Clay Mathematics Institute

Dedicated to increasing and disseminating mathematical knowledge

Enhancement and Partnership Program

The principal aim is to enhance activities that are already planned and financially viable. The program is broadly defined, but subject to general principles:
●  CMI funding will be used in accordance with the Institute's mission and its status as an operating foundation to enhance mathematical activities undertaken in partnership with other organizations.
●  It will not be used to meet expenses that could readily be covered from local or national sources. It is intended to add value rather than to meet a shortfall in core funding.
●  All proposals will be judged by the CMI's Scientific Advisory Board.
●  CMI can only support events in which it has significant involvement, and in all cases the CMI’s partnership  in the event must be acknowledged by using the wording set out in the Statement of Financial Policies included with offer letters. 


Proposers are encouraged to discuss their ideas informally with the President of CMI before submission.

Proposals will only be received from institutions or from organizers of conferences, workshops, extended research programs and summer schools. CMI will not consider applications under this program from individuals for funding to attend conferences or to visit other institutions or to support their personal research in other ways. Proposals should be sent to the President, copied to the Adminstrative Manager. They should be as brief as possible given the information requested.  It is generally unhelpful to include long documents prepared for other funding bodies.

Proposals received by the following dates will be considered as gathered fields:

1 March
1 June
1 September
1 December

In truly exceptional circumstances, CMI will also consider applications submitted at other times.  The call for proposals for events in a given fiscal year (1 October–30 September) will be closed when the budget for that year has been fully allocated. The call for events in the fiscal year 2017-18 is closed.

It is expected that the bulk of the funding available for events in a given year will be allocated in the round with a closing date of 1 March in the preceding year.  Any residual amounts will be assigned in the June round.

All proposals must be consistent with the statement of CMI’s Financial Policies, a copy of which can be obtained from the Administrative Manager.

Conferences, Workshops, and Extended Research Programs

There are several ways under the Enhancement and Partnership Program by which CMI can support directly activities that will enhance research meetings.

Clay Lectures Organizers of conferences and similar events can nominate a highly distinguished mathematician to attend to deliver a Clay Lecture, which might be either a designated plenary lecture within the conference program or a special lecture delivered to a wider audience.

The funding available would be in the region of $10,000.  This would cover:

  • The Clay Lecturer’s travel and accommodation costs
  • An honorarium of $2000, to be paid to the lecturer on receipt of a publishable manuscript or edited video recording of the Clay Lecture
  • Other items to enhance the conference, typically funding for students and early career participants selected in collaboration with CMI. ‘Early career’ means ‘within five years of PhD and not holding a tenured or tenure-track position’.

Nomination materials should include

  • Nomination letter
  • CV and publication list of the nominee
  • An independent letter of support from an appropriate referee not otherwise involved in the conference
  • Estimate of the Clay Lecturer’s expenses
  • Proposal on how the balance of the funding might be used.  The proposal must be consistent with CMI’s financial policies (obtainable from  the Administrative Manager) and should be discussed with the nominee. If it includes support for student and early career participants, then details of how these particpants are to be selected should be included.  Selection should be on the basis of evidence of 'exceptional promise' and CMI must be involved in the selection process.

Senior Scholars Organizers of extended focused research programs at universities or research institutes may nominate a highly distinguished mathematician to attend as a Clay Senior Scholar. Funding will typically be at the level of about $5000 per month, and will cover the Senior Scholar’s travel expenses and a per diem contribution to living costs, provided that this is permissible under local immigration rules.

The nomination materials should include

  • Nomination letter
  • CV and publication list
  • At least two independent letters of reference.

Clay Senior Scholars must participate in the whole program.  They are expected to make  a significant and leading contribution that goes beyond the occasional talk. If the nominee cannot attend for the whole program, then it may be appropriate instead to opt for the Clay Lecturer route.

Former Senior Scholars.

Workshops and Small Conferences.  In cases in which nomination of a Clay Lecturer would not be appropriate, organisers may seek support at a lower level of funding for a small number of highly distinguished speakers.  In this case CMI will participate in the selection of the supported speakers, who will be reimbursed directly by CMI. Additionally, CMI can support a small number of junior participants, either graduate students or early career participants (‘Early career’ means ‘within five years of PhD and not holding a tenured or tenure-track position’). Organizers will be expected to  nominate the agreed number of junior participants after undertaking a competitive selection process.  Selection will be based on evidence of exceptional promise.

Applications for support for conferences and workshops should include:

  • A description of the planned activity
  • The names and very brief CVs of the speakers for whom CMI funding is proposed
  • An estimate of the costs of the people for whom support is requested (including student and early carerr participants)
  • A full account of existing funding for the event
  • An explanation of why the support requested cannot be obtained from other local or national sources.
  • If the proposal includes support for student and early career participants, details of how these particpants are to be selected. Selection should be on the basis of evidence of 'exceptional promise' and CMI must be involved in the selection process.

If the application is successful, CMI will agree the detailed nomination and selection process for the junior participants with the organizers. If it is uncertain whether or not some of the senior speakers named in the proposal will be able to attend, then organizers may nominate reserves, but should not otherwise assume that CMI funding is transferable.

Large Conferences.  In the case of large conferences, CMI may exceptionally consider appointing more than one Clay Lecturer or providing enhancement support at a higher level than that available for workshops and small conferences; or both.

Graduate Summer Schools

The Enhancement and Partnership Program can also support graduate summer schools or similar events.

Graduate Summer Schools.

Other partnerships

Exceptionally CMI will enter into a more extensive partnership with event organizers.  In this case, CMI can  provide a higher level of funding, but it should be involved in the organization from the start and must have representation on the organizing committee.