The GCRF COMPASS Project that has been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education awards 2021 under the category of the Best International Collaboration of the year, has been singled out as the most HIGHLY COMMENDABLE project. The project has been selected out of five hundred submitted and five shortlisted projects.

Commenting after the awards ceremony, Prof. Elena Korosteleva (Project's Principal Investigator, University of Kent) said: "It is not so much about the recognition that matters – it is about the people involved in the project who have made it a real success!’

The GCRF COMPASS project works with higher education institutions (HEIs) from former Soviet Republics to develop global partnerships and more sustainable learning capacities through resilience in the face of adversity and crisis. Led by Professor Elena Korosteleva, in partnership with Dr Siddharth Saxena (COI, Cambridge), Rosalind Beeching (Project Manager, Kent) and Prajakti Kalra (Research & Communication Officer, Cambridge), the GCRF COMPASS consortium involves six Research Institutions, 24 members of staff and 100 affiliates. 

Supported by its International Advisory Board of policymakers, practitioners and academics across the globe, GCRF COMPASS fosters excellence through successful research integration, policy impact and community engagement. Despite the complex challenges both in the UK and the region, the project team, represented in the region by national team leads has built close relationships, resulting in new research projects, international training schools for Early Career Scholars, Future Leaders Policy Forums, academic workshops and seminars and signature conferences. The result has been educational partnerships and the project outputs have informed peace and reconciliation between former adversaries and investing in a more sustainable future for the region and beyond.

The project team helped its partners, both in the UK and the region, to nurture signature specialisms to become global hubs in resilience (Kent and Cambridge), migration (Belarus), connectivity (Azerbaijan), regional security (Uzbekistan) and cultural diplomacy (Tajikistan). The project has produced 9 monographs and edited volumes; 6 Special Issues; over 100 journal articles and policy briefs.

The THE Awards 2021 ceremony has taken place on 25 November 2021.