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Notice of Funding Opportunity: English Language Capacity for STEM Fields Students
July 25, 2023

Notice of Funding Opportunity: English Language Capacity for STEM Fields Students

Notice of Funding Opportunity: English Language Capacity for STEM Fields Students

Program Office: Public Diplomacy Section, U.S. Embassy Astana

Funding Opportunity Title: English Language Capacity for STEM Fields Students

Announcement Type: Cooperative Agreement

Funding Opportunity Number: DOS-KAZ-AST-AEECA-23-004

Deadline for Applications: August 25, 2023, 23:59 PM (Astana time)

Assistance Listing Number: 19.900 – Assistance for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia

Length of performance periodSeptember 2023 – December 2024

Number of awards anticipated1

Total available funding$40,000

Anticipated program start dateSeptember 2023

The U.S. Mission to Kazakhstan announces an open competition for U.S. and Kazakh organizations to submit proposals for the 2023-2024 English Language Capacity Building for STEM students, which aims to increase student mobility and access to research opportunities in STEM Fields through improving English language proficiency. The program seeks to provide 60 university students from regions outside of Astana and Almaty with pre-intermediate levels of English at least 250 hours of intensive English language courses to increase their academic language proficiency and readiness for graduate studies or research in STEM fields in the United States.  As a result, the program will enable the selected students to pursue graduate and research opportunities in the United States, including through the Kazakhstan government sponsored Bolashaq scholarship program. The selected in-country service provider will need to identify highly qualified language instructors in the regions who can commit to teaching English to STEM students by integrating American English language learning, STEM resources, and STEM activities in English to prepare STEM students for study in the United States.


Kazakh students from Astana and Almaty have greater access to English language learning resources and can apply for various scholarship opportunities.  Due to limited English language proficiency, many academically qualified students from rural areas are not able to pursue international program opportunities.  The goal of this program is to identify the most promising STEM and IT students with high academic results, intermediate level of English, and a clear commitment to take advantage of English language courses to further pursue their studies in the United States through various opportunities including Government of Kazakhstan scholarships.  As STEM and IT specialists with English language skills are also in high demand in Kazakhstan, supporting this group of students, especially those from rural and regional cities, would also help address the rural and urban gap in education.

This program will coordinate with the Ministry of Education, Center for International Programs Bolashaq, and regional university partners to identity strong candidates who would benefit from English language courses to expand their opportunities for graduate study or research at U.S. institutions.  As part of this program, students with pre-intermediate English language level will be recruited and offered an in-person (offline) opportunity to complete 250 hours of English language instruction during one academic year.   The program will seek support from various partners in the region to secure venues for classes at two regional locations.  The program budget for the year-long 250 hours of in-person English language instruction for 60 students in two regions, with teaching fees, textbooks, materials, and supplies will be approximately $40,000.  This amount will also include at least five percent dedicated to monitoring and evaluation costs, per Department policy.

Project Audience(s): rural and regional students majoring in STEM and IT fields with excellent academic results, but pre-intermediate level of English, who are interested in continuing their education in the United States through various opportunities including GOK-funded scholarships.

Project Goal: 

Increase access to STEM graduate and research opportunities in the United States for Kazakh students from rural and regional areas through English language and academic preparation courses.

Project Objectives:

  • Objective 1: Improve the English language skills of 60 pre-intermediate English-level STEM students in regional and rural areas who are interested in continuing their studies abroad.
  • Objective 2:  Increase STEM students’ awareness about various opportunities to continue their studies in the United States, by inviting U.S. guest speakers, advisers, and graduate or scholarship program representatives.
  • Objective 3:  Increase understanding of at least 25-30 program participants on how to apply for study in the United States, through consultations and sessions on STEM-related activities.

The applicant should identify the target participants for the program through an open call for applications at regional universities.  The partner will also identify at least two highly-qualified English language instructors who can commit to improving students’ English language level from pre-intermediate to upper-intermediate level at regional cities and conduct classes throughout the year.  The partner should offer selected applicants in at least two locations 250 hours of in-person English language instruction during one academic year.