Call for applications - HPI PhD studentships beginning 2018

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 subfield listed in brackets): 


  • Computer Graphics [Augmented and Virtual Reality, Procedural Modelling]
  • Computational Science [Computational Chemistry, Computational Astronomy]
  • Digital Libraries [Cultural Heritage Preservation, Architectures and Interoperability] 
  • Educational Technology [Computer Science Education, Gamification, Teacher-focused Interventions]
  • Human Computer Interaction for Development (HCI4D) [Co-design, Public Health Education, Mobile-first Content Creation, Cloudlet Applications, Mobile Health, Authentication, Voice systems]
  • Information Retrieval [IR for development, African/marginalized language IR]
  • Knowledge Engineering [ontologies, knowledge representation and reasoning, natural language generation, intelligent conceptual modelling]
  • Networks [Cloudlets, Content and Information Centric Networks]
  • 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. 


Application Deadline: 29 September, 2017 


Application Guidelines 

To apply, please submit the following:

  • A curriculum vitae ( 2-3 pages)
  • Academic Transcripts
  • TOEFL/IELTS Results
  • 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. 


Applications must be submitted on or before the 29th September 2017. 


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


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

Contact Information 

A/Prof 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