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DeepMind offers scholarships in AI studies for BAME community

SOURCE: Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch/AFP
DeepMind is providing scholarships for members of the BAME community to pursue their postgraduate studies in AI and machine learning.


By U2B Staff 

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Students from minority groups based in the United Kingdom and the European Union will now have the opportunity to receive scholarships from DeepMind to continue their postgraduate education in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

This announcement comes as Deep Mind, a leading British interdisciplinary artificial intelligence group reaffirms its philanthropic commitment to members of the underrepresented communities who wish to pursue their postgraduate education in AI and machine learning.

DeepMind was formed with the aim of increasing the number of postgraduates students who identify as female or who are from black or other ethnic minority backgrounds in tech fields. Through this initiative, recipients of DeepMind Master’s Scholarship will receive financial benefits that cover fees and maintenance for the academic year.

Similarly, those who receive the DeepMind PhD Scholarship will receive fees and maintenance funding for the entire duration of the doctoral studies that can take up to four years.

In addition to financial support, scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to attend industry events organised by DeepMind, receive a travel grant to attend an international research conference, and will be matched with a DeepMind mentor.

According to a survey carried out by Imperial College of London’s Faculty of Engineering, 70% of PhD students could not have pursued their studies without financial support.

The university’s department of computing is thus ramping up efforts to lift the barriers to PhD-level education.

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The success of achieving this aim largely falls on the availability of doctoral scholarships and now, members from underrepresented communities at Imperial’s Department of Computing will be eligible to receive the much needed financial boost.

Over the next few years, students pursuing their postgraduate education in AI at Imperial will be eligible for four Master’s level scholarships and two PhD-level scholarships.

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial, Professor Nigel Brandon expressed delight at the generous scholarship funding, “We are very grateful for this continued support. The DeepMind Scholarships will have huge impacts on the lives of the students who are selected. We also really appreciate the mentorship opportunities DeepMind has offered to our students, which I know they value very highly,”

Brandon added that the university is looking forward to continuing the collaboration with DeepMind to see its most-talented students flourish and realise their potential in this new and exciting area of technology.

DeepMind is also collaborating with other universities in the UK and one of these partnerships is with the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge.

In this partnership, scholarships will be awarded to three one-year Master’s courses and two three-year PhD scholarships in the fields of computer science and machine learning at the university.

Commenting on this partnership which began in 2018, University Relations and Educational Partnerships Lead at DeepMind, Obum Ekeke said that removing the barriers that are preventing people from applying to postgraduate studies in the field of AI will help to develop a robust “AI community”.

This will ensure that future generations of AI researchers and computer scientists are able to form a thriving research community that will benefit the whole of society.

In a similar partnership, the AI company will also provide scholarship funding for under-represented students pursuing postgraduate studies in AI at Queen Mary University of London.

Five scholarships will go to eligible students who enrol on the university’s MSc in AI programme and three scholarships will be set aside for students to undertake a PhD in machine learning or AI.

Programme Manager at the Institute of Coding (IoC) at Queen Mary, Isobel Bates said,  “We’re delighted to receive another significant gift from DeepMind to continue our valued scholarship programme,”

She added, “Queen Mary, in partnership with the IoC and the Office for AI, is determined to do its part to break down the barriers that discourage women and BAME students from digital education and careers.”

The scholarship programme will play a key role in ensuring that women and BAME students are given the right support and opportunity in the AI field.