Blog by Dr Zibah Nwako, PhD
I am super thrilled to announce that I have been awarded a prestigious ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Postdoctoral* Fellowship for my impact project: “Towards an African feminist framework for students’ welfare in Nigerian Higher Education”. The application process was highly competitive and I was informed that there were 28 applications received for only 7 fellowship places.
*Postdoctoral [adj.] – relating to advanced work or study that someone does after completing their PhD
The Fellowship will support my ongoing work in developing collaborative learning opportunities and networks with women students in tertiary education to advance #AfricanFeminist scholarship and engagement in the fields of gender, welfare and education.
I look forward to nurturing impactful and empowering relationships between women student groups in #Nigeria and #Kenya as well as other cross-country affiliations. In particular, one of the exciting outputs planned from the Fellowship is a graphic novella depicting the lived experiences of female students in tertiary education. I am privileged to be working two talented young women – an intern storyteller and a graphic artist. The novella will appeal not just to individual students in their teens and above, but also to wider audiences including parents/families, teaching and non-academic staff as well as policymakers. So, watch this space…!!!
For policy and practice
Over the next two years, the Fellowship will also enable me to work closely with a select few educational institutions (at tertiary or secondary school level) based in Africa, to implement good working policies and to facilitate practices that will enhance students’ welfare and wellbeing.
This presents a rare opportunity for your institution to benefit from well-researched qualitative data and relevant findings. Therefore, if you would like an impartial evaluation of your welfare service and commitment to your students, with appropriate recommendations to achieve your duty of care, do feel free to contact me.
It took a village
This part is also known as a gratitude thread:
Today is my last working day of a 3-month contract at the Centre for Comparative and International Research in Education (CIRE), where I “cut my teeth” as a Postdoctoral Fellow and learnt a lot from the Co-Directors, Dr. Rafael Mitchell and Dr. Julia Paulson. However, I will still be based at the School of Education (SoE), University of Bristol and working with another CIRE Co-Director, Prof. Arathi Sriprakash as my esteemed academic mentor.
I sincerely appreciate the SoE’s Head of Department, my PhD Supervisors Prof. Leon Tikly and Dr. Angeline Mbogo Barrett, research manager Sarah Cox; plus the constant encouragement from family and friends including Ifee Kojo, Patrick Maduakonam Anigbo II, Dr. Emmanuel Adukwu, Trang Mai Trần, Aminath Shiyama and Hadiza Kere Abdulrahman.
I am thankful to colleagues at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, especially Dr. Keir Williams who I am currently working with on the Resilience through international networks project and Dr. Malé Lujan Escalante. Also to Dr. Bridget Sealey for her invaluable professional coaching and mentoring advice.
This Fellowship would not have been possible without the support of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership; and Dr. Charlotte Morris from the Women Students in Nigerian Higher Education project.
If you know any of the above-mentioned people, please give them a cool shout-out on my behalf!
One more piece of good news… If you have read this far, are you wondering if “About Priscilla” is the title of the graphic novella? It did cross my mind 😉 But it is not. Rather, permit me to introduce you to Miss Priscilla Taiwo, my new colleague at AFFIRM who is an excellent social media and communications intern. If you follow our Facebook page, you will notice what I’m talking about.
To our current blog followers, THANK YOU. And if you have not done so already, do subscribe to this In Our Own Voices blog so that you can receive our updates, stories and news before anyone else.
Chineke, I mela!!!
First image shows the hands of a group of women students drawing a map of their university campus during a participatory session.