Presidential Research and Education Fund



In 2019 President Andrew Kuchins announced the establishment of the AUCA Presidential Research and Education Fund (PREF), a unique initiative designed to support discrete projects from faculty, students, and staff for research and educational activities through the Office of the President at AUCA. The Fund especially welcomes seed funding for new initiatives at the University, multidisciplinary projects, and those involving AUCA students are strongly encouraged. Despite the unexpected COVID pandemic, and its negative impact on the feasibility of the projects, over the last academic years 14 projects initiated by the faculty and students were successfully accomplished. The other five research projects are in the process of being implemented.

These positive results of the first year encouraged us to continue this program, and launch two new rounds of funding during the 2020-21 academic year. We are now announcing the request for proposals for the second round of PREF 2020-21 funding.



Call for proposals: February 17, 2021

Proposals submission deadline: March 19, 2021

NOTE: The funding for projects approved within the 2nd round must be disbursed by July 20, 2021. However, work may continue on the project after this date with the approval of PREF Manager Umut Kydyrgychova before July 15, 2021.



  • Full-time AUCA faculty
  • Full-time AUCA active students (bachelor and masters)
  • Full-time AUCA staff members
  • Current part-time faculty can apply if students are involved in the project.
  • Those who have been awarded PREF funding in Fall 2020 are not eligible to apply. Recipients of PREF awards 2019-2020 are eligible to apply.



The Office of the President will make awards up to $3000 USD per project, tax-inclusive.

Please be aware that the principal investigator for the project is responsible for carrying out logistics as well as administrative and financial procedures and reporting related to the PREF project. Executive Officer to the President, HR, and Finance Offices will consult and assist you in resolving any questions that may come up. However, in case you have never administered documents at AUCA, it may be useful to include a team member responsible for managing administrative processes.



There is no restriction imposed on the possible topics of your initiatives. Nevertheless, based on the last three rounds of experience, we encourage you to think about the social impact of the project while designing your proposal. We are specifically interested in seed funding for new initiatives which may be scalable or potentially can create a long-lasting impact through proof of concept, especially in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia.

Among possible topics to be proposed, but certainly not limited to these:

  • Art, history, and culture of Central Asia and its neighbors.
  • Future governance challenges resulting from climate change
  • How inclusive is AUCA as an institution of higher education?
  • How to energize Kyrgyz citizens and students about the imminent and huge risks of climate change?
  • Technological change and its impact on mental and physical health
  • What are the unique characteristics of nomadic peoples and cultures?
  • What have we learned about online/hybrid education and its potential role in the future?
  • What promotes and obstructs creativity and innovation in higher education?

Project results may also be very diverse; from the production of new high-tech goods to traditional and non-traditional art forms, documentaries and videos, and even more standard academic studies.


From the table below you can see how diverse were the PREF projects implemented in the last two years:

Names of the winners

Title of the project

Aida Abdykanova, Associate Professor

Jyldyz Bekbalaeva, Library Director

Tolgonai Kozhokanova, Electronic Service Assistant

Beyond Plain Visualization: 3D Modeling of Historic Buildings in Karakol

Tamo Chattopadhay, Associate Professor

Zarlasht Sarmast, Undergraduate student

The Voices of the Afghan Students at AUCA

Prof. Rustam Orozbaev

An order of polarizing microscope with transmitted and reflected illumination

Mukaram Toktogulova, Associate Professor

Prof. Elira Turdubaeva

Media Representation of Islam and Muslims in Kyrgyzstan

Michael Brady, Associate Professor

The foundation needed for AUCA to be competitive in attracting a large research grant that will help children on the autistic spectrum

Prof. Uulkan Kambaralieva,

Daniyar Karabaev, Assistant Professor

Online Kyrgyz language course for beginners

Anguelina Popova, Ph.D., Director of CTLT

Jarkyn Shadymanova, Associate Professor

Emil Begimkulov, Instructor

The value of liberal arts education: AUCA alumni perspectives and curriculum design opportunities

Prof. Amadeus DeKastle

Digitization of the National Academy of Science Herbarium with AUCA Students

Anastasiya Valeeva, Assistant Professor

Data Art

Bermet Talasbek, Program Manager

Begimay Abdraeva

Startup Bootcamp

Saniya Toktogazieva, Associate Professor

Kanykei Kasybekova, Assistant Professor

“The Casebook on Constitutional Chamber of the KR: 15 major decisions” as a promotion and internationalization of rule of law and constitutionalism in Kyrgyzstan

Vladislav Pak

Augmented reality as an educational tool for children with developmental delays

Mukaram Toktogulova, Associate Professor

Baitur Toktosunov, Graduate student

Tengrian beliefs/practices in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan.

Gulmira Duisheeva, Assistant Professor

Development of a Kyrgyz language textbook for students whose first language is English

James Plumtree, Assistant Professor

Singing the Song of the Land You Are In:
Local Dissemination of the Findings of the AKYN Project

Mairambek Nurgaziev, Associate Professor

Problems, Progress and Prospects of Organic Farming as a means of Sustainable Agriculture in Kyrgyzstan.

Prof. Sergey Sklyar,

Prof. Syrgak Kydyraliev,

Elena Burova, Assistant Professor

Compilation and preparation for publication of the collection AUCA Mathematical Olympiads for secondary school students.

Saikal Anvar kyzy, Assistant Professor

Blockchain Technology in Kyrgyzstan

Prof. Hannepes Taychayev

Implementation of international law by domestic courts of Kyrgyz Republic



Your PREF Application form should be completed and submitted online.

Follow the link to see the form:

The PREF Application form includes some narrative and a budget, including personal information of applicants (faculty, staff, and student). In case your project proposal is approved, you might be required to provide a more detailed budget.

All application forms should be submitted online following the deadline of March 19, 2021.

You will receive an email from Umut Kydyrgyhova, Executive Officer to the President, once your application form is received by the Office of the President. For any information contact Umut at

American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028