Meet Peter Onah Thompson, 2019 First Generation Scholar in the Profession

Peter Onah Thompson is a public policy PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte from Nigeria. His research interests include environmental justice, climate change, migration, security, and political violence. Though he had his undergraduate training in Biochemistry, it was his life experience dealing with ethnoreligious conflicts in northern Nigeria that influenced his decision to pursue graduate studies in social science. In recognition of his efforts to increase understanding of the complexities in Africa within the university and community, the Appalachian State University made him one of their 2015 Appalachian Global Leadership awardees. Using the Boko Haram situation in northeastern Nigeria as a case study, Peter’s dissertation investigates the conditions that determine the voluntary return of people displaced by conflicts as well as the determinants of a sustainable return. He was one of 16 scholars selected to participate in the APSA supported 2019 Advancing Research on Conflict (ARC) Consortium summer program. The APSA First Generation Scholars Travel Reimbursement Grant is an important morale booster for him and he is excited about the prospects of being at future APSA sponsored events and hopes to present part of his research at the next conference in 2020.

About the APSA First Generation Scholar in the Profession Travel Reimbursement Grant
In 2015, the APSA Executive Council approved a new standing Committee on First Generation Higher Education Scholars in the Profession, parallel to the existing APSA status committees.  The goal is to bring focused attention to the ways in which class, economic inequality, and mobility can affect political scientists’ ability to thrive educationally and professionally, perhaps throughout their careers. The APSA Committee on the Status of First Generation Scholars matched contributions that were made to the APSA Annual Fund during one week in September 2019 to support the professional development support of first gen scholars in the profession.  Learn more.


  1. Wow, quite interesting. I’m so happy for this development and hoping to see see more ground-breaking achievements, more grease to your elbow

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