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US-based Nigerian wins 2023 Mellon, ACLS competition

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US-based Nigerian wins 2023 Mellon, ACLS competition

A United States-based Nigerian scholar, Mr Chijioke Onah, has emerged the winner of the 2023 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship.

This was announced by scholarship giant, the American Council of Learned Society (ACLS), in a press release obtained by DAILY POST.

Onah emerged winner with his project, “Toxic Intimacies: The (Bio) Politics of Waste and Disposability in Africa and African Diaspora.”

His work was selected out of a pool of about 700 entries from various countries of the world.

The Enugu State-born prolific scholar is currently a PhD Student at Cornell University, USA, specialising in Black Atlantic Literature, African Studies, Trauma and Memory Studies, and Environmental Humanities.

President of the donor organisation, Joy Connolly, who made the announcement explained that the programme is run under a sponsorship grant from ACLS’s partner, the Mellon Foundation, pointing out that it was initiated to support “exceptional emerging“ scholars who are pursuing path-breaking research.

“ACLS is proud to announce that Chijioke K. Onah has been awarded a 2023 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowship”, the statement read, in part, adding that he emerged “through a rigorous, multi-stage peer review”.

Onah will get a cash support of $50,000, a new category of a series of fellowship and grant programmes of ACLS, but which aims at supporting innovative approaches to dissertation research in the humanities and interpretative social sciences.

Forty four other scholars were also selected, including three other Nigerians, who will also smile home with $50,000 cash support each.

The ACLS boss also stressed that the innovation was designed to support and encourage bold and innovative doctoral students in the humanities and interpretative social sciences through their dissertation research, especially at the formative stage of dissertation development.

She thanked the Mellon Foundation for her partnership, pointing out that such support helps in forging pathways toward a more diverse and inclusive academy.

In his reaction, Mr Onah told our reporter in a telephone interview that he was thrilled by the development.

He dedicated the victory to all indigent students in Nigeria and Africa, describing his success as a validation of hard work and a push to do more.

“To be named a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellow is to be recognised alongside other extraordinarily talented scholars.

“But I see it more as a push to do more rather than simply a validation of my past efforts,“ he said.

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