Congratulations to SGISD PhD Candidate, Deborah Chat Dauda!

3 min readSep 15, 2022

Ms. Dauda has received four prestigious awards and fellowships for her research projects addressing the psychosocial needs of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Northern Nigeria. Her project in Southern Kaduna in Northern Nigeria investigates the self-care strategies and healing practices of Bajju women with experiences of domestic violence.

A Black Diaspora woman of Nigerian heritage smiling. She has short kinky curly hair with gold tints and she is wearing gold jewelry and a black and gold sequined dress.

“I plan to deepen my understanding about the intersecting forms of subordination that shape the lives of women this community…Documenting and analyzing women’s self-care and healing strategies is particularly important in a country like Nigeria, where social support and health services for survivors and victims of violence are limited…Daily self-care practices are important to our overall health and wellbeing, and for Black women with lived or vicarious experience with violence, practicing self-care is an important criterion for survival and flourishing.”

Deborah began studying at SGISD in 2019. She currently holds a master’s degree in African studies and public health as well as a bachelor’s degree in international development studies from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Ms. Dauda’s research interests include the radical self-care practices of Black women, Africa and Diaspora policy making, gender security, education in emergencies, peacemaking, youth civic participation, health care delivery in post-conflict settings.

Last year, with the support of her advisors, mentors, and dissertation committee, Deborah applied and was awarded the Fulbright Research Award to Nigeria, Harvard HBNU Fogarty Global Health Training Fellowship from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Lewis and Clark Exploration Fieldwork Grant from the American Philosophical Society, and Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to assist with the various phases of her dissertation research. The FLAS award will support the intensive language training she needs to jumpstart her fieldwork with the support of research assistants. The Lewis and Clark grant will support aspects of the qualitative data collection stage.

The Harvard HBNU Fogarty training fellowship supports Deborah’s dissertation project through a mentored research process. Her mentors include Dr. Christy Denckla in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard University, and Dr. Haruna Karick in the Department of General and Applied Psychology at the University of Jos, Nigeria.

For her dissertation, Deborah uses a Transformative-Relational Sequential Exploratory Mixed-Methods design approach to explore the nuances and complexities involved in the ways Bajju women living in the Zangon-Kataf and Jema’a Local Government Area (LGA) in Southern Kaduna (in northern Nigeria) seek care for themselves after experiencing domestic violence.

For her Fulbright project titled “Addressing the Psychosocial Needs of Sexual Harassment Victims at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)”, Deborah will collaborate with the Institute for Development Research and Training at ABU and a community partner, the Basileia Vulnerable Persons Rights Initiative (BVPRI) in Zaria, Kaduna. Together, they will assess strategies for bridging the provider gap in mental health services for Nigerian university women who have experienced sexual harassment. They will also co-create culturally relevant and responsive activities that promote psychosocial wellness. These two projects will form chapters of Deborah’s dissertation and her professional development in this field.

Congratulations to Deborah on these outstanding achievements!




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