INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED
Institute of Advances Studies Project
The Olupona Foundation for Education, Equality and Peace is working to secure funding to build and operate an Institute of Advanced Studies (the Institute).
Located within the Obafemi Awolowo University, the Insitute’s mission will be to advance postdoctoral research focused on issues of national identity, culture, and society.
The Institute will:
Improve the quality of faculty, academia within Nigeria;
Foster cutting-edge, innovative research beyond standard university levels;
Encourage the exchange of ideas among scholars and promote deep knowledge in different disciplines;
Ultimately, accommodate postdoctoral research for international scholarly communities, possibly in cooperation with other African countries.
The Institute would model other prestigious international centers – the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and other well-known institutes in Israel, Japan, and China.
When fully established, the Institute will also:
Foster the participation of senior and junior scholars in interdisciplinary research;
Actively engage non-university intellectuals, Nigerian and African thought-leaders and civil servants in matters related to Africa’s economic growth and policy development;
Host several research programs and themes.
The Olupona Foundation will partner with the Obafemi Awolowo University; a comprehensive public institution established in 1962 and situated on a vast expanse of land in Ile-Ife, Osun State, southwest Nigeria.
In the 1970’s and the early 1980’s, the University attained a foremost position among universities in Africa, with a vibrant academic and social atmosphere and a high international reputation. Today, the University celebrates a rich tradition of excellence, with a Nobel Laureate and four National Merit Award winners among its staff.
Objectives and Expected Outcome
The objective of the project is to create an Institute of Advanced Studies within the campus of the Obafemi Awolowo University in Il-Ife, Nigeria. The Institute will encourage the participation of senior and junior scholars in interdisciplinary research and will provide scholars with access to a strong infrastructure to carry on important research to further shape the country’s future. The Institute will support and develop a junior academics that will train postdoctoral fellows to benefit Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
The expected outcomes of this project are:
A well-renowned Institute of Advanced Studies that will produce thoughtful research and serve as an example for other institutions in Nigeria and Africa;
A dynamic and vibrant community of scholars that will be supported by a network of non-university intellectuals, Nigerian and African society thought-leaders and civil servants; and
A recognized source of quality research that will inspire and impact policy matters related to Africa’s economic growth and development.
The Institute’s main activity and focus will be to champion postdoctoral research in Nigerian and ultimately international scholarly communities. Its program(s) and initiatives will align with the Institute’s higher and main focus: develop a junior academy that will train postdoctoral fellows in order to benefit Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Research will focus on interdisciplinary work at the intersection of the humanities, life sciences, social sciences, information technology, and social development. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a stipends funded by the Institute and its contributors.
The Institute will sponsor an annual summer seminar for undergraduate, pre-doctorate, and postdoctorate students. The seminar will be arranged around specific themes related to students’ fields of interests. Important national and international scholars will conduct this four-to-six-week summer session. Participants will gain access to the latest research in their fields via activities with the Fellows and library explorations. The Institute’s Fellows will serve as mentors and encourage students in the summer program to publish essays.
The Alumni Association will foster lifelong bonds between the Institute and its Fellows who complete a one-year residency. Grouped into yearly promotions (Classes), the Alumni Association will encourage former participants to maintain constructive relationships with the Institute and with one another. A permanent Alumni Relations Officer will create, maintain and manage the Institute’s database of alumni contact information to ensure graduates remain posted on any Institute’s events, activities and major accomplishments.
The central Library will provide reading materials pertinent to all academic fields within the Institute’s scope. The Library will maintain a collection of relevant books, journals, and magazines both in print and electronic formats. Special collections of books and materials donated by retired professors, state leaders, and prominent civil servants will form collections to be named after their donors.
Successful institutes for advanced studies use federal government funding in addition to donations from public, private, national, and international donors. Gifts enable institutes to apply funds flexibly, thereby supporting various public events and in-house projects. The Institute will engage in fundraising efforts which will enable the Institute to provide stipends to research fellows.
Who Will Be The Beneficiaries?
The Institute’s Academic Advisory Board will select the Institute’s Fellows via a rigorous application process. Fellows will primarily be recent PhD graduates from Nigerian universities. A minority of young scholars from international communities will also have the opportunity to join the Institute. The Institute will give national and international research scholars a chance to focus on independent projects during the academic year. Additionally, the Academic Advisory Board will have the option to invite a specific scholar to conduct special projects. However, such invitations will constitute only a small percentage of admitted Fellows. All selections will be based on the quality of the candidate’s previous work.
Volunteer Support Program
The Foundation is constantly seeking talented volunteers to help the Foundation attain its objectives. The Foundation is seeking volunteers in the following areas:
Marketing strategy consulting to better promote Foundations activities
Business consulting to cultivate better business strategies
Fundraising strategy consulting to help raise more funds to support ongoing activities and programs
Education support and interventions to help educate and develop local teachers and students.
Please contact us if you are interested in Shaping Nigeria’s Future.