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IDRC/SIDA AI4D Scholarships 2021/2022 for PhD and Post-Doctoral Research Studies

Closing date - 3rd May 2021


The African Center for Technology Studies has received a grant from the International Development Research Center (IDRC) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to support the training of PhD students in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) as well as the research work of Early Career Academics or Scholars (Early Career and Post-Doc) in AI & ML. The research work within this program must be within AI and centred around STEM disciplines that attempt to address any of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The award of the scholarships shall strive to achieve uniform distribution of beneficiaries across anglophone, francophone and lusophone sub-Saharan Africa. There will also be effort to achieve fair distribution in terms of gender and region. The supported studies MUST adhere to responsible AI.


The AI4D scholarships has been designed to target the following four categories of beneficiaries;

Category 1 -Registered PhD students:

Invitation will target candidates who are already registered for PhD, have finished course work as well as research proposals. This will be open to all universities offering PhD in AI and ML. Eight in-country scholarships (4 female and 4 male) will be given for a period of two years. Selection will be based purely on the quality of the candidates and proposals. This call will be done twice, 4 admitted in Year 1 (Cohort 1) and 4 admitted in year 2 (Cohort 2).


Eligibility:

  • All applicants must be already registered in an AI study (machine learning, expert system, natural language processing, intelligent robotics etc.) under a supervisor, have finished coursework as well as a research proposal. The applicant must attach a letter of support by their supervisor, and a copy of the PhD study admission letter.

  • All applicants should have competent academic credentials and demonstrate motivation and commitment to pursue an academic career.

  • All applicants should have a thorough knowledge of the language of instruction within their host university of choice (English, French or Portuguese).

  • All applicants must be nationals or permanent residents of any sub-Saharan country.

Each successful student will receive a partial scholarship of up to $ 27,000 distributed as shown below

  • Tuition fees for two years ($ 4000)

  • Research activities ($ 17,000)

  • Travelling support for the supervisors ($ 6,000)

Apply here

Category 2 - Disadvantaged Female Students and Students from Low-Income Countries:

Considering that both women and students from low-income countries who are not endowed with universities that can offer PhD in AI, maybe disadvantaged to access PhD education in AI, a call for proposals will be made targeting these two groups of people. The applicants in this category should have completed MSc in areas relevant to AI and ML, and wishing to pursue PhD studies in the two areas. Such candidates can only pursue PhD in other well-endowed African countries. 4 Women scholars will benefit from this scheme, 1 per each region (southern, eastern, western and central Africa), while an additional 4 students from low-income countries will be supported, each for 30 months. This call will be done once in year 1 (Cohort 3).


Eligibility:

  • Each applicant must have successfully completed a Master’s degree in any of the following disciplines; AI, Computer Science, IT, IS, Electronic Engineering, or a related field.

  • All applicants should have competent academic credentials and demonstrate motivation and commitment to pursue an academic career.

  • All applicants should have a thorough knowledge of the language of instruction within their host university of choice (English, French or Portuguese).

  • All applicants must be nationals or permanent residents of any sub-Saharan country.

Each successful student will work under a professor who will receive a grant of up to US$ 45,500 which will cover the following:

  • Tuition fees for PhD student (US$ 6000)

  • Living allowance for PhD student (for 30 months=US$15,000)

  • Two return Air ticket to study country (US$ 750 return per trip= US$1500)

  • Research activities (US$ 17,000)

  • Travelling support for the supervisors (US$ 6,000)

The process of identifying professors is ongoing.

Apply here


Category 3 - Early Career Academics:

Under the ECA scholarship, 4 Early Career Academics will be supported. This will mainly target those ECA who have the capacity to supervise PhD research (those who have taken between 3 and 5 years post PhD). The successful ECA beneficiary will be supported with a research grant as well as one PhD and 2 MSc sponsored positions. Additional resources will also be provided to acquire AI research tools such as databases.


Eligibility

  • Each applicant must have held a PhD in AI and ML, for the last 3 – 5 years as at application.

  • All applicants should have competent academic credentials and demonstrate motivation and commitment to pursue an academic career.

  • All applicants must be nationals or permanent residents of any sub-Saharan country.

Each successful ECA will receive a scholarship of US$ 68,000. This will cover:

  • Tuition fees for one PhD student for two years (US$ 4000)

  • Tuition fees for two MSc students (US$4000)

  • Research costs (US$ 25,000)

  • Research infrastructure (US$ 30,000)

  • Travelling costs (US$ 5,000)

Funding would be for 2 years.

Apply here

Category 4 - Post-doctoral researchers:

It is assumed that there may be a challenge getting suitable female ECA. Therefore, the programme will also support 4 post-doctoral positions for female candidates and those from disadvantaged countries to build capacities for AI research and training in their universities. The program will support each post-doctoral candidate with a research grant and 2 MSc graduate positions.

Eligibility

  • Each applicant must have held a PhD in AI and ML, for not more than 2 years as at application.

  • All applicants should have competent academic credentials and demonstrate motivation and commitment to pursue an academic career.

  • All applicants must be nationals or permanent residents of any sub-Saharan country.

Each successful candidate will receive a scholarship of US$ 63,000:

  • Tuition fee for 4 MSc students = US$ 8,000

  • Research activities = US$ 20,000

  • Research infrastructure = US$ 30000

  • Traveling cost = US$ 5,000

Funding would be for 2 years.

Apply here


Category 5 - Senior Scholars: Under this scholarship, senior scholars will be requested to submit research proposals in the area of AI and ML. Successful professors or scholars will be supported with a fully sponsored PhD student to be selected among the shortlisted candidates from category 2 above.


Eligibility

  • Each applicant must have held a PhD in AI and ML, for at least 5 years as at the time of application.

  • Should be at least a senior lecturer.

  • All applicants should have competent academic credentials and demonstrate motivation and commitment to pursue an academic career.

  • All applicants must be nationals or permanent residents of any sub-Saharan country.

Each successful scholar will receive a grant of US$ 45,500 which will cover the following:

  • Tuition fees for PhD student (US$ 6000)

  • Living allowance for PhD student (for 30 months=US$15,000)

  • Two return Air ticket to study country (US$ 750 return per trip= US$1500)

  • Research activities (US$ 17,000)

  • Travelling support for the scholar (US$ 6,000)

Funding would be for a period of 2 years.


Apply here

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