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Contemporary Issues (CI) was a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, and implemented by IREX. For ten years, CI provided opportunities for experienced professionals from Eurasia to conduct four months of independent policy-oriented research in the United States with the goal of playing an active role in sustaining the transition to democracy, free markets, and civil society in their home countries.

For each CI participant, IREX identified a US host institution and host advisor appropriate to the participant’s professional expertise and research needs. Fellows had the option of spending the last month of their program in a self-arranged internship program.

Fellowships were awarded to citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. They represented a diverse pool of disciplines including: economists, government officials, lawyers, political advisors, NGO leaders, journalists, and other policy makers.

All research projects were policy-driven with practical application in Eurasia in the following fields:

  • Business Administration and Development
  • Civic Education
  • Educational Policy
  • Economics
  • Environmental Policy (Not Environmental Science)
  • Human Rights
  • International Relations
  • Journalism & Media
  • Law Enforcement
  • Military/Security Issues
  • NGO Development and Management
  • Political Science
  • Public Administration (Government)
  • Public Health Policy (Not Medicine)
  • Rule of Law
  • Social Welfare