The new Dorcas Muthoni PhD Fellowship is a tribute to our Doctor Honoris Causa Dorcas Muthoni.

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. All the details can be found here.

This new scholarship is aligned with our university institutional commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in order to contribute to transform our world.

The main objectives of this new fellowship are:

(i) to promote gender equality & contribute to reduce the gender gap in Information and Communication Technology - ICT; by facilitating more women pursuing scientific/technological/engineering careers and lowering the barriers women face when pursuing careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines.

(ii) to share excellent research with African female researchers during their PhD Studies.  Our ICT department (DTIC) consists of more than 20 research groups who are very active in international research projects (i.e. currently active in 32 H2020 research projects, 9 of which are European Research Council grants) and nationally we have the Spanish research excellence seal Maria de Maeztu). The Maria de Maeztu Strategic Research Program is a 4 year (2016-19) research initiative funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness to promote data-driven knowledge extraction research within the department.

(iii) to contribute to future social impact in African countries. The applicants are expected to return to their home countries after completion of their PhD studies, and to pursue a career related to ICT.

This new 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), that covers many of the most important research topics in the information society grouped into four main areas: cognitive and intelligent systems, audiovisual technologies, networks and communications, and computational biology and biomedical systems. More information on the DTIC programme can be found here.

This new fellowship is considered as Predoctoral Research Contracts (PRC), due to the approval of 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 pre-requisite to be able to enter the fellowship selection process.


Host institution

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


Research Areas

Students will pursue doctoral studies in one of the Research Areas of the department which include: 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, Image Processing for Enhanced Cinematography, Sound and Music Computing, Human-Computer Interaction, Graphics and Educational Technologies, Network Technologies and Strategies, Wireless Communications, 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           

PhD application period: April 16th, 2018 to June, 1st, 2018.

Notification: Resolution

*The contracts of the people admitted on this period are envisaged to start at the beginning of October-November 2018.


How to apply

We are listing below the two applications + motivation letter you need to complete when applying for this fellowship. Please note that both need to be completed at the same time:

  1. Application to the ICT PhD programme
    • 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 form to the ICT PhD programme


  1. Application to the Dorcas Muthoni PhD Fellowships
  • Please complete this application form for the fellowship


  3. Motivation letter.

  • The applicant should include a motivation letter explaining her motivation to apply to this fellowship and expected impact after the end of her PhD studies in terms of the ICT gender equality and social impact in Africa, including previous experience .

• For any consults contact to [email protected]


Duration of the fellowship

Three years (with the possibility of one year extension), renewed annually.


Type of fellowship

We offer a predoctoral contract with a minimum gross monthly salary of 996,63€.

The year salary gets an increase of 6% during the 3rd year and 20% during the 4th year.

Teaching. PRC includes a teaching assistance load of 20 hours per academic year.


Start-up Fund. The fellowship will also include a startup/Landing Fund to facilitate the fellow initial expenditure. The fund will be for the amount of 2000€.


Fees covered by the fellowship

The “Dorcas Muthoni” fellowships/PRC include the annual tutorship fees, but not the administrative fees neither 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, including previous experience
    • future expected social impact (Africa), including previous experience