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 2024. We welcome applications from students themselves, or nominations from their supervisors and mentors.


  • 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 2020 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.

Applications are now Open

Nominations are now open! To nominate a candidate or apply for the awards, follow the instructions

  • Application deadline: 21st March 2024
  • Shortlist selection: 30 June 2024
  • The award will be presented at the annual Deep Learning Indaba in September 2024.

Selection Criteria

Dissertations will be reviewed for technical depth and significance of the research contribution, potential impact on theory and practice, quality of presentation, the ability to support and uphold the legacy of Thamsanqa Kambule, 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