Competition: Best Graduate Student Research Paper in Central Asian Studies

To facilitate the growth and coherence of the Central Asian Studies field the Central Asia Program at George Washington University provides support annually for the best graduate student research paper in Central Asian Studies.

The winner will receive a $300 award and will be offered the opportunity to publish the paper in Central Asian Affairs.


  • Applicants must be MA and PhD students writing a thesis or a doctorate on Central Asia. Postdoctoral scholars are not eligible to participate.
  • The essay should be submitted in English (the MA or PhD thesis can be in another language)
  • The essay must deal with contemporary wider Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Topics on Afghanistan, Xinjiang, Mongolia and the Volga-Ural region will be accepted too.
  • Historical papers will be accepted only if they clearly state how history helps to understand some current issues.
  • Papers should be original research projects using primary sources, rather than reviews of existing literature.
  • The essay should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words.
  • The essay should follow established norms for a scholarly publication and contain:
    • An abstract of 150 words maximum,
    • A hypothesis discussed in introduction,
    • A body in several parts,
    • A conclusion summarizing the findings,
    • Footnotes or endnotes,
    • A bibliography

Selection Process

The Central Asia Program will review all applications and pre-select the 10 top papers.  Applicants will be informed by email if they have been pre-selected.  The pre-selected applications will be sent to an Advisory Committee for anonymous reviewing and ranking.

Submit your application

Submit your application by sending the essay, a CV, and proof of your student status (in word or in PDF)

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