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PHD Nutrition and Food Science, Nigerian

The youngest of four children, my mother is a widow, having lost my father in 2012 after a long illness. Since childhood, studying and learning have been my lifelong pursuit. My mother was a primary school teacher and instilled in us a reading culture that nurtured the development of my inquiring mind and the desire for a career in academia. I am challenged by new learning opportunities and eager to apply my knowledge to help Nigerian society develop. I keenly look forward to paying particular attention throughout my career to women and girls, eventually helping to encourage girls throughout Africa to pursue science, technology, and engineering – concerning food production and a host of other areas. 

During my volunteer work at an orphanage, I realized the importance of ensuring an adequate dietary intake to maintain one’s health. As a Food Scientist, I stand at the intersection of human health and the nutritional quality of foods. Preliminary work during my MSc investigating the beneficial effects of epicatechin, a flavanol in milk chocolate, on vascular health has provided a clear foundation for pursuing additional research in this area. As a Ph.D. student, I would now like to explore the effect of dietary flavonoids and Vitamin D supplementation on vascular functions and cardiovascular risk markers. Fruits and vegetables are critical components of the Nigerian diet and subsequently represent an invaluable means of improving the cardiovascular health of the Nigerian population. I firmly believe that working with the Richardson Center for Functional Foods and the Nu- nutraceuticals research team will provide me with the optimal opportunity to carry out this research using the state-of-the-art facilities at the University of Manitoba. Following my Ph.D., I wish to return to Nigeria with a firm science background that will enable me to continue research in nutrition and health. My central passion and long-term goal are to do everything I can to improve the health of the popular classes of Nigerian people through adequate nutrition and public health education about food.

Some of the challenges faced as a scientist in Nigeria include limited research facilities and funding for human intervention trials and the demoralization that results from an emphasis by institutions on the publication of papers with little regard for the quality of research conducted. Though more subtle than before, gender discrimination continues to exist. This may be a positive motivator for some female scientists and science students, but it can be demoralizing and counterproductive for others. In Nigeria in 2013, only 19% and 16% of science and engineering posts were occupied by women (Aderemi et al., 2013). There are also anecdotal reports of a tendency for women, as opposed to their male counterparts, to be viewed as incompetent except for those who are especially highly qualified. The funding for my MSc was made possible by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Nigeria. However, changes in exchange rates necessitated significant personal supplementation towards the end of the program.

Consequently, gaining the Schlumberger Faculty of the Future Scholarship is vital for earning my Ph.D. since my current monthly salary is little more than 100 US dollars per week. Earning the Ph.D. at XXXX will allow me to explore my capabilities and develop transferable skills through participation in conferences, training, and publications. Working on original, highly creative research inspired by the novel ideas and intellectual development to which I will be exposed. My Ph.D. research experience will enable me to become an innovative researcher focused on carrying out high-quality research in Nigeria and will also allow me to inspire female students at my home university to pursue a career in science.

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All of the Statement samples on this web site were written more than 2 years ago and all are anonymous.

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