Working with and reaching out to Kazakh universities, U.S. Diplomatic Mission representatives are often approached about the opportunities of creating a student- and faculty-oriented academic writing center like those that operate in U.S. universities. In line with the Government of Kazakhstan’s trilingual education policy, many universities in Kazakhstan are interested in developing academic writing skills of students and providing guidance to faculty members on how to improve the quality of their research and publications. Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education is prioritizing university research and development, requiring university faculty to publish their research in international peer-reviewed journals. However, many Kazakh universities have requested support in further developing their research capacity to produce high quality research articles that are more likely to be published in international journals. Workshops offered in recent years as part of the U.S. Mission-funded University Partnerships Program and Central Asia regional UniCEN program also indicate that there is high demand for training on research methodology, academic writing, and the publication process, particularly in STEM fields. Many qualified researchers lack the English language skills to publish their research in international journals. This skills gap may include basic writing skills, but more commonly reflects a challenge with presenting their research processes, outcomes, and conclusions clearly. While there is a peer review process in place, many of the senior faculty are less experienced in the international publishing process and standards. Unlike in the United States, Kazakh researchers have few additional resources to rely on when their research is rejected. To address this issue, the U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan proposes to offer targeted English language support to Kazakh HEIs through the creation of academic writing centers. Through mentoring and skills transfer, the program will create a vehicle for Kazakh HEIs to adopt improved research publication practices based on U.S. models. The creation of the academic writing centers project modules/topics must be connected (but not limited to) the organization of writing centers for various academic audiences (students, faculty members-researchers, graduate and PhD students), administrative support and staffing requirements, academic writing and the principles/requirements of the writing research papers, and research methodology, international standards, and the publishing process. Project Audience(s): Universities in Kazakhstan and U.S. universities, especially research universities. Beneficiaries can be students, faculty researchers, graduate, and PhD students, including those in STEM fields. Competitive proposals would work with partner institutions to establish sustainable academic writing centers, with buy-in from staff and university management to provide space and equipment for the center and continue its work beyond the length of the program. Project Goal: Improve the research publication practices of four Kazakh public universities by creating academic writing and scientific research centers based on U.S. Universities current and best practices. Project Objectives: Objective 1: Establish four financially self-sustaining academic writing centers in Kazakh public universities Objective 2: Increase understanding of Kazakh university faculty on current and best US research university practices essential to conducting quality research. Objective 3: Improve academic writing standards and practices of newly created Kazakh public university writing centers through mentorship from US university academic writing centers.
U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan