A Nigerian first-class graduate of Mathematics, Maniru Ibrahim, has been offered a €20 million scholarship for a four-year PhD programme at Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research Training in the Foundation of Data Science.
Ibrahim graduated in 2017 from Usman Danfodiyo University, in Sokoto.
He was given an offer at the world-class Irish centre in April, after being carefully screened and shortlisted by CRT management.
The interviews were held virtually, according to the school.
The programme starts in September. Ibrahim is at present rounding off his Master’s program in Theoretical Physics at the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Italy.
In Ireland, he will be a PhD student at Limerick University, Ireland, with all the expenses to be bankrolled by Ireland Science Foundation Centre.
As part of the scholarship package, Ibrahim will earn a yearly allowance of €18,500 for the duration of his four-year programme.
The scholarship funds also include travel and accommodation allowances for conferences related to his studies.
Ibrahim who broke the news of his success to Daily Star Nigeria said he was completely home-grown.
He had his primary, secondary, and university education all in Sokoto and was posted to Zamfara for the National Youth Service programme.
Ibrahim is the first African to be invited to join the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research Training in the Foundation of Data Science.
The school is a specialist one.
On its website, it says it is out to train a cohort of 130+ PhD students in a large-scale collaborative initiative between the University of Limerick (UL), Maynooth University (MU), and University College Dublin (UCD).
The students will have training in world-class foundational understanding in the horizontal themes of Applied Mathematics, Statistics, and Machine Learning.
“These fundamental themes will be fused together by applying them to real-world challenges across five vertical themes including Data Analytics, Privacy & Security, Health & Wellbeing, Smart Manufacturing, and Networks.
“Our unique PhD training programme fosters a cohort-based training environment, which supports our students to collaborate with industry through training and an industry training placement; to collaborate with international research teams and to work across multiple disciplines.
“At the heart of our Centre vision is understanding the importance of preparing you, the student, with a wide breadth of technical and transversal skills to equip you with the skills to translate your research into meaningful, real-world applications”.
At the moment, the centre has 63 students on board, from diverse nations.
Ibrahim said he was surprised he was picked for the programme, after he was rejected by other schools, 20 times.
“At first I was a bit discouraged and frustrated, but when I saw this scholarship, I just decided to give it a trial, and gratefully, I made it.
“The program is first of its kind and I am the only African among the shortlisted candidates.
“It’s a program about the industry. ICT-related problems will be dealt with in order to provide more and more solutions in order to make life and Technology easier,” he said.