Nigerians, Somalian, Rwandan and Ghanaian among recipients of Canada’s Vanier and Banting Awards

By Ebimo Amungo

Four Nigerians, a Somalian, a Ghanaian and a Rwandan are among researchers announced as the 2020-2021 recipients of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, Canada’s most prized awards for PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, respectively.

Vanier Scholarships are valued at $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies, while Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships are worth $70,000 per year for two years.

The awards also allow faculty members to reinvest funding originally intended for the recipients to other students, potentially creating additional research opportunities.


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Abdikarim Abdullahi, a Canadian with Somali heritage and Celestin Hategeka also a Canadian with Rwandan heritage received the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Four researchers with Nigerian heritage; Christiana Onabola, Chinonye Udechukwu, Oluwatomiwa Osin and Adebayo Majekolagbe and Ghanaian received , Florence Wullo Anfaara received the Vanier Scholarship awards.

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

Abdullahi, Abdikarim

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Research: Turning White Fat into Energy-burning Brown Fat: New hope in the fight against Obesity.


Hategeka, Celestin

Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts)

Research: Improving Health System Quality Through Better Measurement and Service Delivery Redesign


Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

Onabola, Christiana

University of Northern British Columbia

Research: On the Cusp of Planetary Health Equity: Adopting Watersheds as a Conceptual Framework for the study of SDGs Interactions and Health Outcomes.


Udechukwu, Chinonye

University of Calgary

Research: Impact of dietary interventions on the developing microbiota-gut-brain axis: implications for susceptibility to later life depression and anxiety.


Osin, Oluwatomiwa (Nigeria)

University of Ottawa

Research: Functionalized Nano-Porous Solids for Sustainable Treatment of Pollutants in Wastewater.


Anfaara, Florence Wullo (Ghana)

The University of Western Ontario

Research: Promoting Community Health and Wellbeing in Liberia: The role of Peace Huts.


Majekolagbe, Adebayo

Dalhousie University

Research: Impact Assessment, Climate Change, and the Sustainability Transition of Fossil Fuel Dependent Economies: Towards a Just Transition Impact Assessment Framework.


While explaining the purpose and goal of his research, Majekolagbe Adebayo told the Dalhouse University News.

“My research focuses on the design of a just transition impact assessment framework to facilitate the equitable and effective sustainability transition of fossil fuel dependent economies. Global climate discourse has largely been conducted as a pro-fossil and anti-fossil binary. Such binary is unhelpful and fossil fuel producing societies have become increasingly resistant to climate change mitigation policies and initiatives. With a framework, the human dimension and social effects of mitigation policies and projects can be assessed and alternative pathways which could meet mitigation goals without neglecting social concerns can be considered. This will potentially help ease the resistance of fossil fuel dependent economies to climate change mitigation.”

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