The Hasso-Plattner Institute (HPI) Research School at University of Cape Town, affiliated with the School of Information Technology at the University of Cape Town, annually grants PhD and Postdoctoral fellowships to qualifying students from the African continent in the fields of Computer Science (CS) and Information Systems (IS). We seek high quality applications centred on ideas that revolve around proposing and evaluating solutions to problems of computer science and information systems that emerge in the African context.

Successful candidates will join a growing network of HPI at UCT scholars, and engage in original research under the supervision of one of the following members of the research school:

  •  Jan Buys (CS) > Natural Language Processing
  •  Irwin Brown (IS) > ICT Innovations in Organisations and Society, and IS Management (not in 2022)
  •  Josiah Chavula (CS) > Network Measurements, Performance Engineering and Software Defined Networking
  •  Melissa Densmore (CS) > Human-Computer Interaction
  •  Maria Keet (CS) > Knowledge Engineering
  •  Ulrike Rivett (IS) > iCOMMS – Community Services
  •  Lisa Seymour (IS) > Enterprise Systems, Business Process Management, IS Education, ICT4D
  •  Hussein Suleman (CS) > Digital Libraries, Information Retrieval, and Educational Technology

Eligible candidates will meet the following criteria:

  1.  Hold a Masters (or PhD for Postdoctoral candidates) Degree in Computer Science, Information Systems or related field, 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.

Accepted candidates should be prepared to study full-time in Cape Town, South Africa, and will be required to secure a study visa. Members of the research school receive funding of EUR 1050/month (paid in ZAR up to ZAR 17,000/month) towards fees and expenses, a one-time equipment allowance of EUR 1000, and annual support of up to EUR 2000 for conference attendance. Each member may normally be funded for up to 3 years, subject to degree requirements and demonstration of adequate progress.

Applications open 15 June and close on 15 August each year for admission in February of the following year

To apply, please submit 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. Please submit a single pdf file, comprising ALL the application materials, electronically to

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 our supervisors. It is advisable to consult the web pages and publications of potential supervisors, then to contact them 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 School of IT at UCT. If you have more than one area of interest indicate this at the end of your research proposal. In the application you will also be asked to indicate up to three prospective supervisors.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted and expected to arrange for three reference letters to be submitted and be available for a video-conference interview in September. Questions or requests for more information can be made to the Coordinator, Melissa Densmore, at The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications. 

Download this information in PDF format.

Call for applicants: Postdoctoral Fellowship

The University of Cape Town reserves the right to disqualify ineligible, incomplete and/or inappropriate applications. The University of Cape Town reserves the right to change the conditions of award or to make no awards at all.