American University of Central Asia - AUCA - Presidential Research and Education Fund

Presidential Research and Education Fund



The AUCA Presidential Research and Education Fund (PREF) was established in 2019 as 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 two academic years 29 projects initiated by the faculty, students, and staff were funded within the PREF Grant. 22 research projects have been implemented successfully. The other seven research projects are in the process of getting implemented and finalized. 

These positive results of two years encouraged us to continue this program, and launch two new rounds of funding during the 2021-2022 academic year. We are now announcing the request for proposals for the first round of PREF 2021-2022 funding.



1st round

Call for proposals: July 29, 2021 

Proposals submission deadline: September 10, 2021


2nd round

Call for proposals: December 10, 2021

Proposals submission deadline: January 15, 2022


NOTE: The funding for projects approved within the 1st round must be disbursed by December 20, 2021. However, work may continue on the project after this date with the approval of PREF Manager Umut Kydyrgychova in Spring 2022. 



  • Full-time AUCA faculty
  • Full-time AUCA active students (both 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 Spring 2021 are not eligible to apply. Recipients of PREF awards 2019-2020 and Fall 2020 are eligible to apply.  



The Office of the President will make awards up to $2500 USD per project in Fall 2021, 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 project’s social impact while designing your proposal. We are specifically interested in seed funding for new initiatives that may be scalable or potentially create a long-lasting impact through proof of concept, especially in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, including Afghanistan and Iran. 

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 what 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 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years.

Names of PREF 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, CTLT Director

Jarkyn Shadymanova, Associate Professor

Emil Begimkulov, Assistant Professor

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

Ms. Anastasiya Lysogorova

Participation in International Film Festival in Rotterdam

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 believes/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

Olga Tarabashkina, Instructor

Role of Gender and Social Media in Kyrgyzstani Parliamentary Elections October 2020

Aida Abdykanova, Associate Professor

Montana Reid, Undergraduate student

Mapping of Issyk-Kul Rock Art: Prevention and Preservation

Ruslan Rahimov, Associate Professor

Unheard voices of people of Kyrgyzstan

Chynara Ryskulova, Associate Professor

Anguelina Popova, CTLT Director

Accreditation of undergraduate programs at AUCA: lessons learned and way forward

Jyldyz Bekbalaeva, Library Director

Aijamal Sarybaeva, Assistant Professor

Oral Histories Collection at AUCA

Talgat Dzhumashev, Graduate student

Forward - to the past. Satellite images of the Chui region from 1960 to the present day

Mingoiim Nishonova, Administrative Assistant

On the Edge of Bishkek: Highlighting Ecological Problems Through Creative Writing and Visual Research.

Adina Sulumbekova, Undergraduate student

Kamila Kurbonmamadova, Undergraduate student

Climate Change in Kyrgyzstan: Short Movie Series Project

Begaiym Esenkulova, Associate Professor

RESPONSIBLE MINING AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD: Balancing the Protection of Investors’ Rights and Advancement of Sustainable Development in the Kyrgyz Republic



Your PREF Application form should be completed and submitted online via Google Form accessible HERE

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 September 10, 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

We look forward to your application forms!

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

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