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Thamsanqa Kambule ​Doctoral Dissertation Award 2019 for African Students

The Kambule Doctoral Award recognises and encourages excellence in research and writing by doctoral candidates at African universities, in any area of computational and statistical sciences.

Application Deadline: 12th April 2019, 11:59pm, Central African Time (CAT).

Eligible Countries: African countries

About the Award: The Kambule Doctoral Award celebrates African research excellence: its recipients are those that uphold Thamsanqa Kambule’s legacy as a defender of learning, a seeker of knowledge, and activist for equality. 

The award will be presented at the annual Deep Learning Indaba in August 2019. We welcome applications from students themselves, or nominations from their supervisors and mentors.

Type: PhD


  • PhD theses in the broad area of computational and statistical sciences will be eligible. This includes, but is not restricted to: machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, statistics, probability, data science, information theory, econometrics, optimisation, statistical physics, biostatistics and bioinformatics, natural language processing, computer vision, and computational neuroscience.
  • The Awards Committee interprets the phrase “PhD thesis” to mean a dissertation in final form, i.e. approved by the student’s examinations board, e.g., viva examinations completed, public defence completed, corrected version submitted, or degree awarded.
  • The nominee must have been registered as a student and received their degree from an African university.
  • A dissertation may be nominated by the author, an academic who is in a position to comment on the merits of the work and the candidate (e.g., PhD supervisor, thesis examiner, academic mentor, collaborators), a department chair or head of department.
  • Theses completed during the period of 2016-2019 are eligible for nomination.
  • Nominations are welcomed from any African country.
  • The thesis can be in any language, although the Awards Committee may require English translations for full consideration of theses written in other languages.
  • All supporting letters and reports should be in English (or a translation supplied).

Selection Criteria:  Dissertations will be reviewed for technical depth and significance of the research contribution, potential impact on theory and practice, quality of presentation, and its role in strengthening African machine learning.

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award: In partnership with the Africa Oxford Initiative, the winner will receive a fully-sponsored trip to present their PhD research at the University of Oxford. The winner will also be invited to speak at the Deep Learning Indaba in Nairobi in August 2019, and will receive a cash prize of KES 70,000.


  • It is important to go through all application requirements on the Programme Webpage (see link below) before applying

Visit Programme Webpage for Details

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