FAR-LEAF FELLOW SELECTED FOR NIGERIA SCIENCE LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

FAR-LeaF fellow Dr Emmanuel Chukwuma has been selected as a fellow of the prestigious Nigeria Science Leadership Programme (N-SLP). He addresses plastic pollution by re-engineering plastic – a critical priority for the African continent. His FAR-LeaF research project is focused on the circular economy from plastic waste and the reengineering of plastics with a community engagement strategy.

Dr Chukwuma proposes a circular economy plastic waste management strategy that ensures that the waste material constantly flows around in a closed-loop system instead of being used once and then discarded. This means keeping the value of plastics in the economy without leakage into the natural environment.

The N-SLP is one of the regional science leadership workshops of the African Science Leadership Programme (ASLP), an initiative led by the University of Pretoria in partnership with the Global Young Academy funded by Robert Bosch Stiftung.

It serves early- to mid-career researchers in basic and applied science, engineering, social sciences, arts, and the humanities. The program aims to foster the development of mid-career academics in Nigeria, equipping them with skills in thought leadership, team development, engagement, and collaboration. This preparation empowers them to address complex challenges affecting Nigeria, Africa, and the global community.

The leadership workshop will occur at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, in Oyo State, Nigeria, on October 19-24.

What made you apply for this fellowship?

As a young researcher and an enthusiastic emerging science leader, I desire a collaborative platform that fosters a systematic approach to solving environmental and energy problems, which are usually complex. I am passionate about this fellowship program and see it as a perfect opportunity to acquire skills in fostering the integration of stakeholders in the environmental and energy sectors.

Recently, there has been a paradigm shift in science leadership and skills required to be relevant as a scientist; I am enthused that this program is geared towards keeping pace with the global trends in solving human problems and is also tailored to African peculiarities.

What will you be researching?

Over the past decade, I have worked on applying geospatial technology in mitigating energy crises and climate change hazards (flooding, erosion, groundwater pollution, and others). This fellowship is intimately linked to improving the quality of leadership skills of early career scientists in Africa; I plan to develop advanced research leadership skills through the program. The training and capacity-building programs from the fellowship will enhance my capacity to tackle complex research on the environment.

Partnership with critical stakeholders through the fellowship is essential for wide-scope research; this fellowship will enhance my collaborative work and engagement with these stakeholders, which is crucial for my career development.


What does this fellowship mean for your career and your research?

I am passionate about sustaining my career goals, and to keep pace with emerging technology in my field, participation in this kind of program is a key motivating factor to stay relevant and progressive in my field of research. I am aware of the curriculum and benefits of the previous Science Leadership Program conducted in South Africa; I envisage the development of robust critical thinking in research from the capacity-building programs in this fellowship, and this is indispensable in my professional development and in solving complex research problems.

Partnership with critical stakeholders through the fellowship is essential for wide-scope research; this fellowship will enhance my collaborative work and engagement with these stakeholders, which is crucial for my career development. This fellowship will involve collaborative work with various scientists, and it will be an opportunity to enhance my transdisciplinary research skills.

Heidi Sonnekus | FAR-LeaF Program

 

The Future Africa Research Leader Fellowship (FAR-LeaF) is a fellowship programme, focussed on developing transdisciplinary research and leadership skills, to address the complex, inter-linked challenges of health, well-being, and environmental risks in Africa.