UCA's Graduate School of Development (GSD) Visitors Programme represents a distinctive initiative intended to: contribute to the internationalisation of UCA; promote research activity and collaboration; and to give access to resources in Central Asia to visitors with scholarly or professional interests in Central Asia. Overall, the programme should contribute to GSD’s mission of advancing sustainable development in Central Asia.
The Visitor’s programme does not refer to very short-term visits e.g. of less than one month and is not a funded scheme. Visitors must cover their own associated costs.
Who can become a GSD Visitor?
The Visitors Programme has multiple categories of affiliation, but the primary requirement is that Visitors should have overlapping research or educational interests with the disciplines and research themes of GSD.
GSD comprises of 5 research divisions:
- Institute of Public Policy and Administration (IPPA)
- Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI)
- Aga Khan Humanities Project (AKHP)
- Cultural Heritage and Humanities Unit (CHHU)
- Civil Society Initiative (CSI)
Spanning economic and social sciences, environmental and climate sciences and humanities and cultural studies.
You can find out more about GSD's research staff and interests on the website.
Visitors may be by invitation of GSD or may apply directly to GSD (see below). For those applying for in-person Visitor affiliations, there is a small fee applied to cover the administrative costs – if visa support is required.
Categories of Visitor
There are several different categories of Visitors that GSD can host, including virtual Visitors in the form of ‘Affiliated Researchers’.
- Researchers (postdoctoral and above)
- Doctoral Students
- Students (undergraduate or masters)
- Interns (postgraduate students, Global Encounters participants, or UCA Bachelor’s students)
- Affiliated Researchers (for those with virtual affiliations contributing to GSD’s mission)
See the details of current and previous visitors.
UCA's headquarters is in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and a large part of the Graduate School of Development is also based there. In addition, GSD has academic staff in Dushanbe (AKHP, CHHU, MSRI and CSI) and Khorog, Tajikistan (MSRI, CHHU), Naryn, Kyrgyzstan (MSRI) and Almaty, Kazakhstan (IPPA). We also have large Urban Resilience Programmes in Naryn (2022-2026) and Khorog (2023-2025).
Eligible Activities for the Visitors Programme:
- Extended periods of Research: for established researchers with new or ongoing projects in Central Asia relevant to GSD, requiring a base for their activities. This includes Fulbright Scholars, Principal or Co-Investigators on large grants/projects or those on semester or year-long research sabbaticals. We can provide an academic base for these extended periods of research activity. Visitors should expect to contribute to collaborative research, project applications, teaching, supervision, mentoring and/or other form of capacity building as part of the terms of their invitation. Visitors will also offer at least one academic seminar or workshop during their stay.
- Doctoral Research: We can provide an academic base for doctoral researchers studying Central Asian topics relevant to the mission of GSD. Doctoral students should expect to contribute to collaborative research, project applications, teaching, supervision, mentoring and/or other form of capacity building as part of the terms of their invitation. Doctoral students will also offer at least one academic seminar, workshop or masterclass (e.g. in research methods) during their stay.
- Education, Internship, Research Assistance: GSD also welcomes young scholars and students with interests in Central Asia and/or Sustainable Development closely related to the mission, aims, objectives and research activities of GSD. Visitors in this category may be pursuing some of their own approved research, alongside working as research assistants on various GSD projects either ongoing or designed specifically for short-term internships.
- Teaching and Pedagogy: GSD is currently developing a rich and ambitious multidisciplinary Executive Education programme in Urban Resilience for mountainous communities and investing in the development of 1-2 new Masters programmes in the fields of Sustainable Economic Development and Climate Change and Policy. We actively seek partners in these important endeavours, including those with pedagogic interests in developing online and hybrid models of learning.
- Language and Culture: GSD does not offer language teaching per se, but recognises the importance of language as part of the rich cultural heritage of the region. We therefore look to support international students seeking to advance their learning in Central Asian languages. For example, in 2022-23 we hosted – for the first time – Oxford University’s Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Persian language undergraduate semester abroad programme.