Academic Improvement

The CRGE develops and organizes events which support faculty, students and young scholars within and outside the DKU as they build and improve their academic writing and research skills - both online and face-to-face. Through providing independent expertise, we offer comprehensive programs aimed at supporting various target groups at different stages of their work. Among other things, we offer methods courses. We have developed a partnership with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, with whom we jointly organize a number of online workshops on research and publishing skills for Central Asian early career researchers. Click here for details and the application process. In tandem with the DAAD Information Centre Almaty, the CRGE also leads training workshops on “Doing a PhD in Germany.” These are usually held alternately in Almaty and Nur-Sultan annually or biennially. Check out the right panel for forthcoming academic improvement events. If you are interested in a future course, check the course description if you are eligible  (click on the blue title). If prior registration is needed, please use the application form that can be downloaded below and follow the instructions on the form. Connect with us at crge-info@dku if you have pressing needs for a course that you wish us to organize under this program.

Application form 

Forthcoming Events:

We currently have no forthcoming events to display here. Please check back again soon or subscribe to our Facebook posts to make sure you are always up to date. Contact us if you have pressing needs for a course that you wish the CRGE to organize.
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Past Events
Project Proposal Writing,
Webinar, RU

This module is designed for DKU faculty and students who are in the process of – or planning to – write project proposals for grants funded from international and non-governmental organizations and financial institutions, as well as other sources of funding. In particular, the module is useful for DKU faculty who plan to apply for a research grant from the university. The module is held on 9 June from 19 to 21 hrs and will be taught online in Russian language by Gulzhamal Issayeva, PhD in Economics. She graduated from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and has previously taught at DKU. She is a Dornier international consultant on economic development and has expertise in green economy, water management, climate change and energy efficiency. Mrs. Issayeva has experience in project development and implementation more than 17 years in international projects and organizations, private companies and international financial institutions such as UNDP, EU, USAID and Samsung Electronics. If you wish to participate in this course, please fill in the applications form and follow the instructions. If there is sufficient demand among participants for a follow-up event, the CRGE will organize a second module where the theme is taken up and discussed in greater depth.

Gulzhamal Issayeva
2022-06-09
Research Design Methods,
On-site DKU, EN

This course on Research Design Methods introduces quantitative and qualitative empirical data research, including discourse analysis. Triangulation of these methods is the most common way of assessing country cases and events in social sciences.  Furthermore, a research design is about how one determines research outcomes and thus defining hypotheses, research questions, determining methods and whether research is comparative between cases or represents a single case design. A research design allows us to decide whether we wish to find out what is different and novel about a political and societal process, or whether we want to unveil generalizable patterns of a given movement, situation or event. This course introduces participants to such methods and discusses pertinent questions, including the possibility for participants to pose questions about their own research projects or research ideas. The lecturer, Anja Mihr, currently works as DAAD Associate Professor of International Relations at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. The course will be held offline at Kazakh-German University, Almaty, on 3, 4 and 6 May, from 18:30 to 20:30 hrs, respectively. It is open to both DKU and beyond. If you wish to participate, please fill in the applications form and follow the instructions on the form.

Anja Mihr
2022-05-03
Introduction to Expert Interviews,
On-site DKU, EN

This block seminar covers the main questions related to planning, preparing and conducting expert interviews in international environments. The course is aimed at participants with little or no experience in interviewing experts and those who plan to conduct expert interviews as part of their research projects (e.g., for their MA or PhD theses). The participants will be provided with a solid understanding of opportunities and challenges of using expert interviews as a method of qualitative data generation. They will familiarize themselves with the main principles of structuring interview guidelines, getting access to relevant interviewees, interviewing strategies and techniques, and immediate ‘post-preparation’ of interviews. The seminar would thus cover both theoretical and practical aspects of conducting expert interviews and serve to equip the participants with the necessary knowledge and skills for starting their fieldwork. The lecturer, Vera Axyonova, is Marie Curie REWIRE Fellow at the University of Vienna, Austria, and in April 2022 DKU Senior Research Fellow. The course will be held offline at Kazakh-German University, Almaty, in English language on 19 and 20 April, from 19:00 to 20:30 hrs, respectively. It is open to DKU students and beyond. If you wish to participate, please fill in the applications form and follow the instructions on the form.

Vera Axyonova
2022-04-19
Introduction to the International Human Rights Framework and Human Rights Advocacy, workshop in cooperation with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, part 2,
Webinar, EN

This is the third in a series of workshops for early career researchers the CRGE organizes jointly with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. It is concerned with human rights advocacy, focusing on Central Asia, and consists of two sessions. This second session of the workshop introduces into several methods human rights advocates use to advance change, with a number of practical experiences of the lecturer.

The workshop is led by Steve Swerdlow, Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights, at the University of Southern California. A human rights lawyer and expert on the former Soviet region, Steve was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, heading the organization’s work on Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and founding its Kyrgyzstan field office. He has worked as a consultant with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

This second session of the workshop will be on 6 October, starting at 21 hrs Almaty time. The workshop will be held on Zoom and be in English. Participants must be fluent in English. The deadline for applications is 24 September. Please check here for details on the workshop series and the application process. A brief motivation statement must be provided in the application form to be considered for inclusion.

Steve Swerdlow
2021-10-06
Introduction to the International Human Rights Framework and Human Rights Advocacy, workshop in cooperation with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, part 1,
Webinar, EN

This is the third in a series of workshops for early career researchers the CRGE organizes jointly with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. It is concerned with human rights advocacy, focusing on Central Asia, and consists of two sessions. This first session of the workshop introduces students to the international organizations and institutions used by human rights activists and policymakers to advance human rights, the relevant legal instruments and treaties that set forth human rights standards.

The workshop is led by Steve Swerdlow, Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights, at the University of Southern California. A human rights lawyer and expert on the former Soviet region, Steve was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, heading the organization’s work on Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and founding its Kyrgyzstan field office. He has worked as a consultant with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

This first session of the workshop will be on 29 September, starting at 21 hrs Almaty time – the second session will be on 6 October. The workshop will be held on Zoom and be in English. Participants must be fluent in English. The deadline for applications is 24 September. Please check here for details on the workshop series and the application process. A brief motivation statement must be provided in the application form to be considered for inclusion.

Steve Swerdlow
2021-09-29
Publishing in peer-reviewed Journals (for junior scholars), workshop in cooperation with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs,
Webinar, RU

This is the second in a series of workshops for early career researchers the CRGE organizes jointly with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. Its goal is to clarify how to write and submit articles to peer reviewed journals. The workshop will cover article organization, including a critical question, argument, literature review, theoretical framework, discussion of methodology, and presentation of empirical evidence.

The workshop, more specifically, will include the following themes: 1) How to plan a journal-worthy article and how to prepare quality drafts; 2) Key components of an academic article; 3) How to build an argument; 4) Understanding differences between area studies and theoretical journals; 5) What to expect from the peer-review process and how to respond to critique; 6) How to improve your writing in English as a non-native speaker; 7) How to build peer communities for effective writing.

The workshop is led by Erica Marat, Associate Professor of International Relations and Department Chair at National Defence University in Washington, DC. It will be on 23 June, starting at 19 hrs Almaty time – a possible second workshop will be on 30 June if demand is sufficiently high. Workshop(s) will be held on Zoom and be in Russian. Participants must also be fluent in English. The deadline for applications is 27 May. Please check here for details on the workshop series and the application process. A brief motivation statement must be provided in the application form to be considered for inclusion.

Erica Marat
2021-06-30
Publishing in peer-reviewed Journals (for senior scholars), workshop in cooperation with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs,
Webinar, RU

This is the second in a series of workshops for early career researchers the CRGE organizes jointly with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. Its goal is to clarify how to write and submit articles to peer reviewed journals. The workshop will cover article organization, including a critical question, argument, literature review, theoretical framework, discussion of methodology, and presentation of empirical evidence.

The workshop, more specifically, will include the following themes: 1) How to plan a journal-worthy article and how to prepare quality drafts; 2) Key components of an academic article; 3) How to build an argument; 4) Understanding differences between area studies and theoretical journals; 5) What to expect from the peer-review process and how to respond to critique; 6) How to improve your writing in English as a non-native speaker; 7) How to build peer communities for effective writing.

The workshop is led by Erica Marat, Associate Professor of International Relations and Department Chair at National Defence University in Washington, DC. It will be on 23 June, starting at 19 hrs Almaty time – a possible second workshop will be on 30 June if demand is sufficiently high. Workshop(s) will be held on Zoom and be in Russian. Participants must also be fluent in English. The deadline for applications is 27 May. Please check here for details on the workshop series and the application process. A brief motivation statement must be provided in the application form to be considered for inclusion.

Erica Marat
2021-06-23
Op-Ed Writing and Pitching Media Outlets, workshop in cooperation with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, part 2,
Webinar, RU

This workshop will be the first in a series of online workshops on research and publishing skills for Central Asian early career researchers. These workshops are jointly organized by the CRGE and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. Op-Ed Writing and Pitching Media Outlets focuses on how to translate your research into short pieces for media outlets and how to write an op-ed article, i.e. an opinion piece that is meant to create thought and discussion among readers. Initially, general explanations on writing for media outlets will be given, including presentation of select examples of op-eds. The second part of the workshop actively involves participants, counselling them to be able to write high-quality op-ed articles. The workshop is led by founder of Vlast.Kz, journalist Vyacheslav Abramov. The workshop will be on 20 and 27 May, starting at 19 hrs Almaty time. It will be held on Zoom and be in Russian. The deadline for applications is 20 April. Please check here for details on the workshop series and the application process. A brief motivation statement must be provided in the application form to be considered for inclusion.

Vyacheslav Abramov
2021-05-27
Op-Ed Writing and Pitching Media Outlets, workshop in cooperation with the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, part 1,
Webinar, RU

This workshop will be the first in a series of online workshops on research and publishing skills for Central Asian early career researchers. These workshops are jointly organized by the CRGE and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs. Op-Ed Writing and Pitching Media Outlets focuses on how to translate your research into short pieces for media outlets and how to write an op-ed article, i.e. an opinion piece that is meant to create thought and discussion among readers. Initially, general explanations on writing for media outlets will be given, including presentation of select examples of op-eds. The second part of the workshop actively involves participants, counselling them to be able to write high-quality op-ed articles. The workshop is led by founder of Vlast.Kz, journalist Vyacheslav Abramov. The workshop will be on 20 and 27 May, starting at 19 hrs Almaty time. It will be held on Zoom and be in Russian. The deadline for applications is 20 April. Please check here for details on the workshop series and the application process. A brief motivation statement must be provided in the application form to be considered for inclusion.

Vyacheslav Abramov
2021-05-20
Project Proposal Writing, part 2,
Webinar, RU

The module is designed for DKU listeners (students, teachers) and young professionals who are in the process of writing project proposals for grants funding from international and non-governmental organizations and financial institutions, as well as any other sources of funding. The module will be taught by Issayeva Gulzhamal Toktarbekovna, PhD in Economics, graduated from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. She is an ADB consultant on low-carbon urban development. She has an expertise in green economy, water management, climate change and energy efficiency. She has worked for international projects and organizations, private companies and international financial institutions, such as UNDP, EU, USAID, Samsung Electronics.

Guljamal Issaeva
2021-02-26
Writing Policy Papers, workshop in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Kazakhstan, part 2,
Webinar, EN
This two-part workshop can be understood as a guide to devise professional recommendations. Covered themes included translating academic research into public policy, types of policy papers, choosing a topic, and structural elements of a policy paper. Next, criteria for what makes a good policy paper were discussed. Participants were then split into three groups to briefly discuss two short policy paper outlines. During the second part of workshop, participants presented their own policy ideas, with feedback given by the lecturer. The workshop ended with considerations for preparing a manuscript for submission.
Edward Lemon
2020-12-05
Writing Policy Papers, workshop in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Kazakhstan, part 1,
Webinar, EN

This two-part workshop can be understood as a guide to devise professional recommendations. Covered themes included translating academic research into public policy, types of policy papers, choosing a topic, and structural elements of a policy paper. Next, criteria for what makes a good policy paper were discussed. Participants were then split into three groups to briefly discuss two short policy paper outlines. During the second part of workshop, participants presented their own policy ideas, with feedback given by the lecturer. The workshop ended with considerations for preparing a manuscript for submission.

Edward Lemon
2020-11-27
Project Proposal Writing, part 1 ,
Webinar, RU

The module was designed for the DKU listeners (students, lecturers) who are planning or in the process of writing project proposals for grants funded from international and non-governmental organizations and financial institutions, as well as any other sources of funding. In particular, the module was useful for DKU faculty who plan to apply for a research grant from the university. The module was taught by Issayeva Gulzhamal Toktarbekovna, PhD in Economics, graduated from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. She is an ADB consultant on low-carbon urban development and also a lecturer at the DKU. She has an expertise in green economy, water management, climate change and energy efficiency. Mrs. Issayeva worked for international projects and organizations, private companies and international financial institutions, such as UNDP, EU, USAID, Samsung Electronics.

Guljamal Issaeva
2020-09-09
Basics of Academic Writing,
Webinar, EN
This presentation on Basics of Academic Writing was specifically designed for the purposes of the ESERA (Ecosystems, Society and Economics of the Region of Aral) project. In the presentation it was covered what science is in the first place, how academic writing can be distinguished from non-academic writing, pinpointing key criteria for academic writing. Different types of academic writing (descriptive, analytical…) were covered, as well as the key structure of academic work. The presentation ended with considerations of how to choose a research topic and with a number of do’s and don’ts when engaging in academic writing.
Sebastian Mayer
2020-07-30