Spring Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers at MGIMO University closes

Spring Fellowship Program for Foreign Researchers at MGIMO University closes

29 April 2022

The spring InteRussia research fellowship program for foreign researchers organized by MGIMO together with the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and Rossotrudnichestvo has ended.

On April 28, the Gorchakov Fund hosted the closing ceremony of the program, which was attended by Leonid Drachevsky, Executive Director of the Fund; Evgeny Primakov, Head of Rossotrudnichestvo, and Maxim Suchkov, Director of the MGIMO Institute for International Studies. The fellowship program was housed by the MGIMO Institute for International Studies under the guidance of university academic advisors from March 21 to May 1.

"This spring program celebrates the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Russia and the former Soviet republics. Since then approaches to international studies in the post-Soviet space have evolved, each country has its own scientific tradition. For us, fellowships for foreign experts are an opportunity to get acquainted with your research culture, to learn about your practices and methods. This helps us to better understand how international political studies are developing in the post-Soviet space, and what common agendas we may have," said Maxim Suchkov. He added, "InteRussia is part of MGIMO University's development strategy under the 10-year Priority 2030 Strategic Academic Leadership Program. This is why the fellowship program participants will be able to take part in other MGIMO projects in the future."

The participants explored the relevant problems of domestic and foreign policy of post-Soviet countries and integration processes in the CIS space. The academic advisors included the leading MGIMO researchers, such as Ekaterina Arapova, Director of the Institute’s Sanctions Policy Expertise Center; Ivan Safranchuk, Director of the Institute’s Center of Euro-Asian Studies and Yulia Nikitina, its Senior Research Fellow; Nikolay Silaev, Director of the Institute’s Laboratory of International Trends Analysis; Ekaterina Koldunova, ASEAN Centre Director; Sergey Markedonov, the Leading Researcher of the Institute’s Euro-Atlantic Security Center and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Analytics.

The spring program closed with a series of final events giving the participants an opportunity to discuss the outcomes of their research with their academic advisors and visiting experts.

On April 25, the Institute for International Studies hosted a round table "Integration processes in Central Asia: political, economic and social aspects" with research papers presented by Sukhrob Rustami (Tajikistan), Lecturer at the Department of Theory and History of International Relations at the Ural Federal University; Ilyas Shakirov (Uzbekistan), Senior Lecturer at the Department of the History of Uzbekistan, National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek; and Veronika Torosyan (Armenia), Head of the Department of Turkish Studies, the Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia.

On April 27, at the round table "Discursive insight into socio-political processes in Central Asia" research projects were also presented by Abduaziz Alimdzhanov (Uzbekistan), Lecturer of the Department of Foreign Philology, the National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek; Rigina Sysoeva (Kazakhstan), Lecturer at the Department of Social Sciences, Astana International University; Gulzina Daniyarova (Kyrgyzstan), Lecturer at the Faculty of Professional Foreign Languages, Department of international relations, Osh State University; and Mukhabbat Rosemamedova (Turkmenistan), a PhD student at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, the Eastern Mediterranean University (Cyprus).

On April 29, the final event of the program, a round table "Russia and the South Caucasus in the context of the development of a new world order," took place with reports by Hrant Mikaelian, Researcher at the Caucasus Institute (Armenia); Ruben Elamiryan, Acting Head of the Department of World Politics and International Relations, the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University (Armenia); and Nino Skvortsova, a PhD student at the Department of Political Analysis and Administration, RUDN University (Georgia).

The program participants believe that the fellowship has been very important for their research and networking.

"Together with my academic advisor Ivan Safranchuk, we took a challenging research path, changed the perspective of the study and determined its key factors in a new way. I hope we will keep in touch and participate in projects together," Mukhabbat Rosemamedova (Turkmenistan) shared her impressions. According to Ruben Elamiryan (Armenia), the InteRussia program both helps to understand Russia and to develop horizontal communication, network with researchers from other post-Soviet countries.

"When I travel to Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, I always feel that this is one big homeland and we are all one big nation. And even though we have been following independent paths for the last 30 years, these paths are still parallel. You can feel this unity with your soul," said Rigina Sysoeva (Kazakhstan).

The academic advisors also believe that InteRussia is a unique program. "This exchange program is a wonderful opportunity for young colleagues from neighboring countries to experience a different academic culture and professional environment, collect material for their scientific and applied research, and network. "Our colleagues' research has been conducted at a high level, and I hope that we will keep in touch even after the fellowship program ends," says Yulia Nikitina. Nikolay Silaev stresses that the program has been "a unique opportunity to learn about research schools and share expert knowledge with colleagues from other countries." He is sure that it helps to better understand political processes in neighboring states.

According to Nikita Lipunov, an analyst at the Institute for International Studies and one of the IIS program coordinators, the number of participants and the quality of their work are growing with each new season of the program. "The final events have shown that you have spent these six weeks wisely. I appreciate in particular that some researchers managed to conduct field research and deliver lectures for MGIMO students," Nikita Lipunov said.

After two InteRussia fellowships, Adlan Margoev, Research Fellow at the Centre for Middle East Studies, says that new practices have been introduced each time by the Institute for International Studies. He believes that the future of trilateral cooperation is to continue searching for such fellowship parameters that will unlock both the participants' potential and the organizers' capabilities in a variety of ways. "After 18 months of working on this program, the IIS has become a center of competence in the field of academic mobility, which will allow us to confidently design new programs and share the best practices of the MGIMO academia with foreign researchers," Adlan Margoev summed up.

The call for applications for the autumn InteRussia program will be announced over the next few weeks.

Institute for International Studies
ASEAN Centre