Scholarships for Tajikistan
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Precariously located Tajikistan takes some of its socio-political cue from its surrounding neighbors, Afghanistan, China, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. All have vastly divergent social, political, economic and even historical characteristics. Once part of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan has been one of the countries whose changes have manifested themselves most assertively in civil war and general social and political unrest. Ancestrally the country has intimate ties with Iran and for this reason is, a bit reluctant to embrace capitalism all the way, unlike other former Soviet countries.
Students studying in Tajikistan might explore programs that survey a number of regional countries. Otherwise there are programs through high-level research organizations whose funding comes from the Title VIII program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State for the express purpose to providing educational collaboration among U.S. and Eastern European/Eurasian students and scholars.
The U.S. college and university scholarship scene changed drastically and for the better when the National Security Education Program launched its David L. Boren Scholarships in versions for both undergraduate and graduate students. The driving force behind the program that awards a few hundred very generous and now fiercely contested scholarships, to increase the level of international awareness and understanding among U.S. professionals and recruit the next generation of national security personnel. The Boren Scholarships are scholarship for service awards; you win a year of scholarship support in exchange for your expertise somewhere in the federal government. Preferred candidates are pursuing highly engaging year abroad in Tajikistan or any of another hundred or so non-traditional destinations. Approved programs include language and culture studies or those targeting the math/science/engineering fields. Between $20,000 and $25,000 is selectively handed out to each Boren Scholar.
The International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) offers highly advanced educational and professional programs designed to build effective, collaborative communication between Western students and Eastern European/Eurasian. Other goals of the not-for-profit organization include supporting free speech in print and in the digital realm. IREX sponsors quite a number of very generous scholarships:
- Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Program provides fully funded fellowships to graduate, post-graduate, post-doctoral students and professionals who wish to study from three to nine months in Tajikistan or any of a dozen other Eurasian countries. Applicants with programs focused on a Tajik issue or on foreign affairs, economics, business and the like are preferred. Awards cover travel and living costs, plus monthly stipend.
- Short-Term Travel Fellowships provide up to $5,000 for just a few months of study abroad in Tajikistan and others. Eligible applicants must present a highly focused project proposal that clearly may be completed within the allotted time and emphasizes international policy, business, economics or another closely related theme.
American Councils for International Education is likewise a not-for-profit internationally recognized organization. It specializes in high-level programs that engage scholars from Western institutions and those from Eastern European/Eurasian. Much of the funding for programs comes from the Title VIII initiative. While their signature fellowship is designed for students who want to study in Tajikistan or another Eurasian country for the language and culture, fellowships now are awarded for a range of study disciplines. The Title VIII Special Initiatives Fellowship Program recognizes the academic research goals of those U.S. post-doctoral scholars who wish to study in Tajikistan for up to a full academic year. Awards are up to $35,000. Candidates must have a research program that is “policy-relevant.” Selection is highly competitive.
If you are working on your doctoral dissertation and require a term of research in Tajikistan or another country, you may find your pot of gold through the Social Science Research Council’s International Research Dissertation Fellowships. This international organization works in concert with the American Council of Learned Societies to deliver competitive and prestigious fellowships to the tune of $30,000. Qualified candidates must be concentrating on social sciences.