Volunteering with AIMS


African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) programme is a 12-month course, intended to prepare African graduates with mathematically-based degrees for postgraduate study and employment. The introductory course is followed by a series of six three-week blocks where students choose two out of three courses to study. All courses are taught by visiting lecturers, often major international figures, with volunteers from Europe and North America as well as Africa.

 

Raising the bar for statisticians and data science in Africa

AIMS has a pan-African network of centres for postgraduate mathematical sciences in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Expanding and enhancing statistical education in Africa is an important element of developing the continent’s infrastructure. RSS fellows who teach and inspire African statisticians through AIMS are investing in a longer-term impact that will:

  • Empower Africa’s youth to shape its future
  • Build capacity for African statistics and data science expertise
  • Enable better governance, agriculture, commerce and health
  • Help drive economic self-sufficiency
Read about the AIMS graduates and the impact they are having.


The RSS-AIMS partnership

We are working with AIMS to help and encourage RSS fellows to volunteer at their centres. Several RSS fellows have already lectured at AIMS centres, among them are Professor Jane Hutton of Warwick University and former RSS Presidents Professor Peter Diggle and Sir David Spiegelhalter.

We now seek to build on this success and further develop our volunteering activities with AIMS. 

'Teaching at AIMS South Africa was a challenging and extremely rewarding experience' – Sir David Spiegelhalter, former RSS President

'Teaching at AIMS is both inspiring and humbling' – Peter Diggle, former RSS President 

To help encourage fellows to volunteer with AIMS, the RSS has pledged to cover the air fares of two statisticians teaching at AIMS centres each year, as well as one PhD student tutoring at an AIMS centre for five months. AIMS provides full board and lodging (accommodation and three meals a day) for volunteers and a stipend of about $1,000 for incidental expenses.

Opportunities to volunteer

There are three main paths to volunteering with AIMS

  • Teach a three-week course at an AIMS centre in Africa

There are many opportunities to teach at one of AIMS’ centres in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon or Tanzania (Tanzania has particular emphasis on

statistics) on a three-week course. Volunteers who teach these short courses do not have to design new course material, but can use previous material or adapt material from their own existing courses.

The lecture courses consist of 30 hours' contact time (10 per week), about 15 to 18 hours lecturing and 12 to 15 hours for tutorial work. Read about the AIMS structured master’s programme.

  • Supervise or co-supervise an essay by an AIMS student

Even if you are not able to travel to Africa to teach, you can still volunteer with AIMS by offering to supervise or co-supervise an essay in a relevant subject by an AIMS student from any of the AIMS centres.

  • Travel to an AIMS centre for six months or a year as a tutor

If you are able to spend six months or a year in Africa, you can contribute as a tutor and mentor. Tutors are usually recent graduates and their duties involve assisting with tutorials and doing the marking. In addition, tutors are encouraged to pursue their own research.

To help encourage fellows to volunteer with AIMS, the RSS has pledged to cover the air fares of two statisticians teaching at AIMS centres each year, as well as one PhD student tutoring at an AIMS centre for five months. AIMS provides full board and lodging (accommodation and three meals a day) for volunteers and a stipend of about $1,000 for incidental expenses.

In return, we ask that anyone who volunteers on the programme to provide a blog of their experience for our website, so that their experience can be shared.

Find out more

To find out more or to express your interest in volunteering with AIMS, please send an email to Emanuele Giorgi. Please state which of the three volunteering options you are interested in.