2 Open Study/Research Award
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodAugust Start
Grant Length10 Months
The Fulbright U.S. Student Research grants offer an opportunity to conduct individually designed research projects in Tajikistan. Previous research topics have included sustainable urban water practices, women's rights within an informal system of justice, evolution of trends in Tajik foreign policy since the fall of the Soviet Union, potential of branchless banking in rural regions of Tajikistan, neonationalism and urban development, development of national-scale legislation related to land reform and pastures, Tajik sign language and history of Ismaili religion, and many more.
Upon arrival in the country, grantees are placed with either host families or in guesthouses in Dushanbe to facilitate the process of settling in. This post-arrival orientation program is set up by the U.S. Embassy Dushanbe’s Public Affairs Section (PAS). Grantees will obtain cell phones, learn about options for Internet service plans, begin practicing the language, and generally acclimate themselves to the way of life in Tajikistan. PAS registers the grantees with local authorities and begins to work on extending the validity of their visas, if necessary.
The Cultural Affairs Officer briefs the grantees regarding their interaction with the Embassy and local context. The grantees also receive briefings from the Medical Unit, the Consular Section, and from the Regional Security Office (RSO).
The Medical Unit addresses issues of health and sanitation. This briefing describes some of the more common ailments that affect newcomers to Tajikistan, as well as best practices and resources available to them to safeguard their health. The grantees learn about food storage and preparation, how to shop wisely, issues of general sanitation, and what to do if they become ill. The Medical Unit can provide information on reliable and/or English-speaking clinics and medical providers.
The Consular Section gives a presentation on consular services available to all American citizens in Tajikistan. The Public Affairs Section requires grantees to join the warden system, by which Embassy Dushanbe can quickly and efficiently advise American citizens in the event of an emergency such as a seismic event, weather or other situation of which the Embassy believes American citizens should be aware. The warden system can be a faster and more efficient means of transmitting information than individual phone calls or e-mails. Further information is available at https://step.state.gov/step/
The briefing from the RSO addresses issues of personal and physical safety. They discuss concerns about crime, hazardous driving conditions, inclement weather, and other circumstances that could potentially place a grantee in a risky situation. While the risk of violent crime in Tajikistan is low relative to many places, RSO nevertheless covers personal security measures grantees can take to improve their own personal safety. These include observing cultural and societal norms and expectations, maintaining positive relations within their host community, traveling during the day rather than at night, and advising Embassy of anticipated travel plans outside their host town. The RSO will also brief the grantee on emergency preparedness concerning weather events, natural disasters or political unrest. Also, RSO (in conjunction with PAS) specifically covers the process of finding housing. With assistance from Embassy staff, grantees choose their own housing. In this briefing, a representative from the RSO advises grantees on criteria by which they may evaluate residences, specifically with regards to security, structural integrity, dependability of electricity and plumbing, properly sealing and locking doors and windows, etc. As soon as the grantee has chosen a residence, PAS assists in making the appropriate registration with local authorities.
Applications are welcome from articulate and flexible graduating seniors, recent graduates, or graduate students who demonstrate a high level of maturity. All disciplines will be considered. Applicants must have a well-defined research project and must have demonstrated ability to work independently, have a solid foundation in their subject areas, and have demonstrated high levels of adaptability.
Accepted Degree Levels
Special Application Instructions
As part of the selection process, Post will invite a limited number of semi-finalists to participate in virtual interviews. An invitation to an interview is a further step in the selection process and not a guarantee that the semi-finalist will be selected for the grant in Tajikistan.
Foreign Language Proficiency
Knowledge of Russian or Tajik language is recommended and may even be required. Language proficiency commensurate with the nature of the proposed project is expected prior to commencing the grant. Applicants without relevant language skills should include plans for language study in their proposals.
Fulbright Proposal Types
Letter recommended but not required at deadline
It is strongly recommended that applicants identify appropriate host institutions for their projects and that they include affiliation letters with their Fulbright applications. Affiliations may be with local or international non-governmental organizations, university departments, or other institutions. Otherwise, they may indicate preferences for affiliation if an invitation is not available. When applicants do not indicate a host institution preference, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe will assist in finding the most appropriate placements. The Fulbright grant is not meant to support internships at organizations in Tajikistan, but rather it is meant to support independent research.
The U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan will carefully review all Fulbright proposals for feasibility and security concerns. Applicants must be flexible in response to changing conditions and grantees must comply with all security procedures set in place by the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan.