I have good news from South Africa for those aspiring for higher degrees and research in ICT.The Meraka Institute, which is managed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria, South Africa, is offering studentships and internships in the following programs:

  • Human Language Technology (HLT) Research Group
  • Knowledge Systems Research Group (KSG)
  • High Performance Computing (HPC) and Biomedical Informatics
  • Information Security
  • ICT for Earth Observation (ICT4EO) Research Group
  • Human Factors and Enterprise Engineering (HuFEE) Group
  • Intelligent Environments for Independent Living (IE4IL)
  • Ability Based Technology Intervention (AbTi)

A studentship is an employment contract with the CSIR for the selected graduates to perform research on a topic approved by the CSIR leading to a Masters or PhD degree that is fully funded by the CSIR. The benefits or features of a studentship are:

  • Obtain a Masters or PhD degree while working as part of a strong research group
  • Obtain exposure to related industry and public sector projects while studying
  • Perform research that advances the objectives of the group
  • Financial support provided per year: approximately R130 000 for Masters, and R160 000 for PhD studies (the correct values will be indicated on the contracts)
  • No contractual obligations after completing degree
  • Degree conferred by a South African university, depending on choice of topic and supervisor
  • Candidate should have the necessary prior degree in order to apply.

There are no special details about the Internship programme apart from the usual fact that it is a learning programme of an experiential nature offered by the CSIR to recent graduates to gain practical experience in line with a research in Science, Engineering and Technology fields.

It has been reported that preference in all listed opportunities will be given to South African citizens and that all appointments will be made in accordance to the CSIR’s employment equity initiatives. If you are interested in submitting an application, please give me a shout . I will send you the full PDF version of the advert for your action. Feel free to spread the word to your friends. I am not sure if the Meraka Institute will consider applicants who are not based in South Africa. All I can say is that you must ask the guys at the Meraka Institute if that is possible.

Having worked at the Meraka Institute’s Wireless Africa Research Group as a predoctoral researcher, I would like to encourage those who are aspiring to further their studies in ICT to apply for these opportunities. The Meraka Institute offers an exciting environment for ICT research.The people are nice. Material and financial support is also very good. If I had remained there, by now, I would have been at a very advanced stage in PhD research. But I took a break from Meraka because of some personal problems which will I explain in one of my upcoming posts. And as I was thinking of going back to resume my research, the Japanese Government offered me a scholarship for PhD research at Tokyo Institute of Technology, the largest institution of higher learning in Japan dedicated to science and technology. The thrill of working with Professor Hirota, one of the world’s eminent and seasoned researchers in Fuzzy Systems, made it extremely difficult for me to turn down the offer. But I will always have fond memories of my time at Meraka. God willing, I will go back and work there in a different capacity in the future.

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