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

Researches a problematic chapter of judicial history: Botakoz Kassymbekova is reconstructing how the Soviets implemented their judicial system on Tajikistan (Photo: Nick Neufeld).

The funding initiative “Between Europe and the Orient – A Focus on Research and Higher Education in/on Central Asia and the Caucasus” was set up to support either projects that deal with current local developments or that are structurally anchored in the region.

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 topically defined specific calls for proposals, the Volkswagen Foundation supports cooperative research projects involving significant participation on the part of scholars and scientists from the target region which combine the training and advancement of young researchers.  The initiative encompasses preparatory workshops to first explore the feasibility of international cooperation. The results of these workshops form the basis for theme-based calls.

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 the preparation of structured doctoral programs

The Foundation is planning to advance the establishment of structured doctoral programs at universities in Central Asia and South Caucasus, in coordination with local funding organizations. It is intended to publish the respective funding offer in the winter of 2016/17. To facilitate the conceptualization of such projects and the preparation of proposals, funds may be requested within this call to develop concepts and to establish an organizational and administrative framework for structured doctoral training. Details of conditions and the application procedure can be found under Information for Applicants 72c (pdf). Applications must be filed electronically via the electronic application system. Deadline for application was June 15, 2016.

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.