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  • Writer's pictureTKI

PhD in Data Science scholarship by Quantum Leap Africa (QLA)

Deadline: 1 June 2021

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 centers, 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 Oct/Nov 2021.


  • Master’s degree (completed by Sept 2021) 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.


  • 7 positions available

  • Length of program: 3 years, with possible extension to a 4th year

  • 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

  • Program start: Oct 2021


The selection process is competitive, and conducted in two phases:

Phase 1: 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)

  • 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 to tell us more about your research interests, motivation for pursuing a PhD and future plans. Your answers to the following questions will be central to the selection process. We advise that you prepare your answers offline with care.

  • 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).

By sharing these details, we are able to better support your individual situation and work together to design a PhD program that fits your circumstances.

Deadline to apply (Phase 1): 1 June 2021

Phase 2: A small number of shortlisted candidates will be invited to round 2 of the selection process. In Phase 2, supervision teams are formed and applicants discuss with potential supervisors more details on their research plans. As part of Phase 2, applicants are asked to submit a detailed research proposal.

Remarks on submitting your application

  • You will be asked to select one main research topic (or suggest your own); there is the possibility to indicate a second topic choice (or suggest your own).

  • Make sure that you satisfy the required background and skills when selecting a research topic.

  • Arrangements are flexible and we can work with selected candidates to adapt to individual circumstances.

  • No reference letters are required in Phase 1 of the application process. Please notify your referees that you are submitting their names as part of this application as they may be contacted for letters or additional information as part of the selection process

  • Make sure that your CV covers as a minimum all items provided in this template (if they apply to your situation).

Women applicants are encouraged to apply.


Questions should be directed to

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