March 2017

Outstanding support for postgraduate and early career researchers

Nazarbayev University stimulates, supports and sustains a vibrant research and intellectual environment across and between disciplines for postgraduate and early career researchers. Focusing on investment and development in training, resources and facilities, the PhD Program in Science, Engineering and Technology provides an outstanding quality experience for those in the early stages of their research careers. 


The PhD program will typically be conducted over 48 months full time. Each student will develop their personal and professional skills and their PhD program as part of the core curriculum courses. The program includes the possibility of taught courses (during the first two years) to support the development of postgraduate research students, to extend and test their knowledge in their research discipline. Each student will be required to formally defend their PhD proposal at the end of their first year. The program also progresses into a 36 month period dedicated to their research topic, from which a demonstrable original contribution to the knowledge pool will be assessed through a viva voce. In total, the student would be expected to spend the first 42 months conducting research and the remaining 6 months to finalize the thesis before defending their research. Continuation into a 5th year is possible upon approval and may come with specific requisites and stipulations. The program includes the possibility of a mobility period of 6-12 months in a host university abroad in order to provide the students with international experience. The research visit must be fully justified and approved by the PhD Program Committee managing the PhD Program.

The typical curriculum for the PhD program is shown in the tables below:

Director of PhD Studies profile

Admissions information

Researcher development courses

Guide to PhD Study

PhD_SEng_Student handbook