Afad Gurbanov’s Contributions in Mentoring Scientific and Pedagogical Professionals

One of the significant areas of the activity of every scientific figure is the mentoring of scientific professionals within his specialized sphere. The distinguished linguist-scientist and skilful pedagogue Afad Gurbanov played a great role in the preparation of highly qualified teachers and philologist scientists for our republic. He succeeded in creating the kind of intellectual environment which it is the lot of only rare scientists to achieve.


As well as educating thousands of highly qualified teachers for our country academician Afad Gurbanov was especially interested in the issue of preparing large numbers of philologist scientists and mentored over 60 candidates and doctors of sciences. These scientific and pedagogical professionals always stood out because of  their high potential and intellectual level. It is appropriate to mention the fact that during the last 10-15 years 9 people from the department of Azerbaijani Linguistics headed by Afad Gurbanov defended doctoral dissertations and were awarded the degree of doctor of philological sciences and the academic rank of professor. Furthermore, Afad Gurbanov also played a special role in the preparation of his spouse as a candidate of sciences and his five children as doctor of sciences.


Afad Gurbanov dealt with young linguists wishing to come to science with great sensitivity and concern. He believed that an attitude of concern and sensitivity should not lead to less demanding standards. Weak candidates with no scientific capability should not be permitted to move into an area of science under the guise of concern for them.

Afad Gurbanov wrote: “One of the key and primary conditions for every researcher embarking on an area of scientific activity is that he/she should be aware of the status of the science they have selected and know its place in the world sciences system and the basic features which distinguish it from other sciences. Any representative of science should be interested in the past, present and future of the area of science they are researching, and must be unstinting in their efforts to elucidate the investigation of scientific issues on the basis of profound research and comprehensive observations”.

Afad Gurbanov considered that the investigation of incidental themes and problems without any scientific importance was unnecessary. In his opinion, any specialist, including a linguist researcher, should have a profound knowledge of  his/her area and strive to clarify the essence and root of the problem being researched.

The dissertations defended under Afad Gurbanov’s direction may be grouped conventionally as follows according to their themes:


  1. Language and style;
  2. Various problems of the grammar of the Azerbaijani language;
  3. Issues of onomastics;
  4. Linguistic connections;
  5. Linguistic theory;
  6. History of language.


The scientific and pedagogical professionals who reached their potential thanks to Professor Gurbanov’s strenuous activity are working successfully not only in the educational and scientific institutions of Azerbaijan but also in Russia, Turkey, Germany, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. He always took pride in receiving good news of those he had educated and was glad that his labor had not been in vain.


Afad Gurbanov was repeatedly awarded with certificates of honor and prizes by the head of the country, the Supreme Soviet of the Republic, the Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Education for his services in the development of science and the preparation of highly qualified personnel. And the honorary title of “Honored Scientific Figure” was conferred on him in 1981. His work in this area was also always highly prized by the Supreme Attestation Commission.


As early as the 1970s Professor Gurbanov entered the linguistic and Turkological scientific circle of the former Soviet Union and the world. From 1984-1989 as a member of the Soviet Turkologists Committee of the USSR Academy of Sciences (at that time the chairman of the committee was Academician Andrey Nikolayevich Kononov and the deputy chairman of the committee was Academician Edkhem Rakhimovich Teneshev), chairman of the Educational-Methodical Council, member of the bureau of the Section of Turkic Onomastics, and then deputy chairman of the aforementioned Committee (at that time Academician Edkhem Rakhimovich Teneshev was appointed the chairman of the Committee) Afad Gurbanov did a great deal of work in the preparation of Turkologists throughout the  Soviet Union, using all his knowledge and skills. It is the Turkologists who were trained and developed at that particular time who are now operating efficiently in all the post-soviet independent states.


The linguists who wrote and defended dissertations under Afad Gurbanov’s supervision, speak about him with a feeling of great pride and dignity and never conceal their pride at having been mentored by him.


Training and mentoring professionals does not only mean supervising their research. Tens of linguist experts trained and mentored every year at the “Azerbaijani Onomatology” scientific school established by Afad Gurbanov rightfully consider themselves to be his pupils and students.


Afad Gurbanov is a distinguished scientist who created his own school not only in the area of onomatology but also in a number of other areas of linguistics.   The tens of thousands of those who read his fundamental works dedicated to the different problems of linguistics and became linguists and or showed an interest in this specialty and liked linguistics may also be considered Afad Gurbanov’s pupils and students.


To be a good scientist and have the capability for training and developing scientific professionals does not fall to the lot of every scientist.  This requires high-level scientific organizational skills, profound scientific thinking, logic, the ability to explain and clarify, a high-level intellect, moral purity, a high standard of behavior, restraint and patience. Only an authoritative man of science possessing all the aforementioned qualities is able to train and develop worthy scientific and pedagogical professionals. All these traits and many other manifest characteristics are the qualities which distinguish the personality of Afad Gurbanov and cause people to love him and which establish him as a man of great authority.


Herein lies the secret of the activity and huge success of the outstanding linguist-scientist and pedagogue Afad Gurbanov in the area of the training and development of scientific and pedagogical professionals.