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.

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 September 2023. We welcome applications from students themselves, or nominations from their supervisors and mentors.

Eligibility

  • 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 candidate and merits of the work (e.g., PhD supervisor, thesis examiner, academic mentor, collaborators), a department chair or head of department.
  • Theses completed after 1 January 2019 are eligible for nomination.
  • Nominations are welcomed from any African country.
  • The thesis 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.

Next Deadline

28 February 2023, 23:59, Central African Time (CAT).

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.

​Submissions

  • Nomination is made by completing an online nomination form, which includes an electronic submission of the dissertation. Theses may be written in any African language. For those written in other languages, the Awards Committee may require an English translation for full consideration in the final rounds of review. The need for translations will depend on the availability of reviewers in the original language. If you are unable to provide a translated version of the thesis, please get in touch with the Awards Committee. We will do our best to provide support where feasible. 
  • ​A supporting letter that describes the main theoretical, methodological, and/or applied contributions of the thesis.
    • This supporting letter should be written by 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, etc.
    • The letter should be written by someone other than the person who is nominating the candidate.
    • Nominating letters should be submitted electronically in pdf format, using the ‘Submit Supporting Letter’ button or this form.
    • While the supporting letters can be in any language, we ask that the nominations include an English translation of the supporting letters where possible.
  • The examiners’ reports of the dissertation must also be submitted with the application.
    • The examiners’ reports can be in any language, but we ask that nominations include an English translation of the reports letters where possible.
    • We recognise that some universities across the continent may not provide examiners’ reports in a standardised  way. Where you cannot provide an examiners report, please contact the Awards Committee with information about the processes at your university. We will provide guidance on how to proceed with the submission.

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 awards@deeplearningindaba.com