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Africa AI Research Award 2022 Innovation Funding Call for Early Career Reseachers

Data Science Africa announces a call to support Early Career Reseachers 2022.

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Data Science Africa (DSA) and Deep Learning Indaba (DLI) are collaborating in the implementation of a research funding initiative spanning the African continent whose objective is to strengthen the pipeline of African AI research by increasing funding pathways.

This funding call invites Early Career Researchers in Africa to submit research proposals seeking funding. We are particularly looking to support Early Career Academic Researchers with:

  • a PhD for the 3 - 5 years and ideally teaching at a university in Africa;
  • a nationality or permanent residency of any African country in the last 5 years;
  • a strong background in machine learning, artificial intelligence or data science research, or in any discipline of science;
  • a research idea that has sustainable development goals in mind;
  • a research idea that will be conducted at universities or research institutions in Africa;
  • a research project idea that could reach deliverable outputs by early December 2023.

Application Process

Applications can be made through the Data Science Africa’s Proposal Portal. Selection will be based purely on the quality of the candidates and proposals.

Applications will be in the form of a PDF of up to ten pages, and should contain:

  • a research hypothesis and expected outcomes;
  • a brief paragraph on the long-term vision for the work and a description of the intended deliverables;
  • a brief ethical review that considers any perceived risks and the research’s effect on people and society;
  • a realistic timeline of the research project;
  • a budget detailing the total amount requested and expenditure allocation;
  • a letter of proof of employment by the head of the host institution
  • PhD academic transcript of the applicant;
  • proof of permanent residency or nationality of an eligible African country.

Key Dates

06th April 2022 – Call for proposals open

20th May 2022 – Proposal submission deadline


As a deliverable, we ask that any generated data and findings be shared in the public domain, adhere to the FAIR Principles, and are reported as:

  • a preprint of research work submitted for publication, or
  • a technical report.

The 'FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship' provide guidelines to improve the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reuse of digital assets, so that future researchers can leverage your research findings. We further encourage researchers to identify peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and workshops that are relevant to the work they are undertaking, and plan to submit to these venues.

Receiving Funds

Selected research projects will be monetarily awarded USD 12,500 for a period of one year. Funding will be disbursed as the research project progresses, based on agreed timelines. The research projects will be funded through a university or research institution (Host Institution).

Funding Partners

This call is being organized by Data Science Africa (DSA) in close collaboration with the Deep Learning Indaba and Artificial Intelligence for Development in Africa (AI4D Africa) with the generous support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

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