Frequently Asked Questions about the Central Asian Faculty Development Programme (CAFDP)

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Before you apply
Applying to CAFDP
Becoming a CAFDP Graduate Fellow
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1Why does CAFDP provide scholarships to Central Asian scholars?
UCA will launch undergraduate and graduate programmes in a few years and CAFDP seeks to ensure that scholars from Central Asia with top international academic credentials are strongly represented in the University's faculty.

2What type of scholarships are available?

Partner University Programme
Full scholarships support doctoral studies in UCA priority areas at partner universities around the world. Admission is based on merit and subject to admission criteria of each university and demonstrated commitment to working at UCA in the future. Scholarships cover tuition, travel, living, medical insurance and field research.

Individual Funding Scheme
Partial scholarships up to 50% of programme costs supplement other financial assistance for students accepted to full-time, reputable programmes in disciplines that are an academic priority for UCA. Scholarships cover: Up to 50% of tuition and fees per academic year; living expenses; other expenses such as travel and books; or dissertation research within a priority field.

3Where can I study?
UCA's growing network of partners currently includes:

  • Cambridge Overseas Trust (University of Cambridge)
  • Carleton University
  • DAAD (German Academic Exchange Services)
  • Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
  • University of Alberta
  • College of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of Exeter
  • University of Montana
  • Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern

4What can I study?
Fields that are an academic priority for UCA, including:

  • In the humanities and social sciences: Archaeology, cultural anthropology/ethnography, economics, sociology, Asian and Middle Eastern studies, development studies (economics), ethnomusicology, mountain tourism, public policy and business (with a focus on entrepreneurship).
  • In the natural and applied sciences: Biology, chemistry, biochemistry, applied physics, geology/geosciences, applied mathematics, computer science, engineering sciences, environmental sciences, rural development and natural resource management.

5What are the prerequisites for CAFDP?

  • Citizenship of Central Asian countries, particularly UCA founding states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. Citizens of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, northern Pakistan (only Gilgit-Baltistan and Malakand Division) and western China (only Xinjiang province) are also eligible.
  • Higher education degrees with excellent academic records.
  • Demonstrated competency in chosen discipline.
  • A sound research proposal addressing critical issues in Central Asia.
  • Interest in a PhD programme in fields reflecting UCA academic priorities.
  • Interest in a career within academia, including research and teaching.
  • Excellent English language or skills (TOEFL IBT 90 scores, IELTS 7 scores).
  • Official GMAT or GRE report within the past five years (for some programmes).

6What are the terms and conditions of the scholarship?
50% is awarded as an outright grant and 50% as a student loan (conditional bursary). After the graduate works at UCA for five years, the loan is considered repaid. If a scholar does not complete their studies or chooses employment elsewhere, they must repay the loan within 3 years.

7Can I be informed of CAFDP scholarship programmes?
Yes. Email with your name, citizenship and intended field of study and programme or subscribe at:

8What language requirements do I need to fulfill?
All CAFDP programmes require English language proficiency. To demonstrate proficiency, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (, the International English Language Testing System ( or the language test administered by your university (check university website for language and testing requirements). All test scores are valid for two years.

9Do I need to find a PhD supervisor before I apply?
The UCA-DAAD programme requires proof of contact with a German university, which includes consent of a professor to act as your thesis supervisor. All other CAFDP applicants are also encouraged to identify and contact a supervisor early in the process.


10What is the application deadline for CAFDP programmes?
For the Partner University Programme, application deadlines vary. Check or write to

Applications for the Individual Funding Scheme can be submitted twice a year by March 30 and September 30.

11Is there an application fee?
No, all applications are submitted directly to UCA, and application fees for shortlisted candidates will be paid by UCA.

12How long does it take for an application to be reviewed?
It depends on the partner university’s requirements and admission process.

13Can I apply for multiple programmes at the same time?
Yes, but you need to submit separate application forms and supporting materials for each application.

14How can I check receipt of my application?
You will be informed on the receipt of your application within two weeks of the application deadline.

15If I am successful in my application to the university does that guarantee a scholarship from CAFDP?
No, there is a rigorous selection process for the scholarship and only applicants who demonstrate an interest in an academic career at UCA will be selected.

16Will I be required to attend an interview?
Yes. Phone interviews may also be administered.

17If I am unsuccessful in my application, can I reapply for the same programme in another academic year?
Yes, but you will need to submit a new application.

18Can I submit my application material by e-mail?
Yes. Initial application materials will be accepted by e-mail according to instructions at:

19Do I need to have materials that are not in English translated?
Yes. All application and supporting materials should be accompanied by an English notarized translation. You can translate your own samples of written work, but official transcripts or certificates should be certified translations.

20Will my application materials be returned to me?
No. Application materials will not be returned, so please do not submit any original documents.

21Will you contact my referees on my behalf?
No. It is your responsibility to contact referees and to ensure that written (and if necessary, translated) references arrive at UCA by the application deadline relevant to your programme of study.

22 How soon will I know if I am successful?
Award letters are usually sent out in late May.


23Is there an induction programme for CAFDP scholarship recipients?
Yes. All CAFDP Graduate Fellows participate in a pre-departure orientation session which includes training in academic practice, ethics in research and teaching, the use of information technology in teaching and learning, academic writing, research methods and quantitative analysis.

24 What are my obligations to UCA during my studies?
As a CAFDP Graduate Fellow you are a representative of UCA and are expected to conduct yourself in good academic standing.  You must credit UCA on all your publications and presentations.  Upon graduation, you are expected to work for five years as a researcher at UCA’s research centres and institutes and/or as a faculty member at UCA’s Graduate School of Development and/or the undergraduate School of Arts and Sciences at UCA’s campuses in Khorog (Tajikistan), Naryn (Kyrgyz Republic) and Tekeli (Kazakhstan). 

25 Are there other benefits to being a CAFDP Graduate Fellow?
As a CAFDP Graduate Fellow, you are joining a network of over 40 scholars studying at excellent universities around the world and committed to the development of UCA and Central Asia.  This diverse and accomplished network of scholars is engaged in a range of disciplines and is connected to other UCA scholars, programmes and partners, accessing mentoring, research, publishing and funding opportunities in their fields.

26What opportunities are there at UCA upon completion of my graduate programme?
Once academic programmes are launched, teaching positions will be available at the UCA Graduate School of Development and/or the undergraduate School of Arts and Sciences at UCA’s campuses in Khorog (Tajikistan), Naryn (Kyrgyz Republic) and Tekeli (Kazakhstan)Until then, UCA offers support and opportunities at its research centres and institutes, and facilitates post-doctoral and professional opportunities at partner institutions.

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