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Central Asian Faculty Development Programme


UCA has always been committed to providing world-class education in Central Asia. Faculty development is therefore seen as an essential commitment for UCA, not only in terms of recruiting new and quality faculty, maintaining excellence but also in assisting our existing faculty and staff to remain effective, relevant, and innovative.

In keeping with this commitment, the Central Asian Faculty Development Programme (CAFDP) was set up as UCA’s flagship programme in 2008. CAFDP therefore provides access and opportunities through scholarships for suitably qualified Central Asian candidates (including those from Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan), to study at UCA’s partner universities that are some of the very best universities of the world. These scholarships, awarded to CAFDP Fellows, are co-funded by UCA and our partner universities.

Upon completion of their studies, each Fellow would serve as a faculty member or staff at UCA or the wider AKDN for between 2-4 years, depending on the length of their graduate studies (Master’s, PhD, or postdoctoral studies). Thus far, twenty-five CAFDP fellows have been affiliated with UCA throughout the region in different capacities as faculty members, researchers and joint teaching and research appointments.

Phase I (2008 – 2018): Some partner universities and institutions for this cohort included the Asian Institute of Technology, Carleton University, German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, Michigan State University, University of Alberta, University of Bern, University of Cambridge, and University of Exeter. Meet our alumni.

44 Fellows in 22 Universities

Phase II (2018 - present): Some of the partners include the University of Cambridge, Simon Fraser University, Higher School of Economics, Harvard University, University of Alberta, and key German universities under the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In addition, UCA also has a large number of partnerships with universities and research organisations globally. Meet our alumni.

20 Fellows in 11 Universities

Application Process

  1. Applications follows the academic calendar of international universities.
  2. Scholarship opportunities are advertised on UCA’s website and widely on social media around early August for admission in the following academic year.
  3. In addition, UCA also organises various webinars and road shows in the region to allow interested applicants to attend.
  4. These scholarships are for specific subjects’ areas that are of importance to UCA in teaching, research, or other core functions of the university.
  5. In general, a two-step process of application is followed.
  6. In the first step, all external and internal candidates submit basic information to UCA for screening and suitability in terms of the needs and requirements for UCA’s future pipeline.
  7. Usually, the submission deadline for the first step is late September and applicants are shortlisted and informed by October.
  8. In some instances, interviews may be arranged for some short-listed candidates for clarification purposes.
  9. The short-listed candidates are informed by UCA and have to apply to the university via their admissions portal around December or January or the deadline set by the specific university.
  10. Offers from the university follow from March to April prior to the start of term in September.
  11. A final conferment interview follows and only at this stage any scholarships are confirmed by UCA. This meeting usually happens in April following which the Fellows may start their studies in September.
  12. The membership of the final CAFDP conferment committee include senior management of UCA - Rector, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Graduate School of Development and Director of CAFDP.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Citizens of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan are strongly encouraged to apply. Students from Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and northern Pakistan are also eligible.
  • Higher education degree with an excellent academic record from a recognised university.
  • Interest in a Master or PhD programme in fields reflecting UCA academic listed priorities: Business Management, Communications and Media, Computer Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Economics or Engineering.
  • Interest in a career within academia, including research and teaching.
  • Demonstrated competency in the chosen discipline.
  • Additional eligibility criteria of hosting universities can be found on their respective websites.