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Home > Support MSRI > Academic Sponsors > Becoming an Academic Sponsor

The Benefits of Academic Sponsorship

MSRI's academic sponsors provide an interface between MSRI and the mathematical community. The Academic Sponsors participate in MSRI governance and take part (at MSRI's expense) in a general meeting with the other sponsors and trustees each year for this purpose. MSRI helps support visits by members to sponsoring institutions. Sponsors are offered some financial backing of conferences at sponsoring institutions. Perhaps most important: An Academic Sponsor can send up to 3* graduate students to MSRI Summer Graduate Schools each year at MSRI's expense.

In addition to the original academic sponsorship ("Full-level") two more levels ("Mid-level" and "Entry-level") were introduced to broaden the community of sponsoring institutions and to allow small and medium sized institutions to participate in MSRI's activities and governance. Eligibility to a certain level depends on the size of the institution's graduate program and it affects the number of students that can be sent to the MSRI summer schools:

Multi-tier Dues Structure Size of Graduate Program Dues Type Dues Summer Graduate Schools Quota*
Full Sponsorship Greater than 25 Graduate Students Full $4,211 2 + 1
Mid-level Sponsorship Less than 25 Graduate Students Half $2,105 1 + 1
Entry-level Sponsorship No Graduate program Quarter $1,053 1

While the size of your graduate program determines whether your institution is eligible to Mid- or Entry-level sponsorship you may choose to pay the Full-level dues as this allows you to send 2 + 1 graduate students to MSRI Summer Schools.

* Summer Graduate Schools Quota: Full-level academic sponsors are invited to send two students (in total per summer), and can send an additional one if the group includes a woman or a member of an underrepresented minority. For Mid- and Entry-level sponsoring institutions MSRI will support a smaller number of students to participate in the summer schools. Namely, Entry-level institutions can send at most one student per summer, Mid-level ones can send 1 (or 2 if one is a female or member from a group underrepresented in the mathematical sciences).

We are continually working with the Committee of Academic Sponsors to explore new ways that MSRI can serve the community, and we expect this to evolve accordingly in the future.

Committee of Academic Sponsors

This committee consists of a representative from each Sponsoring Institution. The committee meets at MSRI each March; travel expenses and hotel reimbursement are provided by MSRI. The rate for travel reimbursement is up to $550 (depending of point of origin) for participants from US and Canadian universities, and up to $700 for participants from foreign sponsoring institutions. The Sponsors hear reports on the Institute’s current scientific programs and provide advice to MSRI on future plans and initiatives. There are often discussions of issues facing the broader mathematical community as well. This meeting is held just before the annual meeting of the MSRI Board of Trustees and the Sponsors join with the Trustees for a banquet and socializing.

Summer Graduate Schools

Every summer MSRI organizes several graduate workshops (usually two weeks each), most of which are held at MSRI. Attending one of these workshops can be a very motivating and exciting experience for a student: participants have often said that it was the first experience where they felt like real mathematicians, interacting with other students and mathematicians in their field. Each full-level academic sponsor is invited to send two students (in total) to participate in these workshops, and can send a third one if the group includes a woman or a member of an under-represented minority. Mid-level academic sponsor are invited to send one student (in total) and can send a second if the group includes a woman or a member of an under-represented minority. Entry-level academic sponsors are invited to send one student in total to participate in one of the Summer Graduate Schools. MSRI covers the travel and local expenses of these students. The rate for travel reimbursement is up to $550 for students from US and Canadian universities, and up to $700 for students from other sponsoring institutions. All institutions can nominate additional students to attend a workshop if they pay the attendance fee of $1.500 per student and workshop. Additional students will only be considered after the end of the open enrollment period and if the workshop has not reached capacity by that time.The graduate schools for the summer of year n+1 are announced in October of year n. For details on nominations rules and admission policies please see Summer Graduate Schools.

Visits by MSRI Members

Academic Sponsors are encouraged to invite MSRI members to visit and give a colloquium or seminar talk at the Sponsors’ institutions. MSRI provides partial support for the member’s visit (at present, up to $250).

Access to Streaming Video Archive

In October 1997, MSRI made public its streaming-video archive. As of Spring 2001, there were over 2,000 lectures available, making this the largest mathematical video archive in the world. Lecture notes or transparencies are available separately, making it possible to follow the lectures in detail and the user can pause or skip backwards or forwards. Users can download the lectures to form a local library of selected lectures for convenient viewing, for example with a class or seminar.

Our goal is to implement practical methods of Internet communication in order to make the mathematical activities of MSRI nationally and internationally available, and to help our sponsors, other mathematics departments and national centers profit from our experience to do the same. Each week, new streaming-video lectures are made available from this library and from current events at the Institute. Further information about the MSRI streaming-video archive is available at MSRI's web site.

Additional Benefits

  • From time to time, MSRI holds events that are of general interest to the mathematical community. Academic Sponsors are invited to send representatives, funded by MSRI.
  • MSRI will provide partial travel funding (up to a maximum of $750) for postdoc or ladder faculty members of Academic Sponsor Institutions to attend workshops at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS).  Funding is limited to US Citizens or Permanent Residents who are recommended by the organizer of the workshop.  Please contact the MSRI Program Manager for further restrictions.
  • Academic Sponsors receive free subscriptions to the MSRI Book Series.

Becoming an Academic Sponsor

The exchange of ideas resulting from sponsorship benefits the Academic Sponsors, benefits MSRI, and benefits the entire mathematical community. In principle an Academic Sponsor is an academic department in the mathematical sciences; however, it may be any organization with interest in research in the mathematical sciences. For the academic year 2013-14, the cost of Full-level Academic Sponsorship is $4211 USD/year.  (For Mid and Entry-Level fees, please refer to the table above).   This fee is modest compared to the benefits of sponsorship and compared to our annual operating budget. However, the fund generated by sponsors' fees is critical in preserving ownership of MSRI by the mathematical community and in helping MSRI to maintain flexibility, stability, and independence. The fee is increased annually by the CPI.

Academic Sponsors are elected by MSRI’s Steering Committee. Interested organizations should send a letter (email will do) to the Director at MSRI.  Upon acceptance by the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Director of MSRI, the organization becomes an academic sponsor and will be invoiced for that year’s dues. Further questions and inquiries are welcome, and we will be happy to send additional material on current and forthcoming programs. 
For more information:  msri-inquiries_AT_msri.org