Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy


Ndidi Nwaneri: Hannover Institute Fellowship Recipient

Ndidi Nwaneri: Hannover Institute Fellowship Recipient
Doctoral candidate: PhD in Philosophy
Hometown: Mbanno, Nigeria, West Africa

Tell us a little bit about the fellowship you received.

My research fellowship is from Forschungsinstitut für Philosophie Hannover (Hannover Institute of Philosophy). Early-stage researchers working on a doctorate or post-doctorate in an ethically relevant subject in the field of philosophy, humanities or social sciences are offered the opportunity to pursue their research project. The research process was in two stages. First, I had to send in a cover letter, reference letter from my dissertation director, and a 5-10 page summary of my dissertation proposal. I was shortlisted, after which the director and the deputy director of the institute interviewed me on Skype.

What kind of research are you doing right now?

It is a critique of mainstream global justice theories. I defended my proposal in June and I am currently writing my dissertation.

What drew you to the work you’re doing?

From the beginning of my career in social development in Nigeria, my role as program officer put me in direct contact with “the disenfrachised." Memories from those early years ground me and serve as a reminder that behind all of our theories and the statistics are actual people, lives and homes.

What kind of advice would you give to other graduate students who want to apply for external funding, but are hesitant to do so?

Please block off the equivalent of 20 minutes a day for applying/researching opportunities. Anything you do outside of your institution makes you "more visible," while building your network. The very worst thing that could happen is that you develop a folder of all the materials you need for the next application and become better at locating opportunities.

Talk a little bit about a professor or mentor who inspired you.

Many of the female faculty in the philosophy department, but mostly my dissertation director, David Ingram.

Was there any service or volunteer work that you think really helped to shape you as a person?

I have always had academic and professional interests in the fields of international development and public policy. My choice of this particular area of research is grounded on the conviction that a more just world is possible. I am persuaded that the first step to such a world is a better understanding of what real justice would entail, given the current global reality.

What do you think makes Loyola different from other universities?

The Loyola/Jesuit commitment to social justice.

And finally, what do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

Easy. In ten years’ time I will be actively changing my world for the better, from the (advantageous) position of knowledge.