SIDA Project


Building Research Capacity in Innovative Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) for Sustainable Socio-economic Growth in Uganda.

Call for applications to PhD programme in Software Engineering or Informatics (Information Systems/Technology)

Project Title
Building Research Capacity in Innovative Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) for Sustainable Socio-economic Growth in Uganda.
Location in Sweden
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Department
of Applied Information Technology, at University of Gothenburg and
Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg
Location in Uganda
School of Computing and Informatics Technology, Makerere
University, Kampala
Start date
Upon agreement
The scholarships will provide support for registration, equipment, regional/international conferences, field study, publications and printing of thesis and travel to Sweden

Programme outline in brief
The PhD programme will be funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Makerere University (Mak), Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), University of Gothenburg (UGOT), and Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmers) will jointly train ten (10) PhD-students. The aim is to build research capacity in innovative Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) for sustainable economic growth in Uganda. Health and education are the two application domains that will be main focus areas. The programme spans four to five years and include (i) general courses in Software Engineering, and Informatics/Information Systems, as well as specialization courses, and (ii) data collection and thesis writing. All 10 PhD-Students will be funded through scholarships and will be recruited from academic staff from Mak and MUST. Seven (7) PhD-students will be admitted to PhD studies at UGOT and Chalmers, and three (3) PhD-students will be admitted to PhD studies at Mak. For information about the Research environment and Challenges and research topics (see appendix).

PhD studies
The PhD programmeis aiming at a sandwich (7) and local (3)PhD trainingmodelat UGOT/Chalmers and/or Mak/MUST, and it will run for four years comprising ofintensive course work and thesis work. Students admitted on the sandwich model will spend half of their time in Sweden. To obtain a PhD degree, doctoral candidates must have written and verbally defended a scientifically based doctoral thesis that has been passed at a public defence, and he or she must also have passed the courses and examinations that are included in the study plan. Each PhD-student will perform the study under supervision by a main supervisor and two co-supervisors aiming at the development of the PhD student’s methodology, experience, analytical skills, and theoretical depth and width. Results will be communicated in the form of scientific articles, conference presentations, etc. and a PhD thesis.

We are seeking 10 highly motivated persons for PhD studies in Software Engineering or Informatics/Information Systems. You must have a master degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or in Informatics/Information Systems, or in an equivalent subject.Good communication skills in English are also required. Experience inscientific collaboration is a merit.The capability of assimilating a doctoral education is crucial and the applicant will prove this by documenting knowledge within the research areas Software Engineering, or Informatics/Information Systems,and knowledge in scholarly scientific theory and methodology, as well asthe ability to execute scientific research.

Selection Process
1.    The PhD candidates will be recruited based on academic merit.
2.    Competent faculty at UGOT, Chalmers, MUST, and Mak will jointly perform reviewing and interviewing of the applications.
3.    Special recruitment efforts will be made to ensure gender equality within the program

Additional information
The application must be written in English and itmustinclude two separate documents plus thesis. Applications will be handled electronically.

The 1st document shall include:

  • a short cover letter with a motivation that describes how the applicant meets the selection criteria (max. two A4 pages), and
  • an attested list of qualifications (CV)

The 2nd document shall include:

  •  examination certificates and a transcript of courses with grades,
  • a copy of the master thesis (or equivalent),
  • a proposal for a research topic and an approach(max. twoA4 pages),
  • evidence of employment at Makerere University or Mbarara University of Science and Technology
  • contact information for at least two references that are familiar with the applicant’s qualifications, and 
  • other documents deemed important by the applicant

Application procedure

  1.  Application procedure for admission: Follow the link http://rgt.mak.ac.ug
  2. Detailed information about the application for scholarship can be obtained from the Makerere–Sida web portal: www.sida.mak.ac.ug/applications
  3. Electronic submission of application for scholarship with supporting documents should be sent to the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University; Email: director@rgt.mak.ac.ug; Copy to:  conference@rgt.mak.ac.ug; ict4d@ait.gu.se. Hard copies should be addressed to the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University P.O.BOX 7062 Kampala, Senate Building Level Four, Room 410.
  4. All files should be in commonly accessible formats (such as pdf or word).
  5. Application deadline is 27 November 2015 and interviews (where applicable)will be conducted 3rd – 4th December 2015. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.

For further information contact:

Project email:  ict4d@ait.gu.se  

Prof. Dr. Michel R. V. Chaudron Email: chaudron@gu.se or

Associate Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha Email: baino@cis.mak.ac.ug

Introduction to the research environment

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), and the Department of Applied Information Technology (AIT) are both shared departments at University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. The departments of CSE and AIT have strong international links across Europe (Leiden, Delft, London, Lancaster, Eindhoven, Valencia,  L’Aquila, Aachen, Duisburg, Tampere, Bolzano, Hannover, Dortmund, Helsinki, Nantes, Mons, Antwerp, Vienna, EURECOM, and with Warwick Business School, UK) and elsewhere (Victoria BC, Montreal, Chicago, and Temple University, Philadelphia and University of Texas, in the U.S.A).

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering conducts research and education in many fields such as algorithms, computer security, distributed systems, electronic design, formal methods, logic, networking, software technology, software engineering, language technology and reliable computer systems. The Department has about 70 teachers/researchers, and about 70 PhD-students from some 30 different countries. It creates a dynamic research environment with several world-renowned research groups. Research spans the spectrum from theoretical underpinnings to applied systems development.

The Department of Applied Information Technology offers education and carries out research within the areas informatics and IT-management, interaction design, learning, communication, cognitive science and visualization in close collaboration with industry and public sector. Development of the individual’s knowledge and ability to analyse, understand and handle different aspects of IT, interaction between people and interaction between people and technology are at focus. About 80 teachers and senior researchers are working at the department, and the administrative staff sums up to a dozen people. The cohort of a little more than 40 PhD-students from approximately 20 different countries constitute a vital part of the department’s heterogeneous research environment.

The aim is to distribute the Ph.D. students equally over the department of CSE and AIT.

The School of Computing and Informatics Technology, Mak has research groups that bring together researchers with similar and complementary research interests. The research groups include Artificial Intelligence for Development (AI-D), Development Informatics (DI), Software & Enterprise Engineering (S&EE), and Wireless Networks & Security Systems (WNSS). PhD candidates and researchers arising from this project will be based in these research groups and will have an opportunity to receive feedback from peers about their work. Further, Mak and MUST have existing collaborations with researchers from the domains of agriculture, medical/health, law-enforcement and education. The Institute of Computer Science, MUST/Uganda has existing collaboration with the Medical School at MUST, which will provide case studies for the ICTs in health. Mak organizes an annual international conference (see http://cit.mak.ac.ug/iccir/) that brings together academics from all over the world. Mak also hosts an international journal of computing and ICT research (IJCIR) (see http://ijcir.org/home/)

There is an existing collaboration between Mak and MUST both in research projects and teaching programmes. In addition, a number of MUST staff are (or have been) Ph.D. or M.Sc. students at Mak. Mak and MUST have existing collaborations with local, regional and international Universities including Gulu University (Uganda), Kyambogo University
(Uganda), University of Nairobi (Kenya), University of Cape Town (South Africa), University of Groningen (The Netherlands), Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands), and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), among others.  Mak also has contacts at IICD International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) (see www.iicd.org) - an international institute that specializes in the use of ICT to transform societies in developing countries.

Challenges and research topics

The digitalization of society affects our lives increasingly locally as well as globally. Creativity and innovation are fundamental drivers generating a multitude of technologies and services that we use extensively in our everyday lives. Technology thus promotes individual empowerment, welfare and creates new economy, new jobs. The digitalization can give positive effects in terms of increased service and welfare.Currently there is wide penetration and adoption of ICT in Uganda in various sectors including health and education. At the same time, the shortage of skills in software engineering, digital innovation and entrepreneurship is hindering the potential of sustainable ICTs for social and economic development.

The research in the AIT Dept aims to generate new knowledge about how we are using technology and how this use affects us. Examples of ICT-related research topics are the alignment of ICT systems to local social and technological conditions, achieving interoperation between a large variety of systems across organizational boundaries, introduction of ICT solutions in remote and low-literacy areas, engineering systems for supporting the more than 40 distinct languages that are in use in Uganda.

Key research areas in the CSE dept are:  cyberphysical systems (autonomous vehicles, drones), secure software engineering, model-based software engineering, domain specific languages, software ecosystems, natural language processing, software metrics/measurement, software architecture and component-based software engineering. We would also like to start research in semantic technologies (such as ontologies) for software engineering.

The aforementioned challenges and topics constitute a rough scoping of research questions that will be addressed within the areas of Software Engineering and Informatics in the project.

Contact persons:
Prof. Dr. Michel R. V. Chaudron Email: chaudron@gu.se or
Associate Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha Email: baino@cis.mak.ac.ug

Website: http://cis.mak.ac.ug/sida-ict4d/

Copyright CoCIS P.O.Box 7062 Kampala (UG) | Tel: 256-414-540628. | Fax: 256-414-540620 | Email: info[at]cis.mak.ac.ug.