Dr Siddharth Saxena, who heads the Cambridge Central Asia Forum (CCAF), has conducted field work in Bukhara and Fergana over the last 15 years on a project titled the Projected Commonality of Inter-Ethnic and Inter-lingual mix in Central Asia.

The Cambridge Central Asia Forum (CCAF) coordinates and conducts a number of projects with Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, Tashkent State University, Bukhara and Samarkand Universities: e.g. Documenting Environmental Knowledge and a Comparative history of Sufi orders in Central and South Asia. CCAF is currently working on a project titled: Islamic Intellectual Heritage with the Faculty of Media and Journalism in Tashkent.

Other initiatives include a project, led Dr Shailaja Fennel, Dr Siddharth Saxena and Prof Peter Nolan CBE of the Centre oft of Development Studies (CDS), University of Cambridge, to carry out exploratory development of multidisciplinary research around the theme of the Silk Roads; this is being carried out under the British Council’s INSPIRE scheme in partnership with the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies Centre. The project aims to develop three courses in History, Economics and Political Science at Master’s level. Previously, Bukhara was one of three cities which featured in research of changing social dynamics led by Professor Caroline Humphrey (Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, Department of Anthropology, University of Cambridge) and Dr Saxena.

Cambridge projects, led by CCAF and CDS, also include work with University of World Economy and Politics (UWED) and the UNDP Centre for Negotiations on Economic Policy reform and agriculture. There are also plans to develop Uzbek language studies as part of this wider strategic plan for the development of study of the Turkic languages. An open class in Uzbek, taught by a visiting scholar from Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies and supported by a British Council grant, was taught in 2011.

There are a number of other research areas in which Cambridge University scholars are involved. These include:

  • Professor James Jackson (Earth Sciences), collaborating on ‘Earthquakes Without Frontiers’ in conjunction with the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences and Centre of High Technology.
  • Professor Sir Bruce Ponder (Cancer Research Institute Cambridge), collaborative links in oncology and cancer biology.
  • Dr Siddharth Saxena (Physics), long standing collaborations with the Physical Technical Institute, the Institute of Nuclear Physics, Tashkent, and with Bukhara and Navoi Branch of Academy of Science of Uzbekistan in the area of new materials.
  • Dr Temur Yunusov (a former CCAF intern in Uzbekistan), previously Department of Zoology Department and now at the Sainsbury Laboratory, maintains links with several institutes in Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand.
  • CCAF has organised two international conferences (Bukhara 2003, Khiva 2007) and numerous workshops over the years.
  • Organises on-going discussions with a group of Cambridge academics for consultancy to a technical institute in Tashkent

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