ASESMA is a series of schools providing an introduction to the theory of electronic structure, with an emphasis on the computational methods for practical calculations.
An important component of ASESMA is the inclusion of mentors: advanced students and postdocs who assist with tutorials and provide ongoing consultation support between the workshops.
The mentors at the first school hailed mainly from Spaldin's group, and they proved to be an essential ingredient as they forged close connections with the African participants.
At the second school, many of the mentors were African students from the first school. Within the NCCR we will train and support our local PhD students to travel as mentors to future ASESMA schools.
In addition to the obvious benefit to the students that they teach, this is an exciting training opportunity for own students in teaching and mentoring, as well as exposure to different cultures.
A new component of the program that we propose for the NCCR is to coordinate with the ICTP to provide a visitors program for African students to our laboratories.
MARVEL initiated the Atomistic Simulations, Electronic Structure, Computational Materials Science and Applications: the African Network (ASESMANET), with support now from Psi-k, CECAM and MARVEL, with matching contributions by ICTP. This network funds African researchers to visit other researchers or research groups in Africa for focused research collaboration for two months or more at a time and also support exchange of scientists between Africa and Europe for research collaborations and conference participation.