Scholarships for Turkmenistan

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Turkmenistan, which borders on Iran, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan, was once part of the Soviet Union. Only one political party is allowed by law today in order to reinforce the president’s central control of the government.

Since 80 percent of the country is covered by the Karakum Desert, the region faces economic challenges which are compounded by the inhibiting effect of state control on economic development. For instance, the government runs all news media, as well as most industry and agriculture.

The tight rein on published knowledge about Turkmenistan limits programs of foreign study designed for undergraduates. Most available funding goes to candidates in high-level research, such as doctoral students or post-doctoral scholars. Some of the grants are quite generous.

turkmenistan scholarships

Scholarship Programs

The Social Science Research Council awards seventy-five International Dissertation Fellowships each year. Applicants must be graduate students in the humanities or social sciences, and the fellowships average $19,000 each. Your dissertation may involve any period of history (the best known part of Turkmenistan’s history involves Silk Road trading), but must include a contemporary perspective of how that research relates to Turkmenistan today.

Your research proposal must cover nine to twelve months of work in Turkmenistan, and there is a page with detail on other application requirements you will need to fulfill.

The American Councils for International Education is a nonprofit organization focusing on educational exchange among the U.S., Russia, and Eurasia (in which Turkmenistan is located). American Councils provides support for studies that involve Eurasian regions and languages, and it also teaches Russian, which is one of the languages spoken in Turkmenistan.

Under the Department of State’s Title VIII grant program, which funds research about nations that used to belong to the Soviet Union, the American Councils and other similar organizations receive and disburse the grant funding provided by the U.S. government.

You can find the American Councils Title VIII application here. The two specific fellowships handled by American Councils are:

International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) is an international organization whose mission is to assist in the building of strong free societies. IREX encourages independent news media, education, and unified communities that work together toward what IREX calls a model of civil society. Since one of Turkmenistan’s internal obstacles is government control of media, that means Turkmenistan is a country of interest to IREX.

Opportunities offered by IREX in Turkmenistan include the following:

NOTE: If your country of choice is under an official travel warning, that may affect any applications you submit. Please check application requirements carefully.