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Call for applications for the HPI-CS4A PhD studentships in the field of Computer Science

The Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Computer Science for Africa (HPI in CS4A, affiliated with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cape Town, is offering PhD studentships in the field of Computer Science to students from the African continent. More specifically, we seek high quality applications centered on ideas that revolve around proposing solutions to problems of computing that emerge in the African context.

Areas of research of potential supervisors include (with sub-field listed in brackets):

• Computer Graphics [Augmented and Virtual Reality, Procedural Modelling]

• Digital Libraries [Cultural Heritage Preservation, Architectures and Interoperability]

• Educational Technology [Computer Science Education, Gamification, Teacher-focused Interventions]

• Human Computer Interaction for Development (HCI4D) [Community-based Content Creation, Participatory Co-Design for/with Mothers and Communities, Participatory Video for Maternal Health Education]

• Information Retrieval [IR for development, African/marginalized language IR]

• Knowledge Engineering [ontologies, knowledge representation and reasoning, natural language generation, intelligent conceptual modelling]

• Networks [Wireless Community Networks, Network Measurements, Dynamic Spectrum Access/TVWS, Network measurements and performance engineering, Software Defined Networks, Research and Education Networks, Cloudlets / Edge Computing]

• Parallel/High Performance Computing  [GPGPU, Multithreading]

• Visualization [Scientific visualisation, Tangible interfaces, Design]

Eligible candidates will meet the following criteria:

1. Hold a Masters Degree in Computer Science, supported by a good dissertation

2. Be proficient in English as attested by a recent score (obtained within 3 - 5 years before application for admission) of at least 570 (paper-based test) or 230 (computer-based test) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); or a recent overall band score of 7.0 (with no individual element of the test scoring below 6.0) on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). If your medium of education was in English then you are exempt from this requirement.

Important Dates

• Application Deadline: 1 September, 2018

Application Guidelines

To apply, please submit the following:

• A curriculum vitae ( 2-3 pages)

• Academic Transcripts


• A brief research proposal (2-3 pages) with a potential supervisor at UCT identified

Your proposal must outline your research question(s) and proposed methodology for conducting the research. We will only consider proposals that fall within the core areas of research listed.

Please submit a single pdf file, comprising ALL the application materials, electronically at the following link - Under the title field you should submit a provisional title for your research and under keywords list the areas of specialization.  It is advisable to contact potential supervisors by e-mail beforehand to determine if your areas of research interest align with theirs. However, please do not indiscriminately contact all staff in the Computer Science Department at UCT. If you have more than one area of interest indicate this at the end of your research proposal.

Applications must be submitted on or before the 1st September 2018.

Shortlisted candidates will be expected to arrange for three reference letters to be submitted and be available for a Skype interview in mid September.

Questions or requests for more information can be made using the contact details below:

Contact Information

Professor James Gain, 
Coordinator, HPI PhD Research School in CS4A 
Department of Computer Science 
18 University Ave., 
University of Cape Town Cape Town, 
South Africa, 7701

Email: jgain at

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last modified 2018-08-06 08:51