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2023 AIMS Funding Opportunity – Machine Learning for Bioacoustics for African Students

Note: To successfully apply for this scholarship, ensure you read all instructions on this page.
February 20, 2023

The AIMS South Africa, the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) are looking to fund one student to work in the area of machine learning and bioacoustics. The student will share office space with a collaborative and energetic team of researchers in the beautiful city of Muizenberg, South Africa at AIMS.

The project will use audio soundscape data recorded in China which contains vocalisations of the world’s rarest primate, the Hainan gibbon. The student will investigate how advances in deep learning can be applied to bioacoustics problems, in particular, how can the sounds of animals be automatically detected. Using unsupervised and supervised learning algorithms, the candidate will explore auto-encoders, transformers and cluster algorithms to automatically identify/classify sound categories. The methods developed would support ecologists by providing them with easy-to-handle tools based on deep learning to facilitate their data processing. The student may also record audio data in Cape Town and use audio recordings from other locations to validate their algorithms.

Applications Deadline: February 20, 2023

Eligible Countries: Africa

Type: Masters

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award:

  • A single scholarship award of one hundred and seventy two thousand nine hundred Rand (R 172 900) per annum will be provided to the student for a maximum period of two (2) years.
  • A once-off travel grant to the value of fifteen thousand Rand (R 15 000) for the student to participate in a workshop/conference that is related to their research over the two (2) years of the scholarship award.
  • A once-off laptop grant to the value of twenty thousand Rand (R 20 000) for the student to purchase a laptop required for their research.
  • The funding will enable AIMS to facilitate accommodation, living expenses (including breakfast, lunch and dinner)

Eligible Field of Studies:

  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics


  • Applicants must be South African OR a national from one of the eight (8) Square Kilometre Array (SKA) African partner countries (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia) holding a study permit/ permanent residency in South Africa. Women are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply: Applications must include a complete CV, proof of bachelor completion, a covering letter detailing the candidate’s experience in programming and machine learning, availability to start, and interest in the project. Send your application as a single PDF file to [email protected] on or before the deadline.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an online interview. Contact Dr. Emmanuel Dufourq ([email protected]) for details regarding this funding.

Source: https://aims.ac.za

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