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SILVIYA NITSOVA 

I was awarded a small summer grant in the amount of 850 dollars for field research, specifically for conducting interviews in Eastern Ukraine in July 2016. I applied the funds provided by the Curriculum in Global Studies towards travel and living expenses and translation services costs.

During my fieldwork, I conducted a total of 18 interviews with local experts from media, academia, think tanks and NGOs, as well as with members of political and economic elites at the regional and local levels. 13 interviews were conducted in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk (Dnepr) and Slovyansk between July 11-24. The remaining 5 interviews were conducted in Kyiv between July 1-10 and July 25-31. I am currently in the process of analyzing the collected data and believe them to constitute an extremely valuable resource for my research.

This support enabled me to collect primary data for my Master’s research project. The latter focuses on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine after the Maidan Revolution of February 2014 and aims to explain why we see variation in the choice to engage in armed conflict in regions which are culturally, socio-economically and historically similar. Through my fieldwork, I was able to strengthen my research and language skills and deepen my understanding of the complex 2 conditions that facilitated the conflict in Eastern Ukraine – a conflict which only two and a half years ago seemed unthinkable. My research project is important and needed from both academic and policy perspectives and I am grateful for having the Curriculum in Global Studies support my endeavors in bringing it to fruition.