The Alele-Williams Masters Award recognises and encourages excellence in research and writing by masters candidates at African universities, in any area of computational and statistical sciences.

The Alele-Williams Masters Award celebrates African research excellence: its recipients are those that uphold Grace Alele-Williams’ 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 September 2023. We welcome applications from students themselves, or nominations from their supervisors and mentors.


  • Masters 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 “Masters 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 candidate and merits of the work (e.g., Masters supervisor, thesis examiner, academic mentor, collaborators), a department chair or head of department.
  • Dissertations completed after 1 January 2019 are eligible for nomination.
  • Nominations are welcomed from any African country.
  • The dissertation can be in any language. For theses written in other languages, the Awards Committee may require English translations based on the availability of reviewers. Supporting letters and reports can be in any language, but we ask that English translations are applied for those written in other languages.

Applications are now closed

Awardees will be notified in June 2023.  Nomination will reopen in 2024, please check back for eligibility details.

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.

Further Questions and Contact

If you have any questions, or need clarification on any part of this call for nominations, don’t hesitate to contact us at