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  • Writer's pictureTKI


Deadline: 15 June 2022

The field of data science is emerging as a critical discipline with high relevance to economic growth and development. This doctoral training program established by AIMS will provide emerging African scientists the opportunity to conduct research at the forefront of data science, and work towards a PhD degree within a high-quality training program in Africa, in cooperation with institutions internationally.

The program will focus on theoretical foundations of data science as well as applications of data science to improve the daily lives of Africans. It is built on the understanding that modern approaches in data science require a combination of expertise spanning the areas of mathematics, statistics, computer science, and the applied sciences.

AIMS will be offering up to seven fully-funded PhD positions in this prestigious new doctoral program. The recruited students will be based in Rwanda at AIMS Rwanda, or any of the other AIMS centres, in partnership with universities and research institutions across Africa and globally. The program aims to train future change-makers, who will have an impact across academia, industry, education, and government.

Candidates can choose from a list of proposed research topics, and AIMS will assist in building a supervision team around these topics. Alternatively, candidates can suggest their own research topics, together with a proposed supervision team. Selected students will start in October 2022.


The new Doctoral Training Program in Data Science (DTP-DS) is established by Quantum Leap Africa (QLA) at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Rwanda in collaboration with top researchers from across the globe. The second cohort of the DTP-DS (start 2022) will offer two PHD streams:

  1. General Data Science: available for topics in mathematics, statistics, computer science, and the applied sciences that broadly fit under the umbrella of data science. Two (2) fully-funded Ph.D. positions offered in partnership with DeepMind Technologies Limited are putting a particular focus on data science topics in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Candidates that are accepted into the program will be enrolled in two institutions: One of the five AIMS Centres of Excellence (Rwanda, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, South Africa), AND a university in this country.

  1. Data Science for Health in Rwanda: This program focuses on the following three major scientific areas: computer science & informatics, statistics & mathematics, biomedical sciences & public health. A high prevalence of communicable diseases, coupled with a rapidly expanding epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), forecasts a perfect public health storm in Rwanda, providing impetus and rationale to leverage DS to address health care gaps. A structured program design will help develop trainee research careers in data science with particular focus on health care topics relevant to Rwanda, including communicable (i.e., HIV, malaria, COVID-19, etc.) and chronic NCDs (i.e., hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, etc.).


  • Tuition for length of program: 4 years

  • Fully funded (stipend, equipment, health insurance, relocation costs, conference attendance, direct cost to graduating institution such as tuition fees and registration fees)

  • International supervision teams from well-known research institutions

  • Research topics that push the boundaries of data science (focused on AI/ML and/or health)


  • Master’s degree (completed by Sept 2022) in mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, physics or other relevant fields;

  • Sufficient theoretical foundations evidenced by prior work (courses/thesis/other training);

  • Qualification for pursuing research on the chosen topic, including relevant programming expertise;

  • Research potential evidenced by academic performance and involvement in relevant academic activities;

  • Motivation for pursuing a PhD by research in the suggested topic;

  • Being an African national.


You will be asked to submit the following documents

  • Application Form

  • CV (you can use your own format, but please make sure to cover at least all items mentioned in this template that apply to your case)(This document is not editable. Please download or create your own.)

  • Transcripts (Please submit both your undergraduate and your masters level transcripts. Additional transcripts can be submitted if relevant. )

As part of the application form, you will be able to

  • Select or suggest a research topic

  • Name two academics (ideally senior researchers), who are willing to write a letter of support

  • Indicate whether you already are admitted at a university or otherwise have future plans that you consider to combine with this program

Additionally, the application form will allow you talk more about your research interests, motivation for pursuing a PhD and future plans.


  • What is your motivation to pursue a PhD? Here, you can also mention plans for your future career. (1500 characters)

  • Which research directions are you most interested in and why? Justify why you are qualified to pursue research in this area. Here, you can also comment on your reason for choosing the research topics selected above (2500 characters).

The first question is the short version of a motivation letter. The second question is the short version of a research statement.

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