2019- 2020 Cohort



These are photos of the fourth cohort of PhD students sponsored by Cambridge-Africa when they started in the academic year 2018/2019.

Starting from top left: Tochukwu, Peace, Lyn, Iyeyinka and Edward (centre)

Find out what they are up to below:

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Dr Tochukwu Nweze


Full name  Tochukwu Ejiofor Nweze
PhD project Developmental burden of childhood adversity: Insight from longitudinal perspectives
PhD Supervisor (Department) Prof Rogier Kievit
Year of completion   2022



I resumed my duty as a lecturer at University of Nigeria, Nsukka where I lead and collaborate research with other academics. I also mentor high school students in conducting research projects and publishing their papers.


Cambridge University is reputed for its strong academic and research excellence and since my time at undergraduate program at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, I have always wished that one day, I could study at this prestigious institution. I did my masters’ program in Neuroimaging at King’s College London and our cohort toured one of the MRC units at University of Cambridge where we visited some amazing research facilities including some MEG and MRI  facilities. My master’s project supervisor at King’s who also studied at the same department in Cambridge University, had very nice memories of the institution.

 Prior to my PhD program, I had conducted research on the adversity exposed children, including institutionalised children both during my masters program at King’s and as a lecturer at University of Nigeria. In applying to a PhD place at University of Cambridge, I wanted to build on this research knowledge. I was very delighted and indeed, a dream come true, when I received the admission and funding offer to study at Cambridge.   

 My Cambridge experience started very great and my research progressed quite well. However, mid-way through my first year, my supervisor left the United Kingdom and covid unexpectedly struck, affecting so many academic and social life. This meant that I had to complete the remaining part of my PhD, working from home and without a formal supervisor. Fortunately, I was able to form collaboration with other academics outside Cambridge, such as Dr Jamie Hanson who provided me with feedback on my projects and assisted as I published all my thesis chapters in academic journals. Although our ability to gather for social events was restricted for much of the time I spent at the University, support provided by different societies helped ensure survival. I enjoyed playing regular tennis with members of the University and College (St Edmund’s) tennis clubs, and also cherished the social meetings with members of African Society of Cambridge University and Cambridge African scholars etc.



I had a lecturing position at University of Nigeria, Nsukka prior to my PhD program. Since completing my PhD program, I resumed my duties at University of Nigeria. In December 2023, I received an offer of Assistant Professor at department of Psychology, University of Utah and I will be moving to the United States in the summer of 2024 to continue my career and research development.  

ALUMNI WISDOM (what can you tell current Cambridge-Africa PhD scholars)

 University of Cambridge remains one of the best place in the world to train or study at any program level and my advice to incoming African scholars is to maximize the opportunities that training at Cambridge will provide. This is not just limited to academic/research opportunities, but also social network and friends you will meet along the journey can also change the trajectory of future plans. The PhD journey will not be without its own challenges, some of which maybe abrupt (and potentially magnified as a result of transition to new culture and cultural differences). But such challenges provide opportunity to improve one’s problem solving skills. And speaking from personal experiences, one of the most valuable skills I gained at Cambridge is problem solving. In summary, be committed to your research, meet new people and embrace opportunities (as they can be fleeting) and finally, be ready to use your problem solving skills to overcome any challenges on your way.



  1. Nweze, T., Banaschewski, T., Ajaelu, C., Okoye, C., Ezenwa, M., Whelan, R., ... & IMAGEN Consortium. (2023). Trajectories of cortical structures associated with stress across adolescence: a bivariate latent change score approach. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
  2. Nweze, T., Ezenwa, M., Ajaelu, C., & Okoye, C. (2023). Childhood mental health difficulties mediate the long‐term association between early‐life adversity at age 3 and poorer cognitive functioning at ages 11 and 14. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry64(6), 952-965.
  3. Nweze, T., Ezenwa, M., Ajaelu, C., Hanson, J. L., & Okoye, C. (2023). Cognitive variations following exposure to childhood adversity: Evidence from a pre-registered, longitudinal study. Eclinicalmedicine56.
  4. Nweze, T., Nwoke, M. B., Nwufo, J. I., Aniekwu, R. I., & Lange, F. (2021). Working for the future: Parentally deprived Nigerian children have enhanced working memory ability. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry62(3), 280-288.
  5. Nweze, T., Agu, E., & Lange, F. (2020). Risky decision making and cognitive flexibility among online sports bettors in Nigeria. International Journal of Psychology55(6), 995-1002.
  6. Zeigler-Hill, V., Martinez, J. L., Vrabel, J. K., Ezenwa, M. O., Oraetue, H., Nweze, T., ... & Kenny, B. (2020). The darker angels of our nature: Do social worldviews mediate the associations that dark personality features have with ideological attitudes?. Personality and Individual Differences160, 109920.
  7. Ezenwa, M., Orjiakor, T., Ukwuma, M., Oraetue, H., Ude, E., & Nweze, T. (2020). Tracking opiate routes in Nigeria: Identifying trafficking routes via dealers and users of tramadol and codeine.
  8. Nweze, T., & Nwani, W. (2020). Contributions of working memory and inhibition to cognitive flexibility in Nigerian adolescents. Developmental neuropsychology45(3), 118-128.
  9. Nweze, T., Eze, C.C., & Lange, F. (2020) "Perseverative responding in Nigerian chronic alcohol and marijuana users." Substance use & misuse 55.7, 1199-1202.
  10. Nwufo, J. I., Nweze, T., Ugwoke, E., Odo, V. O., & Chukwuorji, J. C. (2021). Substance abuse and media violence exposure as factors in acceptance of dating violence among in-school adolescents. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment31(8), 1040-1053.