Azerbaijan Education Scholarships
Are Your Pockets Empty?
Azerbaijan basks at the edge of the Caspian Sea. This is a cultural, religious and political hotspot caught in the middle of the politically tense Eastern European countries to the north and religious Middle East to the south. In fact, recent events estimate Azerbaijan’s position in the world to be a bit precarious. Azeris, as the natives are called, tend to favor Islamic traditions, which is reportedly gaining ground in the country’s minority population.
Since splitting from the former Soviet Union, the now independent Eastern European countries including Azerbaijan, have zealously sought total democratization with varying degrees of success. However, more and more critics are suggesting that Azeris are dropping well behind the pack.
Because of the geography of the country many students, especially undergraduates, will have challenges in finding formal programs in Azerbaijan. However, graduate students as well as those in more advanced programs will find competitive scholarships and fellowships. You might explore the country for its language and culture or for disciplines more relative to foreign policy, political science or sustainable development.
The David L. Boren Scholarships were designed by the National Security Education Program with the purpose of turning out a new generation of national security personnel as well as a generation of internationally educated Americans. Eligible applicants must have great academic records and a willingness to study outside of the traditional study abroad destinations. Boren Scholars are highly regarded and expected to repay the government with a year of service after graduation if they are not interested in a long-term career. Scholarship awards are up to $25,000.
The International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) is committed to providing support and resources for both academic and professional funding, which includes collaborating and networking with international peers. The IREX goal is geared towards sustainable methods of communication throughout the global community. Part of their goal encompasses monetary support for students and scholars whose research and programs of study take them into Eastern European countries, including Azerbaijan:
- Individual Advanced Research Opportunities program provides generous fellowships for advanced levels of research within the region for extended periods of time. IARO fellowships cover all facets of travel and living expenses. Eligible applicants must be concentrating on “policy relevant” topics.
- IREX Short Term Travel Fellowships are designed specifically for doctoral or post-doctoral student/scholars who require a stint of time on location in Azerbaijan for the purposes of short-term research. Applicants must present a highly evolved purpose for the trip that simultaneously demonstrates that the work can be completed within the allotted 2 to 3 months. Awards $5,000.
American Councils for International Education works with all aspects of educational and collaborative programs and funding which inspires deeper compassion and communication between the United States and post-Soviet Eurasia. Much of the incentive for funding comes from the Title VIII initiatives that earmarked government funding specifically for the cause. AC’s Title VIII Special Initiatives Fellowship Program awards generous monies to those advanced scholars who must study in Azerbaijan for up to a year. Awards are $35,000 and particularly suited to those concentrating in fields related to foreign policy and Eastern European affairs.
The Fulbright Scholarship program for U.S. students is offered in Azerbaijan for up to an academic year of study. Fulbright candidates are required to apply directly through their study abroad program at their home institution and to have at least a basic knowledge of the language. Graduate students and doctoral candidates are welcome to apply for varying levels of funding. There are also grants available for lecturing or research or for English Teaching Assistantships for a period of four to nine months, primarily in Baku.