Preliminary announcement of Eurasian Studies PhD Program

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Nazarbayev University is pleased to announce its intention to begin accepting applications in Fall 2018 for a new interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Eurasian Studies, with the first cohort of students entering the program in August 2019. Students in this new interdisciplinary Ph.D. program will enroll in a joint major in Eurasian Studies and one of the following departments in SHSS:

  • History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies
  • Kazakh Language and Turkic Studies
  • Languages, Linguistics, and Literatures
  • Sociology and Anthropology.

While eligible students who meet the appropriate prerequisites may also be able to take courses in the Department of Economics and/or the Department of Political Science and International Relations, these departments do not offer a joint major in Eurasian Studies.

Scheduled to open in 2019, this interdisciplinary doctoral program supports graduate research in the field of Eurasian Studies. Students accepted into the new Ph.D. program will be eligible for a Ph.D. scholarship through the School of Humanities and Social Sciences within Nazarbayev University (an international English-language research university located in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan). In the first two years of the program, we anticipate the awarding of 4-5 Ph.D. scholarships per year. Ph.D. scholarships will be awarded for the duration of 4 years to commence in August 2019, with each scholarship covering full tuition costs and a generous monthly stipend (contingent upon the successful annual review of the reasonable progress towards the degree). Students will be expected to complete their program during this period of time.

Applicants with strong interests in interdisciplinary studies in humanities and social sciences, and with the focus on the region of Eurasia are encouraged to apply. The PhD candidates will be hosted within the Eurasian Studies Program of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (Nazarbayev University, in Astana, Kazakhstan). Successful candidates will be supervised by a team composed of a faculty member of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Nazarbayev University (Astana) and of Humboldt University (Berlin). The coursework may be divided between the two universities, with students eligible for at least 1 semester of student mobility per doctoral project.

The new Ph.D. program is made possible by a grant from the VWStiftung, which provides funding for collaboration on this program between Nazarbayev University and faculty in Eurasian Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. The grant will fund mobility for students and faculty participating in the program to take courses and/or conduct research at Humboldt University.


  • By the application deadline, applicants must have successfully and fully completed an M.A. program (or an equivalent) in a field relevant for their proposed Ph.D. research topic.
  • Applicants with a “Kandidat Nauk” degree are also eligible.
  • All successful applicants are expected to demonstrate English language proficiency at the level of 7 or above, or an equivalent in other international proficiency assessment schemes.
  • International applicants satisfying the entry requirements are also eligible (i.e., citizens of countries other than the Republic of Kazakhstan).

Application Procedure:

The call for applications will be announced by early Fall 2018. The early deadline for applications will be February 1, 2019. Students will begin the program in August 2019.

For specific questions concerning the new Ph.D. program, please contact Professor Uli Schamiloglu