Switzerland). They can gather a team around them, which can include for instance initiators of the project from other States. The two main people in charge participate to the Research School from the beginning to its end. They are the interlocutors of CIMPA. Beginning in 2015 these two main people in charge should not be members of the Management Team, the Bureau or the Scientific Council. Taking into account gender balance among the organizers is encouraged.
  3. A Research School lasts two weeks or 10 days. Usually Wednesday afternoon are free. There are no scheduled scientific activities during the weekend to promote exchanges, thinking, studying and to rest. It is necessary that each day has not more than 6 hours of operation. The number of courses is mandatory between 4 and 6. Each presentation lasts 45 to 50 minutes or does not exceed one hour. Exercise sessions, or issues are organized.
  4. At least 3/4 of the time is reserved for courses and exercices sessions for young mathematicians.
  5. A Research School is not a Conference neither a Workshop. Talks of a higher level can take place, it is essential that the young mathematicians can follow them.
  6. Scientific and pedagogical considerations come first when selecting the course lecturers, who should be experienced mathematicians. Their work for CIMPA has to be voluntary, for the development. A counterpart is that they may build scientific links and networks, for two-side benefit. They are not in any case paid but their living expenses may be covered. Selecting lecturers from the region where the school will take place is encouraged. Taking into account gender balance is also strongly encouraged. The EMS/EWM Scientific Committee may be consulted if this is a challenge : http://www.euro-math-soc.eu/comm-women.html
  7. Lecturers should remain as much as possible throughout the duration of the Research School, in order to exchange and to and build networks. They prepare a summary of the course, suggest references and could write or ask to write notes of their course after the Research School, under their responsibility.
  8. The Scientific Committee considers all the scientific aspects involved in the project and is responsible for insuring gender balance. It must be proactive and must approve the project before sending it to CIMPA.


  1. A Research School is intended to promote the development of mathematics ; the lecturers are thus not remunerated. They can ask (with the support of CIMPA) that their course be included in their teaching duty at their parent institution, with no guarantee of success.
  2. The people in charge of a CIMPA Research School must seek to secure diversified sources of funding : international (ICTP, IMU, AUF, Embassies,…) and local (local organizations, companies,…).
  3. The people in charge make a budget (resources and expenditure). They indicate if the funds are requested or confirmed.
  4. They particularly seek funds for the travel and accommodation expenses of the lecturers (lecturers’ institutions, Embassies, local organizations, companies…).
  5. CIMPA, its Director or his representative (often a RS of CIMPA) may help in obtaining these funds, in coordination with the people in charge of the Research School.
  6. The financial participation of CIMPA occurs after all other means are exhausted.
  7. At least 2/3 of the CIMPA funding is intended for the travel expenses of the young people of the region and if necessary for their accommodation expenses (15 as an average, at least 5 and rarely near 40) ; the latter should preferably be dealt with locally. If absolutely necessary, CIMPA can partly fund the expenses of some lecturers from near countries, from States which participate to CIMPA or from European countries (approximately 1/3 of the contribution of CIMPA). Lecturers from countries from the developing world can also be supported. Expenses for participants from the country are normally covered by local financing.
  8. Typically the financial support from CIMPA is at most 1/3 of the total foreseeable final budget, which comprises the travel and accommodation expenses paid directly by other organizations. For particular cases the participation of CIMPA can vary between 20% and 50% of the total budget.
  9. It varies between 8K€ and 12K€, according to needs of the Research Schools and the annual budget of CIMPA.
  10. Registration fees are collected uniquely by CIMPA from participants (out from lecturers) coming from other countries than the one of the Research School. They contribute to the financing of all CIMPA Research Schools. Participants from developing countries can require to be exempted – their demand will be automatically accepted. Other exemption requirements will be considered case by case. Participants from the country where the Research School takes place do not pay any registration fee, neither to CIMPA nor to organisers. In case the Research School needs some funding available in advance the organizers may contact CIMPA for this purpose.


  1. One common site is strongly recommended for the talks, meals and accommodation. Preferably all meals are taken together, at least those at midday.
  2. The site is simple and adequate for the talks. CIMPA Research Schools do not take place in luxurious environments.
  3. Bibliographical documentation for the courses should be available on site
  4. The site is favorable to exchanges, discussions and informal working sessions.
  5. A excursion-walk, for example on Wednesday afternoon, can be organized. A financial participation can be required.


  1. Once the Scientific council and the Steering Council of CIMPA approve the project, the Scientific Organizers of the Research School and the Director of CIMPA (or his representative, generally a RS from CIMPA) get in touch.
  2. The two scientific organizers in charge of the Research School set up a Web site that they maintain. This Web site is the backbone of the meeting, before, during and after.
  3. If necessary, CIMPA can contribute to the development of the Web site or to get web hosting.
  4. CIMPA sets up a Web page concerning the Research School and a link towards this Web site. Three months after the end of the school, a complete and permanent copy of the Web site will be recorded on the Web site of CIMPA.
  5. The participation and the registration of local mathematicians are managed on site by the organizers.
  6. The other requests for participation and funding are made via CIMPA.
  7. Two months before the beginning of the Research School, the two scientific organizers and CIMPA select the participants, as well as the young mathematicians who will be funded by CIMPA. A maximum amount of travel expenses is fixed for each one.
  8. The selection is based firstly on the quality of the candidates and their suitability to the subject and to the expected level. Letters of recommendation and letter of motivation are also important. Applicants funded by CIMPA are generally less than 38 years or have a recent Ph.D. They have to reside in neighbouring countries of the Research School except for those in Sub-Saharan Africa for which a special effort can be made according to the relevance of the files.
  9. They study the possible participation of CIMPA in the expenses of the lecturers.
  10. The people funded by CIMPA buy their own travel ticket, they will be refunded at real cost, not exceeding the maximum amount allotted. The purchase of the ticket by other manner can be studied by CIMPA, at the request of the participants.
  11. If appropriate the people funded by CIMPA need to obtain a visa by themselves, expenses could be reimbursed. It is also the sole responsibility of each participant to have health or repatriation insurance, unpaid by CIMPA.


  1. The Director of CIMPA or a person representing him (most often a RS from CIMPA) attends the Research School. The travel expenses of this mathematician are funded by CIMPA separately from the budget of the Research School. Her or his accommodation is covered by the local funding of the Research School.
  2. He presents CIMPA and makes sure that the Research School develops in agreement with the mission of CIMPA, in particular towards young mathematicians. He intervenes if necessary.
  3. He establishes contacts with local authorities, contributes to the discussion on the future evolution of mathematics, in training and research
  4. He makes sure that the complete budget of the Research School is in agreement with the estimates
  5. He has the responsibility of refunding the participants according to the estimates, obtains a copy of their passport, makes them fill and sign the receipts provided by the administration of CIMPA and keeps any original document (invoices, boarding passes) justifying refunding. He forwards them to CIMPA on his return by registered mail within ONE MONTH after the Research School.
  6. In order to be able to finance other Research Schools, the contribution of CIMPA can be decreased depending on circumstances, for example when other last-minute funds are obtained. In certain cases the budget of CIMPA can be increased in view of exceptional circumstances. This flexibility is a kind of limited insurance.


  1. The scientific organizers of the Research School do their best in order that each lecturer writes notes (or arranges for young mathematicians attending the Research School to do so). The notes of a CIMPA Research School can be deposited on “Cours en ligne - archives ouvertes” [CEL-AO] if they are completely written (some summary notes in support with the lectures are not accepted). They must be able to be useful to all, and not only to the participants. They are deposited under the scientific responsibility of their author and with the technical assistance of CIMPA (which cannot be given the responsibility to type them) CEL-AO : http://cel.archives-ouvertes.fr, Collection du CIMPA : http://cel.archives-ouvertes.fr/CIMPA
  2. They make sure that the Web site establishes a link towards these notes and that the final list of participants is up to date.
  3. Two reports are prepared, one by the local organizer, the other by CIMPA representative and must be forwarded to CIMPA within ONE MONTH after the Research School. Each report considers the scientific and the financial side. They are placed on the web site of the Research School.
  4. CIMPA must report its activities ; to this end a complete list of participants is essential, with establishment of origin, gender and email address.
  5. Three months after the end of the school the Web site is finalized, a complete copy is then lodged in a permanent way on the Web site of CIMPA for consultation, filing and evaluation.

September 2015

Roadmap (pdf format)

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