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DSA Research Award

Data Science Africa is announcing a call to support research addressing local challenges in Africa. We aim to support up to ten pilot and early stage research projects that leverage data science, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) methods to develop tools with broad societal benefits. Up to four projects responding to the immediate crises facing Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the locust invasion in East Africa will be selected for expedited support. The aim of this RFP is to provide access to resources currently limiting research productivity in Africa with a focus on data science research.

About DSA

DSA is registered as an NGO in Kenya. Since 2015, DSA has held an annual summer school and workshop to train participants on machine learning and data science methods and provide an avenue for researchers to present work demonstrating the application of these techniques to problems relevant in the African context.

Starting in 2018 with DSA Nyeri (East Africa) and DSA Abuja (West Africa), we now hold two events annually with one in East Africa and the other in West Africa. This is in line with our goal to consolidate the regional community in East Africa while also expanding to other regions. Our West African events are also aimed at creating a strong community of researchers in the region working across the linguistic boundaries between French and English speaking nations.

Important Dates

  • Call announcement - 15th July 2020
  • Applications open - 15th July 2020
  • Deadline - 15th August 2020, 11:59 PM wherever you are
  • Decision - 4th September 2020
  • Project Duration - October 2020 to October 2021


Scope and Impact

The proposed research should clearly address a problem affecting a local community in Africa and must have a positive impact. We encourage emerging scholars with diverse expertise and perspectives to apply to this opportunity.

Areas of interest include but are not limited to those mentioned below:

We encourage new and diverse approaches to solving existing problems. The proposed research projects do not need to fit perfectly within the topics specified.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposed projects will be evaluated based on the following criteria. We encourage applicants to use this checklist to assess their proposal before submitting.


All proposed research will be evaluated by members of the DSA Board and experts invited by the board to help with proposal evaluation. Proposals will be scored on the above criteria.

To Apply

Submit a proposal through Google forms. The following materials are required:

The submission should include a cover page listing the title, and abstract of the project.

Funds Administration

Funds will be disbursed to the PI’s host institution.

Terms and Conditions

The applicant must have authority from the host institution to apply for the grant. We will require an authorised representative of your host institution ('Sub-grantee') to sign a Sub-grant Agreement with DSA agreeing to the following:


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