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The Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Russia Foundation to launch a two-year pilot program at UNC-Chapel Hill. “Expanding Disciplinary Horizons: New Directions in Russian Studies” will also receive matching support from the UNC College of Arts and Sciences and the Chancellor’s Global Education Fund.

The goal of the project is to advance Russian Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill by supporting global partnerships and graduate education, mentorship and instruction. Its principal investigators are Graeme Robertson, center director and professor of political science, and Adnan Džumhur, associate director of the center.

Project funds will be dedicated to three major initiatives. The center will host two visiting faculty members from Ural Federal University for one semester per year, during which time they will teach, mentor graduate students and participate in collaborative research with UNC-Chapel Hill faculty. Summer research and advanced language study awards will also be made available to graduate students working in Russian Studies and to those who wish to include Russia in their research. The program will be capped off with a thematic conference, which will feature participation from faculty and graduate students from U.S. and Russian universities.

“We are delighted to receive support from the U.S. Russia Foundation. This grant and the matching funds will allow us to substantially advance Russian Studies at Carolina,” said Robertson. “Direct contacts between Russian and American students and scholars are critically important, particularly at this point in the U.S.–Russia relationship and the ‘Expanding Disciplinary Horizons’ project will help us to develop sustained collaboration with our global partner and to train the next generation of specialists.”

By supporting graduate education and providing opportunities for scholarly exchange, the “Expanding Disciplinary Horizons” project will contribute to Carolina’s “Global Guarantee” initiative, which aims to make a global education accessible to all students. UNC-Chapel Hill enrolls approximately 6,550 students per year in courses with content on Russia and East Europe. The center also administers an interdisciplinary MA degree in Russian, Eurasian and East European studies offered through Global Studies, whose graduates often go on to careers in the government, NGOs, business and the military. The graduate students who will participate in the project’s initiatives will come from social science disciplines across the College, including public policy, political science, communications, economics and anthropology.

— UNC Global Relations, published April 22, 2019 (link)

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