UCA Fellowship Continues to Build Mountain Research Capacity

Date: 13 August 2015
Other languages: Русский язык |

From 6 to 10 July 2015, 15 researchers from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan came together in the picturesque Chong Kemin Valley of Kyrgyzstan for a workshop on scientific writing and publishing.

CAARF Fellow from Tajikistan Aynullo Safaralikhonov presents his research at the MSRI Scientific Writing and Publishing Workshop in Kyrgyzstan.

The workshop is the second in a series of capacity building initiatives organised by the University of Central Asia’s Mountain Societies Research Institute (UCA MSRI), under the University’s Research and Public Policy Initiative, a project supported by the International Research Development Centre, Ottawa, Canada. The first workshop, on Research for Development, took place last year in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The researchers are the first cohort of MSRI’s Central Asia and Afghanistan Research Fellowship (CAARF), a select group whose research projects are being advanced with international mentorships, training, and, for 14 researchers, financial support ranging from $5,000 to 20,000 each. Their research topics are relevant to mountain society development, covering themes such as food security, natural resource management, on- and off-farm livelihoods, disaster risk reduction, labour migration and remittances, and human and ecosystem adaptation to climate change.

Since the first workshop on Research for Development, most CAARF fellows have completed their field work and begun their analysis. A few have published their research findings and presented their work at conferences.

“MSRI is committed not only to generating data on mountain societies, but to building the capacity of researchers to conduct and disseminate research that will address real challenges in the region. CAARF is designed to facilitate both,” explained Marc Foggin, Acting Director of MSRI.


The five-day workshop on Scientific Writing and Publishing was facilitated by Dr Anne Zimmermann, Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern and Associate Editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Mountain Research and Development (MRD).

Participants at UCA MSRI’s CAARF Scientific Writing and Publishing Workshop in Kyrgyzstan.

The training sessions focussed on enhancing participants’ mastery of the principles and skills of academic writing and understanding of the rules, trends and formats of writing and publishing in their academic fields in an international context. More practically, the training assisted the fellows in developing academic articles based on their research supported by CAARF, understanding their target audiences, as well as developing personal publication strategies. The training included lectures, guided group sessions and individual coaching.

“Developing scientific rigour, strong writing and publishing skills will help the CAARF fellows share the important research they are conducting on Central Asian mountain communities and environments, and also provide critical opportunities for professional development. Additionally, it is important that scholars in Central Asia are fully aware of how to avoid the dangers of predatory publishing and plagiarism, two major pitfalls that can severely damage academic careers. Simple tools and a heightened sense of good scholarship can help overcome these,” said Zimmerman.

“This was an excellent opportunity to access high quality experts to improve our knowledge and skills in scientific writing and publishing at an international level,” said participant Aynullo Safaralikhonov of Tajikistan.