Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Candidates from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) have clinched three out of eight available Post Doctoral Fellowship (PDF) slots in the inaugural cohort for the African Futures Leadership Programme sponsored by the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP), an initiative of the Michigan State University.
According to AAP’s focal person for the University of Nigeria, Prof (Mrs) Anthonia Achike, the three successful Early Career Fellows would spend one year at the Michigan State University (MSU) for their Post Doctoral Fellowship with all expenses paid by the AAP.
Briefing newsmen in Nsukka, Prof Achike said that the candidates were selected out of eight applicants from the University of Nigeria and a total of 19 applicants from different African universities who are members of the AAP consortium.
Prof Achike, who attracted the partnership to the University of Nigeria, said the remaining five slots of the fellowship opportunity were won by other candidates from other African universities.
“Mentors and early career researchers were selected based on how their work aligned with AAP’s six priority areas: agri-food systems, water, energy, and environment, youth empowerment, education, culture, and health and nutrition,” a release by Justin Rabineau, AAP’s Communication Officer said.
Rabineau said that the successful candidates would be jointly supervised by faculty members from the University of Nigeria and the Michigan State University (MSU). The mentorship will focus on research for impact, writing of scholarly and policy publications, dissemination of research results, and grant proposals.
The candidates and their mentors included, Amelia Ngozi Odo, mentored by Dr. Evelyn Nwagu (UNN) and Masako Fujita (MSU), Helen Agu, mentored by Prof. Joy Ezeilo (UNN) and Meredith Gore (MSU) and Linda Chukwurah, mentored by Prof. Elsie Umeano (UNN) and Lepsetswe Malete (MSU).
The main objective of the fellowship programme according to Rabineau is to train a cadre of African researchers that will return to their home institutions and become scientific leaders in their communities, help solve Africa’s challenges, and in turn become trainers of the next generation of African scholars.
“In Africa, on the average, only 30% of researchers are women. The AAP’s African Futures Programme is designed to address this critical gap, and we are excited to support the next generation of African women scholars,” Dr. José Jackson-Malete, AAP Co-Director said.
The AAP consortium, led by the Michigan State University, is partnering over nine African universities. The consortium targets to solve current global problems in a way that is sustainable, effective and equitable.