The German government and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) have appointed the Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University, Prof Odunayo Adebooye, as president of an international research funding organisation. Adebooye, a professor of Plant Physiology and the 4th substantive vice chancellor of the Osun State University, was elected as the chair/president of the African-German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES), a networking organisation established in 2011 by the German government and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Disclosing this to the university’s stakeholders during a media interaction session, Adebooye said he was elected to lead the network from 2023 to 2025. The position is renewable for another two years. Sequel to the appointment, the network’s secretariat will be moved to Nigeria for the first time since the organisation’s establishment, and it will be situated at Osun State University. This is the first time a Nigerian scholar will head the international funding organisation. AGNES is a funding organisation that awards grants and fellowships to support highly qualified young scholars (doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers) from sub-Saharan Africa through four grant programmes (AGNES intra-Africa mobility grants; AGNES-PAWS intra-Africa mobility grants for women in STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics); AGNES junior research grants; AGNES-PAWS junior research grants for women in STEM). Adebooye, who added that AGNES was founded directly by Germany, vowed to ensure that the institution becomes a model and reference point for other higher educational institutions regarding vision, strategies, leadership style, transparency and stability.
He said the university is poised to continue the trend, and the target is to become one of the top 10 in Nigeria in the next four years