Between Europe and the Orient – A Focus on Research and Higher Education in/on Central Asia and the Caucasus

  • area of research: all disciplines
  • Region: Afghanistan
  • type of funding: events/meetings (science/research); structural PhD programs; reintegration measures
  • researchers in Central Asia and Caucasus with cooperation partners in Germany
  • additional benefits: training programs, funding for communication of science and research
Deadline: June 1, 2017
Adilet Bekturov (TU Bishkek, KGUSTA) surveys Kyrgyz peasants about the economic and social effects of natural hazards on their nomadic way of life. (Photo: Maxim Shubovich for Volkswagen Foundation)
Adilet Bekturov (TU Bishkek, KGUSTA) surveys Kyrgyz peasants about the economic and social effects of natural hazards on their nomadic way of life. (Photo: Maxim Shubovich for Volkswagen Foundation)

Objective

As a consequence of the collapse of the Soviet Union, 70 million people along the southern borders of the Russian Confederation, all with different ethnic backgrounds and languages, were catapulted into independence. The funding initiative entitled "Between Europe and the Orient – A Focus on Research and Education in/on Central Asia and the Caucasus" addresses the newly emerged independent states of Central Asia and the Caucasus as well as Afghanistan and some of the immediately neighboring regions of the Russian Federation and China. The overall aim is to work closely with local scholars and scientists to develop relevant research projects and to strengthen intraregional cooperation.

Scope of Funding

Thematic Calls

Within the frame of two thematically defined calls for proposals in the areas of environmental and social sciences, the Volkswagen Foundation has been supporting 13 cooperative research projects since 2014 and 2015, respectively. These involve significant participation of scholars and scientists from the target region and are accompanied by training and advancement of young researchers. Further calls for joint research proposals in these or other thematic areas are not envisaged.

Structurally-Oriented Measures

In addition to the thematic calls, the Volkswagen Foundation will in future also be offering support for a number of measures. These can be applied for at any time. They include training measures for young researchers from the region, projects on the integration of researchers from Central Asia and the Caucasus who are returning from abroad, targeted aid for the creation and expansion of the academic infrastructure in the region, as well as workshops, symposia and summer schools.

Details of conditions and the application procedure can be found under Information for Applicants 72 (pdf). Applications must be filed electronically via the electronic application system.

Call for Proposals for Structured Doctoral Programs

The Foundation intends to support the establishment and implementation of structured doctoral programs (graduate schools) at selected universities in Central Asia and South Caucasus, in coordination with national funding organizations in the region. To facilitate, in cooperation with German universities, the development of such sustainable institutional structures for the training and qualification of young scholars and scientists in the region funds may be requested within this call to finance salaries/scholarships for up to 12 PhD students and 2 postdocs, stays of the PhD students and visits of their supervisors at the respective partner group, as well as consumables and equipment if necessary. Details of the conditions and the application procedure can be found under Information for Applicants 72d (pdf). Applications are to be submitted electronically via the electronic application system. Deadline for applications is June 1, 2017.

History

The funding initiative "Between Europe and the Orient – A Focus on Research and Education in/on Central Asia and the Caucasus" was started in 2000. In late November 2011 the Foundation decided to modify its offer to include a combination of theme-based calls and projects aimed at structural development.