Research competition on sustainable management of natural resources

Aug. 24, 2018

The student research competition aims to build capacities of the young generation of specialists in the water, agricultural and environmental protection sectors in the Central Asian countries and Afghanistan. The competition is sponsored by the Smart Waters (USAID) and Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin (WB) projects.

Main topics of the competition:

    Water management and reforms: IWRM, international and national laws, policy development;
    Water management approaches for transboundary basins;
    Technologies and practices for sustainable water and land management on community and farm level;
    Water supply for rural areas: provision with drinking water, etc.;
    Economics of natural resources management, valuation of ecosystem services, economic efficiency of water use;
    Climate modeling and climate risk assessment;
    Assessment of climate vulnerability of households and sectors;
    Adaptation to climate change in agriculture and water sector;
    Low-carbon development, promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency;
    Water, food and energy nexus;
    Gender and gender policy in management of natural resources.


The competition is open for graduate students, from universities within and outside the region, who plan to focus their research on sustainable management of water, land and energy resources in Central Asian countries and Afghanistan.Proposed research must be part of applicant`s dissertation and must be completed within 10 months or within other timeline agreed with the organizers.

Key Dates

    May 25, 2018 – deadline for submission of applications
    June 30, 2018 – announcement of the winners

The Evaluation ProcessApplications will be screened by the commission consisting of representatives from academic institutions in Central Asia in cooperation with the German-Kazakh University.

Evaluation Criteria

    relevance of the research proposed;
    clarity and validity of the goals, problem selection and methodology of the research;
    balance between the application content and the requested funding amount;
    feasibility of the goals set, research timelines and budget (up to US$ 1,500), and availability of additional funding in excess of the budget;
    novelty of the research proposed and the working potential for the Central Asian region;
    partnership (the organization to co-implement the research).

Extended criterion:

    interdisciplinary approach;
    research focus covering multiple countries.


The competition winners will be provided with financial support to carry out their research in the amount of up to US$ 1,500. This support will be based on the reimbursement of actual expenses incurred by the students during the research. Eligible costs include expenses associated with field trips, surveys, laboratory tests, printing, etc.

To apply please follow the link: