Two SEE participants relax over lunch at the New Economic School.

Final days of Russian exchange cement avenues for continued dialogue

SEE participants engage in a roundtable discussion at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences.
SEE participants engage in a roundtable discussion at the New Economic School.

OARS Director and active NCURA member Tricia Callahan is currently in Russia participating in an NCURA-US/Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE). She is blogging about her experience in a special series of posts here on OARS Research News.The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange or Eurasia Foundation.

Read Callahan’s other reports here and here.


Days 3 and 4: Thursday, November 10 and Friday, November 11

Day 3 of SEE was held at the Moscow State University of Railway Engineering (MIIT). Administrators from several Russian institutions — including European University, MIIT, the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, the New Economic School, and the University of Tyumen — were able to ask questions of their U.S. counterparts and to discuss ideas for establishing a network of Russian research administrators.

We were delighted to be joined by students from the Institute of International Transport Communications, who came interested to listen in on the discussions.

The exchange ended on Day 4, at the New Economic School. We were joined by both research faculty and administrators, who shared best practices and ideas for overcoming challenges, including administrative burden. Like with many of our sessions, time passed too swiftly.

Engaging and informative, the four days of social exchange were just the beginning of conversations between faculty and administrators from the U.S. and Russia. Many of the topics discussed need more dialogue and there are still many topics to be explored. We are thankful that the Eurasia Foundation, NCURA, and our newfound collaborations and friendships will facilitate continued dialogue.

Thank you to the Eurasia Foundation for bringing us together, securing the meeting locations, coordinating daily activities, and providing financial support. Special thanks to Maryna Marchanka, Fellowships Officer with Eurasia Foundation SEE, for making all of the travel arrangements and ensuring that we had a productive week of exchange.


Updated November 28 to correct mistaken references to the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. Callahan was actually at the New Economic School on Day 4 of her SEE experience.

Written by Tricia Callahan, Director, Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship, Miami University and Special Exchange Participant, sponsored by the Eurasia Foundation. Photos by Tricia Callahan.

NCURA-US/Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) participants participate in a discussion.

Second day of Russian exchange highlights need for communication between and within networks

Konstantin Kokarev holds a microphone as he speaks to an audience.
Konstantin Kokarev of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences talked about the infrastructure and administrative challenges Russian faculty face when trying to find and apply for grants.

OARS Director and active NCURA member Tricia Callahan is currently in Russia participating in an NCURA-US/Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE). She is blogging about her experience in a special series of posts here on OARS Research News.The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange or Eurasia Foundation.

Read Callahan’s report on Day 1 here.


Day 2: Wednesday, November 9

After opening comments and introductions among SEE members, organizations, and institutions, Shandra White, Director of Sponsored Projects and Research Enhancement at The George Washington University (GWU), shared about support services for researchers at her institution.

After a recent restructure, the sponsored research office of GWU now makes an investment in growing sponsored research by providing:

  • Access to funding opportunities
  • Consultants for research and proposal development
  • Seed funding for research programs

The return on investment has helped grow sponsored funding at GWU and has helped  alleviate administrative burden on faculty who engage in grant activities.

Following Ms. White, Konstantin Kokarev of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences talked about the infrastructure and administrative challenges Russian faculty face when trying to find and apply for grants. Although Kokarev acknowledged differences in institutional structure, size, history and goals, he said our shared challenges make communication key between and within our networks.

Rounding out the morning, staff from NCURA shared opportunities NCURA offers for professional development and networking in the field of research administration. Central to their presentation was a 50,000-foot view of the research administrator as well as NCURA publications and programs, including a recently established global arm.


Updated November 14

Written by Tricia Callahan, Director, Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship, Miami University and Special Exchange Participant, sponsored by the Eurasia Foundation. Photos by Tricia Callahan.

View of St. Petersburg, Russia, as seen from the colonnade of St. Isaac's Cathedral.

OARS staffer reports on first day of Russian exchange experience

European University at St. Petersburg logo

OARS Director and active NCURA member Tricia Callahan is currently in Russia participating in an NCURA-US/Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE). She is blogging about her experience in a special series of posts here on OARS Research News. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange or Eurasia Foundation.


Day 1: Tuesday, November 8

“What opportunities for collaboration might there be between U.S. and Russian institutions?” was the central question during my first day of SEE at the European University in St. Petersburg, Russia. More specifically, what opportunities currently exist, and might exist, for collaborations between Miami University and the European University?

The European University  is a private graduate institution focused on Russian humanities and social sciences, offering one- to two-year MA programs in Eurasian Studies and Energy Politics. While the language of instruction is English, additional educational opportunities include studies in the Russian language as well as opportunities for undergraduates to engage in a semester of study abroad in Russia.

In addition to undergraduate exchange, the European University is currently exploring the feasibility of including undergraduate degree programs. As a representative of Miami University, a leading institution in undergraduate education, I had the chance to share with Eueopean University faculty, administration, and graduate students how they might involve undergraduates in their current instructional and research programs.

While opportunities for student exchange currently exist and have the potential to expand, opportunities for intellectual exchange for faculty are still to be explored. Speaker engagements, faculty exchange, and research collaborations were among the ideas discussed to bring together Miami University and European University faculty.

Look for more on communications between our institutions and consider for yourselves “What opportunities for collaboration might there be between our institutions?”


Updated November 14

Written by Tricia Callahan, Director, Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship, Miami University and Special Exchange Participant, sponsored by the Eurasia Foundation. Photo of St. Petersburg by Graham from London UK via Wikimedia Commons. Used under Creative Commons license.