EMS Handbook: Standing Committees

2.3.3 Developing Countries

The purpose of the committee for developing countries (CDC) it to assist mathematicians and institutes in developing curricula, training, libraries, centres of excellence and information for PhD programmes. More precisely its activities include:

  • Mathematics curriculum development for universities.
  • Cooperation with local staff in conducting MSc and PhD programmes; holding special courses in various areas of mathematics in which there is no local expertise.
  • Helping to build up libraries through donations from colleagues in developed countries; supply mathematical literature upon request by institutions and/or individual researchers in DCs; negotiate with publishers on special book rates for DCs.
  • Helping to build up regional centres and networks of excellence: these are centres directly or connected in part to universities, and which provide expertise in areas and on levels in which regional universities are in need (e.g. EMS ERCE Centres (Emerging Regional Centres))
  • Providing information about where students from DCs (who already have an MSc) can do their PhD, and what possibilities for PhD grants exist. At the same time, in order to avoid a brain drain, as much as possible, CDC will support efforts to build up PhD programmes in DCs according to international standards (regional centres of excellence could serve this purpose).
  • Mobilising funds for junior and senior researchers to attend conferences in developed countries, and also help (both on an academic and financial level) organising conferences in DCs (e.g. EMS Simons Grants for Africa).
Guidelines and procedures

The committee meets once every year, usually in April, in a venue proposed during the previous meeting. The final decision of the venue is taken by the chair after consulting with other committee members. The committee has several subcommittees that collaborate with the various tasks that require specific actions and that are described in the web page of the committee. Once the subcommittee has finished its work on a specific task, its recommendations are brought to the rest of the members of the committee and a final decision is taken together.

Some of the decisions, for example the evaluation of the application for funds of the committee, or the award/confirmation of the ERCE label (see the webpage for description) are taken together during the annual meeting.

The committee can seek advice from external experts and invite them to the committee meetings. The external experts participate in all the activities except for the last part of the annual meeting, which is reserved to regular members, in which the recommendations of the committee are ratified.