AUCA-USAID Call for research proposals
USAID PROJECT: “BUILDING THE FUTURE”
About the USAID Building the Future project
American University of Central Asia provides a unique model for higher education in the Kyrgyz Republic based on traditions of liberal arts education. It particularly emphasizes high quality, interactive teaching and supports writing and critical thinking skills among students, thereby effectively preparing university students for the wider scope of opportunities in the future.
AUCA got support from USAID-Central Asia in 1) granting scholarships annually for eligible AUCA applicants and students, 2) enhancing research capacity of faculty through research grants and extensive trainings on conducting research and publishing, and 3) achieving and maintaining accreditation for the Business Administration program to ensure long-term development and growth of the program.
University-based research capacity is a vital component not only in the supply of policy-related knowledge, but also potentially in the generation of demand for that knowledge. Whereas NGOs and other commercial and semi-commercial suppliers of policy-relevant knowledge depend on the existence of a market for their products, universities have a key role to play in the generation of demand by virtue of their unique role in the education of decision-makers. With USAID support under the Building the Future project, AUCA will provide extensive training for faculty members and administer over 20 faculty-led research projects, publishing reports both on a local and international level.
Nowadays AUCA is mostly an undergraduate level teaching than a research based university. It implies the low visibility of faculty research activities and very small number of publications in worldwide renowned databases. There are only 17 publications of AUCA faculty/staff in Scopus/Elsevier database for the last five years. However, the successful participation of AUCA in Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Emerging Europe and Central Asia (EECA) ranking requires at least 100 publications in Scopus/Elsevier for the last five years. AUCA is already in the list of top QS EECA University Ranking, occupying the 106th place in 2015, the only university from Kyrgyzstan to be listed in this ranking. In order to improve its position in QS EECA ranking AUCA needs to intensify the publication activity of faculty members and that requires an increased funding of research projects within a coherent research development policy. In order to produce the articles that could be published in high impact international reviews and, by this way, contribute to the international academic attractiveness and visibility of AUCA an additional funding to research projects have to be allocated.
In all aspects of this program and beyond, AUCA will encourage the equal participation of men and women. AUCA will comply with the requirements of USAID as listed in NFO RFA-176-16-000004.
The research projects will be conducted in following fields: sustainable development and energy, security, business and investment, democracy and rule of law (these research fields were selected by USAID partners).
The research projects will be funded by AUCA from USAID grant and realized mainly by faculty/researchers of AUCA. External experts could be involved in particular cases in order to strengthen the capacities of internal researchers. All research outputs realized within this funding will be published under the name of AUCA and USAID.
Duration of each research project is 4-5 months maximum (February 15 – June 20, 2017) and budget for each research project should be from 5,000 USD to 10,000 USD with maximum 6-7 projects per year.
All AUCA full time faculty and researchers are eligible to apply to USAID research grant. Individual as well as group consisting of 2-4 AUCA researchers/faculty can apply to one research grant. Researchers and faculty of AUCA can take part maximum in two research projects at the same time.
Expert Council – advisory board - composed of 5 AUCA faculty and staff will evaluate and select faculty/researchers to carry out research. After discussions, EC members will approve faculty/researchers’ project to be financed by vote. Decision is made by simple majority. Research Office will inform faculty/researchers about the decision of Expert Council via email or phone not later that February 13, 2017. The beginning of research grant is February 15, 2017.
The USAID “Building the Future” project’s research component must have five research outputs: research report, working paper (article) published in international journals, case study for students, policy brief and social and personal impact paper after the completion of the project.
Submission of proposal
Applications must be submitted to Research Office via email firstname.lastname@example.org following the announcement of the Call for Proposals, and must meet the following format requirements (fill in separate application and budget form Annex 1 and Annex 2) and send research proposal (Annex 3.) Deadline for submission is February 6, 2017. If you have questions please contact us by email, by phone +121 or by visiting Research Office room 236.