The student research competition on sustainable management of natural resources in Central Asia and Afghanistan project aimed at building the capacities of the young generation with specialists in the water, agricultural and environmental protection sectors. The competition is sponsored by the Smart Waters (USAID) and Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for Aral Sea Basin (World Bank) projects.
Overall goal of the students' research competition was to train young professionals from Central Asian countries and Afghanistan by enhancing their scientific research skills and participation in applied research. For this reason and in order to equip the students with a scientific knowledge, four international experts have been selected to become their supervisors for the whole period of the project, and assist them in producing one of the main project outcomes, namely, a scientific article of a quality sufficient for submission in the Central Asian Journal of Water Research. The competition winners are provided with financial support to carry out their research in the amount of up to US$ 1,500.
The objectives of the project are:
1. Equipping students with scientific skills on academic writing to prepare high quality academic publication;
2. Encouraging students to enhance public speaking skills by participation in the regional conferences.
In order to achieve these goals, the time framework plan was designed to indicate activities. The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) has manly supported the activities on the regional level, by organizing a platform where students took part at the final stage of the competition.
The role of the Kazakh-German University (DKU) is to implement the project activities, as well as to organize events organized at the regional and national levels.
The created framework helped to identify key activities to provide the participants with opportunities to strengthen their scientific skills to conduct their research and prepare an article. In general, there are three types of activities:
To achieve the objective 2 and to provide an exchange between students and supervisors, there was organized a summer school. The summer school on the academic writing serves as a platform where students could meet their supervisors, discuss their topics, and receive recommendations as well as develop a plan for their future work.
The first student research competition was held in 2018-2019, where 15 students have participated from Central Asian countries and Afghanistan.
The next competition started in June 2019 and the amount of participants increased to 24 students. The competition of 2019-2020 started from the “Summer school on academic scientific writing”, which was organized in August 19-27, 2019, at the Kazakh-German University. During the summer school special trainings on academic writing were held which equipped students with needed knowledge to conduct scientific research.
The new structure of the whole competition process was established in 2019-2020. Regular online colloquiums and webinars were organized during the whole competition process. Such kind of platform helps supervisors to control the students’ study process and helps students to work on their research deeply. At the end of the project students had to submit prepared scientific article to the regional Central Asian Journal on Water and take part in the Regional Climate Conference to present their research results.
More information can be found on: http://student.carececo.org
Central Asia Climate Change Conference (CACCC), presentation of the student research competition's results at the youth session, Tashkent, 2019: