The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and CAPS Unlock cordially invite academics, experts, and professionals from all five Central Asian countries to apply for the EU-Central Asia Connectivity Fellowship.
The fellowship aims to enhance policy-oriented research on various aspects of EU-Central Asian connectivity, develop policy papers and recommendations, bring together experts from Europe and Central Asia, and contribute to capacity and network building.
The 2024 Fellowship offers two spots.

The Fellowship includes:

One-month research stay in Berlin (preferably June or September 2024; alternatively based on fellow’s availability)

During the stay in Berlin:

  • Research and preparation of a policy paper on an aspect of EU-Central Asia
    connectivity, such as:
  • EU-Central Asia transport routes, infrastructure
  • Energy, raw materials, and trade relations
  • Digital connectivity
  • Water management, climate change and human security
  • Increasing engagement and competition among key players (Russia, China, Türkiye, Iran, …)
  • Supervision by the DGAP research staff; review of the policy paper
  • Contribution to a DGAP event on EU-Central Asia connectivity
  • Meetings with German policymakers and experts
  • Publication of the policy paper by DGAP and CAPS Unlock

Grant: 2,500 Euro plus travel expenses to/from Berlin

Participation in a conference on connectivity in Almaty in October 2024 to present the policy paper

About the organizers:

The fellowship is part of a joint project of the German Council on Foreign Relations and CAPS Unlock.
The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) is one of Germany’s leading think tanks on foreign and security policy. The independent, nonpartisan organization with its experts provides German and European decision-makers in politics, business, and civil society with strategic advice and shapes the debate on foreign policy issues based on its action-oriented, practical research. DGAP’s Center for Order and Governance in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia that conducts the fellowship assesses in its research current dynamics in Central Asia in the context of domestic political changes as well as regional and global power shifts.

CAPS Unlock is a regional think tank dedicated to conducting comprehensive and rigorous research, fostering dialogue, and advocating for policy solutions to issues pertaining to the development of Central Asia: impact of global actors, regional integration, governance, digitalization and democratization, social-economic justice, climate change, and human security. Through interdisciplinary collaboration and evidence-based policy analysis, the organization seeks to unravel the complex interplay between global dynamics, regional socioeconomic challenges, and the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.

About the project:

The ongoing geopolitical and economic shifts are creating new opportunities for more connectivity and cooperation between the Central Asian and European states and societies. Efforts are underway to develop trade and transport infrastructure, energy relations, water and climate partnership, and digital connectivity. In October 2023 the EU-Central Asian countries adopted a Joint Roadmap on Deepening Relations that outlines key areas for practical cooperation. The EU Central Asia Strategy, adopted in 2019, will need to be adapted to the new geopolitical reality. The DGAP-CAPS Unlock Project aims to analyze different aspects of EU Central Asia connectivity, bring together experts from Europe and Central Asia, and develop ideas and advocate for an update and upgrade of the EU-Central Asia strategy.

Who can apply:

  • Citizen of Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan)
  • University degree in political science, international relations, economics, logistics, or related disciplines
  • Expertise in connectivity (e.g. transport, infrastructure, trade, energy, raw materials, water and climate, sustainable development, digitalization) and EU-Central Asia relations
  • At least 3 years of work experience in think tanks, foundations, NGOs, universities, international organizations, business, or related areas
  • Verifiable experience in research and academic writing
  • Proficiency in English
  • Proficient use of MS Office programs
  • Valid passport (for at least twelve months at the time of application)
    o Fellows are responsible for their visa application. DGAP can provide an official invitation.
  • A state of health that allows for longer travel and a one-month stay in Berlin

How to apply:

To be considered for the fellowship, please complete the online application form by March 31.

The application should include:

  • Completed application form
  • Curriculum Vitae (in tabular form, max. 2 pages)
  • Letter of motivation (max. 500 words), outlining the following points:
    o Your motivation for pursuing the fellowship
    o Your expertise in connectivity and EU-Central Asia relations
    o How you would like to use your stay in Berlin and how it will positively impact your future work in your home country
  • Initial concept for a policy paper on EU-Central Asia Connectivity (max. 1000 words), outlining the following points:
    o Topic, research question, and main thesis of your proposed paper
    o Possible topics could be: EU-Central Asia transport routes/infrastructure; energy/raw materials/trade relations; digital connectivity; water/climate; role of key players (Russia, China, Türkiye, Iran, …)
    o Relevance of the research question
    o Possible contribution of the paper to an update of the EU Central Asia Strategy
    o Research methods
    o Necessary support by DGAP during your stay in Berlin.

Selection Procedure:

The selection of the fellows will be made by the project team consisting of experts from the German Council on Foreign Relations and CAPS Unlock. Diversity of policy topics, academic and professional backgrounds, and gender balance are considered.