June 11, 2024

OOU lecturer, Odunsi is first Urban Planner in Nigeria to win Humboldt Research Fellowship

By Adesina

Winning a highly competitive fellowship is not cheap or easy. It requires a high degree of commitment, resilience, leadership and hard work.

Unlike scholars in academic fields in pure and applied sciences, technology and engineering, it is more challenging for scholars in the socio-environmental sciences.

As a result, recipients of such fellowships in fields like urban and regional planning deserve to be respected and celebrated for their hard work.

Indeed, Dr. Oluwafemi Odunsi has done his university, his hometown, Sagamu, and the nation at large proud by winning one of the most respected and prestigious fellowships awarded to outstanding researchers globally by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2023.

The foundation offers a range of fellowship and award programs for postdoctoral researchers, experienced researchers, and even established scientists. These include the globally competitive Humboldt Research Fellowship, the Georg Forster Research Fellowship for developing countries, and the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. The programs give recipients the privilege of conducting independent research at a research institute in Germany for 6 – 24 months in collaboration with a preferred academic host. Based on available evidence, Dr. Odunsi could be the first Nigerian registered town planner to win the Humboldt Research Fellowship.  

Dr Odunsi is an alumnus of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, where he obtained his first degree in Urban and Regional Planning more than a decade ago as one of the shining lights in his class. His self-discovered interest in research and ambition to have a feel of a federal university education led him to Obafemi Awolowo University for his Master’s degree. He completed his Ph.D. at the same university a few years ago. As an early career researcher, he has won the Travel Access Project (TAP) grant, the Consortium of Advanced Research Training in Africa – Intervention towards Strengthening Research Training (CARTA-ItSTRETO) fellowship, and the Santa Fe Institute Complexity Interactive (SFI-CI) Scholarship.

As an academic at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Dr. Odunsi has been involved in research, leadership and mentorship. He is well published in reputable local and international journals and has over 35 peer-reviewed articles that are widely read and cited.

During his stay at the host institution, Ruhr University Bochum (RUB), in Germany, Dr. Odunsi is conducting his research with Professor Andreas Rienow in the Interdisciplinary Working Group on Geoinformation Sciences to unravel the current and future impacts of an economic development cluster initiative on the settlement expansion and ecosystem of Abeokuta, Nigeria, and its metropolitan area using artificial intelligence (AI) and computer simulations.