Entrance hall of the ICMS

Scottish support for AIMS: James Clerk Maxwell AIMS Fund

Aug 01, 2013 - Jul 31, 2015

AIMS Logo    Scottish Funding Council Logo

Background on AIMS

AIMS stands for African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. The first AIMS was founded in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2003 as a pan-African centre for post-graduate training and research. It offers courses in mathematical sciences (including pure and applied mathematics, physics, computer science and mathematical aspects of life sciences, economics and finance) to talented students recruited from all over Africa. AIMS South Africa has been tremendously successful, attracting some of the brightest students from across Africa and some of the best lecturers from around the world.

The purpose of the AIMS Next Einstein Initiative is to create a coordinated network of AIMS centres across Africa. The  second AIMS centre was opened in Senegal in 2011, and a third opens in Ghana in August 2012. Each of the AIMS centres has a director, administrative staff and a team of tutors. However, AIMS centres rely on visiting lecturers for the delivery of most their academic programme.

Further information on the AIMS Next Einstein initiative can be found here which also has links to webpages for each of the AIMS centres.


The James Clerk Maxwell AIMS Fund

The Scottish Government supports the AIMS Next Einstein Initiative. Responding to an initiative by members of the Scottish mathematical community, the Scottish Funding Council has generously agreed to make available £200,000 to set up the James Clerk Maxwell AIMS Fund. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial compensation for mathematical science departments in Scotland which release staff for teaching or other supportive activities at one of the AIMS centres.

Staff members from any mathematical science department in any research-intensive Scottish university may apply for funding, which will be paid directly to their home department.  Teaching at AIMS takes place in blocks lasting three weeks, with approximately two contact hours per weekday. The departments of successful applicants will receive £5000 for three weeks of teaching at AIMS, of which £500 should be made available to the staff member to cover incidental costs (visa, immunisation, purchase of clothes). The AIMS centres themselves arrange and pay for travel and accommodation. Instead of teaching, applicants may offer other support, such as project supervision at AIMS. However, deviations from the standard duration (three weeks) and compensation (£5000) will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.  See this website for further information on teaching and project work at AIMS.


Management Committee
David Borchers University of St Andrews
Mark Chaplain University of Dundee
Christina Cobbold
University of Glasgow
Jozsef Farkas University of Stirling
Jarek Kedra University of Aberdeen
Wilson Lamb University of Strathclyde
Bernd Schroers (chair) Heriot-Watt University
Jose Figueroa O'Farrill
University of Edinburgh

The James Clerk Maxwell AIMS Fund is administrated by ICMS and will start operation in August 2012. Selection of proposals is carried out by the management committee in consultation with the AIMS centres.  Please contact the chair of the committee, Bernd Schroers (b.j.schroers@hw.ac.uk) for further information.



Please describe the course you would like to teach at AIMS or any other support that you would like to offer. If you are proposing a course, please outline both the contents and the teaching method. Please submit your course proposal via this link. There is no automatic acknowledgement of your application. You will be contacted by Bernd Schroers within 10 working days.

For information about the current programme follow this link for South Africa, this link for Senegal and this link for Ghana

You will also need to submit your proposal to AIMS via the weblinks below.  However, we advise you to first apply for funding from the James  Clerk Maxwell Fund. You will receive feedback on your proposal which is likely to increase the chances of acceptance by AIMS. Please note the deadlines for the various AIMS submissions and submit your proposal to the James Clerk Maxwell  Fund at least two weeks before the relevant deadline.


Previous AIMS teaching supported by the Fund:

Lyonell Boulton (L.Boulton at hw.ac.uk), Heriot Watt University, Numerical Analysis, AIMS South Africa, December 2013.

Jack Carr (J.Carr at hw.ac.uk), Heriot Watt University, Dynamical Systems, AIMS Ghana, February/March 2013 and January/February 2014, and Masters project, April 2014. 

David Greenhalgh (david.greenhalgh at strath.ac.uk), University of Strathclyde, Mathematical Biology projects, AIMS Cameroon, May/June 2014.

Michael Grinfeld (m.grinfeld at strath.ac.uk), University of Strathclyde, Asymptotics, AIMS Ghana, December 2013 and AIMS South Africa, April 2014.  

Des Johnston (D.A.Johnston at hw.ac.uk), Heriot Watt University, Computing and LaTeX, AIMS Ghana, August/September 2013

Philip Knight (p.a.knight at strath.ac.uk), University of Strathclyde, Complex Networks with Computations, AIMS Ghana, December 2013.

Ulrich Kraehmer (ulrich.kraehmer at glasgow.ac.uk), University of Glasgow, Symmetry, AIMS Ghana, November 2013.  

Wilson Lamb (w.lamb at strath.ac.uk), University of Strathclyde, Analytical Techniques in Mathematical Biology, AIMS South Africa, January/February 2013.

Gabriel Lord (G.J.Lord at hw.ac.uk), Heriot-Watt University, Numerical Analysis, AIMS South Africa, December 2012 and 2013.

David Pritchard (david.pritchard at strath.ac.uk), University of Strathclyde, MSc project, AIMS Ghana, April/May 2014.

Bernd Schroers (B.J.Schroers at hw.ac.uk), Heriot-Watt University, Physical Problem Solving, AIMS Ghana, September 2012 and October 2013, and project supervision, May 2013. Quantum Computing, AIMS South Africa, November 2012 and 2013.

Robert Weston (R.A.Weston at hw.ac.uk), Heriot-Watt University, Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, AIMS Ghana, November/ December 2012 and 2013.


Feel free to contact the lecturers if you have questions about AIMS teaching.


AIMS project proposals for 2015

To propose projects, proceed as follows:

  • AIMS South Africa (by 5 February): follow this link
  • AIMS-Ghana (by 9 February): follow this link 
  • AIMS-Senegal (by 5 February): follow this link
  • AIMS-Cameroon: e-mail the academic director, Professor Mama Foupouagnigni (mfoupouagnigni@nexteinstein.org)

To apply for James-Clerk-Maxwell AIMS funding, propose the same projects (for one or several students) via the application form. If you have any questions please contact Bernd Schroers.

 Previous projects at AIMS-Ghana may be found here


Name Institution
Greenhalgh, David University of Strathclyde
Johnston, Desmond Heriot-Watt University
Lamb, Wilson University of Strathclyde
Lord, Gabriel Heriot-Watt University
Michael, Grinfeld University of Strathclyde
Quinn, David University of Aberdeen
Schroers, Bernd Heriot-Watt University