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Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

Dr Ros McLellan (Principal investigator)

Ros McLellan is Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and is a psychologist with a background in secondary teaching in the UK. She is PI of a collaborative project with Nazarbayev University investigating young people’s wellbeing in Kazakhstan, which is funded by the British Council through its Newton Institutional Links Programme with the Al Farabi Foundation. She is also a member of the research team examining educational reform in Kazakhstan. She coordinates the School-University Partnership for Educational Research (SUPER) and has been working with Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (NIS) to utilise the power of action research to develop researching practitioners. Another aspect of this work is coordinating an internship programme enabling NIS practitioners to spend time in SUPER schools. Her research interests include teacher learning and development, wellbeing, achievement motivation, anxiety, self-efficacy, and creativity.

Dr. Liz Winter (Kazakhstan Project Development Officer)

Liz Winter has been researching in Kazakhstan since 2012 with particular interest in national assessment practices and academic transitions from school into university. Taking a more psychological standpoint, as aligned to her previous work on social identities, Liz has also been capturing constructs of what makes a ‘good’ student and a ‘good teacher in Kazakhstan from the students’ perspective. She has also researched, with Ros (McLellan), teachers’ identity as they locate themselves in terms of a professional role. So, even prior to this particular wellbeing work, Liz had broad knowledge of several things that are important to students in Kazakhstan: the examinations and skills they need to have to progress; their perceptions of worthy qualities in themselves and their teachers; and finally, how teachers see their professional role. All this background has been extremely useful in capturing student wellbeing and attempting to construct a model of student wellbeing in schools in Kazakhstan.

Dr Eva Brown Hajdukova (Research Associate)

Eva Brown Hajdukova is a former social and health educator as well as a special educational needs teacher. She has taught in schools in Slovakia, Norway, the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Her research interests include nature of social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties in schools as well as strategies and interventions for preventing and remediating these challenges. Currently she is working as a research associate at Cambridge University within the Kazakhstan Projects team, primarily focus on student wellbeing and school engagement in secondary schools in Kazakhstan. This also includes the development of a culturally appropriate wellbeing measure and methodological review aimed at how wellbeing research can be made culturally sensitive.

Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education

Professor Carole Faucher (Principal investigator)

Carole Faucher is Full Professor with the Graduate School of Education. Her areas of interest include sociology and anthropology of education, self-identification and belonging, ethnicity, collective memory and the teaching of history in secondary education.

Dr Daniel Hernández Torrano (Principal investigator)

Daniel Hernández Torrano is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education. Torrano obtained his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Murcia in Spain, and has held research positions at the University College London (UK), Universidade do Minho (Portugal), and University of Connecticut (USA).

Dr Kairat Kurakbayev

Kairat Kurakbayev is the Research Institute’s Director at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining the GSE, Dr. Kurakbayev served as an Acting Director of the Department for Strategic Planning and Deputy Director of the Department for International Cooperation at Gumilyov Eurasian National University.

Dr Anna Sioni CohenMiller

Anna Sioni CohenMiller is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education. She obtained her PhD in Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching and MA in Bicultural-Bilingual Studies from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. CohenMiller is also the Co-Founding Editor and Managing Editor of Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy.

Dr Ainur Almukhambetova

Ainur Almukhambetova is a postdoctoral researcher at the Graduate School of Education, Nazarbayev University (NUGSE). She received her Master’s and PhD Degrees at NUGSE. Before attending NUGSE she worked as a senior teacher at the Eurasian National University. 

Assel Batyrova, M.Sc.

Assel Batyrova is Project Manager for the international grant funded research project “Examining school students’ well-being and engagement." She obtained her Master's degree at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education.