“Dorcas Muthoni” PhD Fellowship: Call 2024

Dorcas Muthoni, a Kenyan engineer and entrepreneur, CEO and founder of the company Openworld, received our University’s highest recognition on 15th December 2017 for her significant work in the promotion of engineering studies among young women in Africa, the mentoring of young people, and her social commitment in the fight against poverty.

The Dorcas Muthoni PhD scholarship is aligned with our university institutional commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), it aims to contribute to quality education and gender equality, with a focus on African Women.
The first edition of this PhD Fellowship was opened in 2018, and the second in 2020. We are pleased to launch our third edition for 2024.
The main objectives of this fellowship are:

  • To promote gender equality & contribute to reduce the gender gap in ICT; by facilitating more women pursuing scientific/technological/engineering careers and lowering the barriers women face when pursuing careers in STEM disciplines
  • To share excellent research with African female researchers during their PhD Studies. Our ICT department consists of more than 20 research groups who are very active in international research projects and nationally we are the only Engineering university department in Spain to have been awarded for a second time the Spanish research excellence seal Maria de Maeztu. The Maria de Maeztu Strategic Research Program is a 4 year research initiative funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness to promote artificial and natural intelligence for ICT and beyond within not only our Engineering ICT department, but our university.
  • To contribute to future social impact in African countries. The applicants are expected to return to their African home country after completion of their PhD studies in order to pursue a career related to ICT there.

This PhD fellowship seeks doctoral applications from talented African female students (only African nationality applicants will be considered) with strong research interests. Candidates for PhD positions must hold an M.Sc degree or equivalent.
The Dorcas Muthoni PhD Fellowship will be part of the Doctoral programme in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) of Pompeu Fabra University, that covers many of the most important research topics in the information society grouped into five main areas: computation and intelligent systemsmultimedia technologiesnetworks and communicationscomputational biology and biomedical systems and brain and cognition. More information on the DTIC PhD programme can be found here and all the admission requirements and documents necessary for the application to enter the UPF PhD programme are listed here.
Please note that English is the main language for written and oral communication as part of the PhD programme.
This fellowship is considered as Predoctoral Research Contracts (PRC), in accordance with the Spanish law 14/2011 on Science, Technology and Innovation.

Please note, before applying, each candidate must identify one or several DTIC research supervisor/s with whom she would like to work and contact them to request a support letter. Support from a potential research supervisor is a compulsory pre-requisite to be able to enter the fellowship selection process. You can find a list of our research supervisors in this link.

Host institution

Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.

Research Areas

Students will pursue doctoral studies in one of the ICT Research Areas of the department which includes: Cognition, Computation and Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Theoretical Computer Science, Natural Language Processing, Ubiquitous Computing, Information Retrieval and Data Mining, Cognitive Multimedia Technologies, Image Processing and Computer Vision, Sound and Music Computing, Human-Computer Interaction, Graphics and Educational Technologies, Network Technologies and Strategies, Wireless Communications, Cybersecurity, Information Theory and Coding, Computational Neuroscience, Instrumentation and Biomedical Electronics, Computational Imaging and Computational Physiology, Analysis of Biomedical Data and Non-Linear Signal Analysis.

Application Period

Applications to the Dorcas Muthoni Fellowship (see details in point 2 below) and to the UPF-ICT PhD programme (see details in point 1 below) are to be submitted by 2nd May 2024 at 23:59 hours CET (Central European Time).
Dorcas Muthoni Fellowship Resolution: 4th July 2024
*The contracts of the people admitted on this period are envisaged to start at the beginning of October-November 2024.
Early applications are very much encouraged.

How to apply

We are listing below the two applications + motivation letter + teaching subjects preferences form you need to complete when applying for this fellowship. Please note that all needs to be submitted by the deadline:

1. Application to the UPF ICT PhD programme (including support letter from potential DTIC @ UPF supervisor)

  • Please read carefully the Eligibility requirements in this link
  • It is compulsory to submit in your application a support letter from your potential supervisor in DTIC.
  • Please complete this application to the ICT PhD programme at UPF

2. Application to the Dorcas Muthoni PhD Fellowship

3. Motivation letter 

  • The applicant should explain her motivation to apply to this fellowship and the expected impact after the end of her PhD studies in terms of the ICT gender equality and social impact in Africa.

4. Preferred Teaching subjects

  • As the contract will include a teaching assistance load of 45 hours per academic year. Please download and complete the form in this link and select the subjects you prefer to teach based on this list of subjects included at the end of the form. Once the completed, please ensure the form is signed by your potential PhD Supervisor.

5. Digital copy of your Passport

Please send all the documents listed in points 3, 4 and 5 to this email address: phdprogram.ict@upf.edu

Duration of the fellowship (PRC- Predoctoral Research Contract)
Four years, renewed annually.

Type of fellowship (PRC):
We offer a predoctoral contract with a minimum gross monthly salary of 1.470,98€ for the 1st and 2nd year, and a gross monthly salary of 1.576,05€ for the 3rd year.

Teaching. PRC includes a teaching assistance load of 45 hours per academic year. These teaching hours are a compulsory pre-requisite to be able to enter the fellowship selection process.

Start-up Fund. The fellowship will also include a startup/Landing Fund to facilitate the fellow’s initial expenditure. The fund will be for the amount of 2500€.

Please note that the scholarship offered has been designed to support only one individual and we cannot assure financial, logistical or administrative support to cover for any family members.

Fees covered by the fellowship (PRC- Predoctoral Research Contract)
The “Dorcas Muthoni” fellowships/PRC include the annual tutorship fees, but neither the administrative fees nor the fees for validations of degrees issued by a university outside the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) without homologation. Check here for further information. Fees covered by the fellowship (PRC)

Evaluation criteria

  • Excellent Academic record of the candidate
  • Motivation letter:
    -Candidates expected contribution to the promotion of ICT gender equality
    -Future expected social and economic impact (Africa)

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