Research Excellence Fellows


Dr. Emad Abdelaty is an Assistant Professor at the Natural Resources and Agricultural Engineering, Damanhour University, Egypt. He holds his Master degree in Geomatics and Natural Resources Evaluation from Florence University, Italy. He holds his PhD from Damanhour University on development of land and water resources in Egypt. In 2014 he has attended a six-month multidisciplinary training programme at Council of National Research, Italy. In 2015 he spent nine months in Spain as a Postdoctoral fellow at Oviedo University. He has published one English book and articles in numerous well-known international journals. He teaches Principles of Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems, Principles of Soil Sciences, Soil and Water Analysis, Soil Surveying & Classification and Soil Reclamation courses to undergraduate and graduate students. The sphere of his research always focuses on using GIS and Remote Sensing to improve the management of natural resources. He has collaborated in several research projects such as "Interuniversity Learning in Higher Education on Advanced land Management - Egyptian Country (ILHAM-EC Project) which is fully funded by the European Union. He is a member of several scientific societies; the most important two of them are the Egyptian Soil Science Society (ESSS) and the International Society for Development and Sustainability (ISDS) in Japan.

Dr. Mostafa Abouzaid is an Assistant Professor of rural sociology at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. He holds PhD from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in 2015. He has published several books in both Arabic and English, and articles in numerous well-known international journals. He teaches Introduction to Sociology, Principals of Rural Sociology, Social Structure, Social Change, Social Organizations, Rural Population, ad Rural Community Reform courses to undergraduate classes. He has been to USA as a Visiting Scholar at Arkansas University in 2012. He got several academic prizes and honors, the most significant one of them is the prize of Ambassador of Goodwill from the governor of Arkansas State in USA. As a visiting research fellow at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at CEU, he explores the Effectiveness of NGOs in rural development

Dr. Tin Naing Win is a professor at the Department of History, University of Mandalay, Myanmar and a Research Excellence Fellow at the CEU Department of Medieval Studies, where he has been engaging in ground-breaking research on pre-modern indigenous cloth-maps of Myanmar that have been collected from various national and private archives and museums in Myanmar, Thailand, UK, and USA starting from 2005. One year after receiving his MA in 1997, he became a faculty member, and in 2005 he earned his doctorate specializing in Buddhist culture of medieval period. In 2008 he went to Seoul National University for one year to conduct extensive post-doctoral research on historical maps with the support of the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies. He published the research results in Asian Research Network in 2009 and in a peer reviewed volume Community Knowledge Networks for the Economy, Society, Culture, and Environmental Stability. He later presented a paper at the 10th International Conference organized by Chiang Rai Rajabhat University in Thailand, for which he received the Best Paper Prize in 2015. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies and at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, simultaneously, in 2015, to perform an advanced study on Myanmar manuscripts and maps that have never been studied before. Consequently, it leads to further detail research on all kinds of Myanmar indigenous maps, and cloth-maps in particular. In 2016 he attended a workshop at Bard College (NY, USA) invited by the Institute of Writing and Thinking, and later that year returned to the US to present at the 12th International Burma Studies Conference organized by the Center for Burma Studies at Northern Illinois University. He actively collaborates and publishes with international colleagues and organizes inter-university conferences, symposia and art exhibitions. Apart from teaching students of all degree programs and supervising MA and PhD students at the Department of History at the University of Mandalay, he is responsible for training academic and support staff at the university on quality assurance and conducts workshops on QA System Implementation in various Myanmar universities. After attending internal and international QA workshops conducted by AUN-QA, AQAN, and EU between 2012 and 2017 and based on his five-year experience as IQA chief assessor and trainer, he has published a series of articles on Quality Assurance in Higher Education in the Mandalay Daily. He also serves on an Open Assess Policy Working Group at the University of Mandalay. Currently he studies Urban History and Culture, Advanced Research Methodology, How to Read Medieval Maps and Course Design and Development at CEU. E-mail:

Dr. Bande Gulbert Mbah Tarh has a wide-range of dynamic research interests which arise from his interdisciplinary training in natural and socio-legal sciences. He is a Lecturer of law, a Practicing Lawyer and a Mathematics Tutor. He holds a Ph.D. in law (2015), a D.E.A in law (2011), an LL.M in international law (2010), a Master in Political Science (2009), an LL.M in Business Law (2008), and an LL.B (Hons) (2007) from the Faculty of Laws and Political Science of the University of Yaoundé II in Cameroon. Also, he holds a Legal Practitioner’s Qualifying Certificate (2014) from the Nigerian Law School (NLS) in Abuja. Equally, earlier in 2001, he was awarded a Secondary and High School Teachers’ Diploma (DIPES I and later DIPES II in 2012) in Mathematics from ENS - University of Yaoundé I in Cameroon. Indeed, since 2011, he has been teaching and mentoring students of the University of Yaoundé II and the Pan African Institute of International Development for West Africa (PAID-WA); where he taught graduate courses like International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law, Corporate and Business Law, Energy and Investment Law, and undergraduate courses such as Introduction to Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal law, and Criminal Procedure Law, Law of Torts and Contract Law. He has also published several articles in well-known international law journals such as the African Journal of Law. He is a member of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) in USA, the Cameroonian Bar Association (CBA), the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and an Affiliate member of the International Criminal Court Bar Association (ICCBA). Currently, he is a visiting research fellow for the Research Excellence Fellowship (REF) at the Department of Legal Studies of the Central European University (CEU); where his research interest is on ‘Sustainable Development, the Extractive Industry (Mining Sector) and the Rights of the Autochthonous Communities  in Cameroon’. Email:


Dr. Sabuj Kumar Chaudhuri is an Assistant Professor (Stage III) in the Department of Library & Information Science at the University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India. Sabuj holds a PhD on the Impacts of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on Biodiversity and Biotechnology in India from Jadavpur University and a Gold Medallist in M.Sc in Marine Science from the University of Calcutta with B.Sc in Zoology (Honours) from the same university and Associateship in Information Science (AIS) from the National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), CSIR, New Delhi with specialization in Patent Information System. He received prestigious Junior Research Fellowship award from the University Grants Commission, Govt of India for pursuing PhD. He has been teaching and supervising M.Phil and Ph.D on various IP issues for several years. He has supervised 6 M.Phil scholars. Sabuj is best known for his teaching technique and as a dedicated researcher on IPR for more than one and half decade. His research interests lie in the area of IPR and life sciences ranging from patentability of life science innovations to its ethical aspects and impacts on the society, traditional knowledge and on nature and. Sabuj is frequent speaker in the UGC-Human Resource Development Centres, Centres of Advanced Study of several Universities and in other higher educational institutions on IPR issues particularly on patent and copyright. His first research article on IPR was appeared way back in 2003 in the Journal of Intellectual Property Rights (JIPR). After that he has written numerous research articles, book chapters published in national and international journals on IPR. His first book Intellectual Property Rights, Biodiversity and Information System: From Basics to Challenges Ahead published internationally from Germany in 2011.His latest title An Introduction to Fair Use and Copyright Management of Universities in India has been published in August 2017. He was also the Principal investigator of the UGC Research Project on IPR completed in 2013. Sabuj completed several MOOCs and regular courses with distinctions on IPR from different world renowned institutes and universities including Patenting in Biotechnology  from Technical University, Denmark (DTU) & Copenhagen Business School, Denmark in 2017,  CopyrightX,  the most prestigious course on copyright in 2016 from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society in the Faculty of Law at Harvard University, US and IP Procedure from Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Intellectual Property Management (RGNIIPM), Govt. of India, Nagpur in 2016, and course on General IPR from the WIPO Academy, Geneva in 2009.  Besides, he was chosen twice in the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) in 2015 and 2017 in Maastricht University, the Netherlands for Advanced Masters Programme in IP. He was also selected in Turkiye Scholarships for Postdoctoral Research in Ankara University in 2012. Sabuj lives with his wife, a Civil Servant with the Govt. of West Bengal, their one son, born June 2003. Sabuj is a staunch naturalist, passionate music lover and a bibliophile. He enjoys travelling and also a connoisseur of culinary arts. Sabuj can be met on 

Dr. Andrea Vanina Neyra is an Associate Researcher at the Multidisciplinary Institute of History and Human Sciences of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (IMHICIHU-CONICET), a Professor at the School and Philosophy and Literature at the National University of Buenos Aires (FFyL-UBA) and a Professor at the School of Humanites at the National University of San Martín (EH-UNSAM). She held her PhD in Medieval History from the University of Buenos Aires on Bishop Burchard of Worms’s vision of superstitions in 2011. Her research and teaching experience is focused on the role of the episcopal power, the Christianization process and strategies of evangelization and the perception of the religious adversary in the High and Central Middle Ages in Central Europe. She has published articles and chapters of books in numerous national and international publications and she has coordinated books on Medieval Studies. She has collaborated in many research projects and organised workshops, meetings and conferences related to Late Antique and Medieval Studies in different institutions. She is the director of the project “Unstable Margins: Conflict Narratives, Identity and Strategies of Delegitimization of Religious Adversaries between Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages”. She has had scholarships for research stays in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as for participating in international conferences in the United States of America, England, Hungary and Portugal. 

Dr. Sanil Viswanathan Nair is Professor of philosophy at the Department of Humanities and social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India. His areas of interest include philosophical investigations into Art, Technology, Cinema, Biology, Literature and Social Sciences. He obtained his bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked as a scientist in Defense Research and Development Organisation.  In 1995, he obtained his PhD in Philosophy from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He was the   Watumall Distinguished Professorat Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Hawaii, USA. He was also a Charles Wallace Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Liverpool, U.K and Directeur d'études Associés, at  Maison des sciences de l'homme Paris. His recent publications include Public Sphere from Outside the West (Bloombury, London) and also papers on  myth, meaning and measurement in ancient Indian architecture, time and cinema, Indian philosophy on the eve of Colonialism, mathematical idea and cinematic image, self-portraits and philosophical perspectives on fascism. He also writes and publishes in Malayalam language and his forthcoming Malayalam book is Choreography of Murder.

Dr. Carlos Meléndez is an associate researcher at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago de Chile. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame (Indiana, United States) and is working on a research project on negative partisanship in comparative perspective (with a special focus on Latin America). His work has been published in American Journal of Political Science, Party Politics, Journal of Politics in Latin America, among others. He writes a weekly column in El Comercio, a Peruvian newspaper. Email:

 Dr. Defne Çizakça is a writer, editor and lecturer with a focus on literary history, in both its academic and creative forms. She has a BA and MA in Continental Philosophy from KU Leuven, and a PhD in Creative Writing from The University of Glasgow. Defne has lectured in comparative literature, creative writing and gender studies at the University of Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh and Koç University in Istanbul. She was also the first person to conduct creative writing workshops at a women’s prison in Turkey. Defne has been awarded the Gillian Purvis Prize for New Writing, has been a Writer in Residence at the Hunterian Museums in Scotland, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in the United States. She has also edited three books (New Fairy Tales: Essays and Stories, Tip Tap Flat: a View of Glasgow, and Miscellaneous: Writing Inspired by the Hunterian), and is the Editor in Chief of Unsettling Wonder: a Journal of Folk and Fairy Tales. Her first novel, currently under final revisions, is a magically real account of fin de siècle Istanbul, involving a transgender singer of Ottoman music, a long lost encyclopaedia and a girl alchemist. She is represented by Howard Morhaim, of Howard Morhaim Literary Agency Inc., New York. At CEU, Defne will be working on the interlinked histories of two fairy tale collectors, Ignác Kúnos of Hungary and S. Ansky of Russia. Both ethnographers were of Jewish origin, and collected lullabies, folk tales, riddles and songs during their lengthy expeditions to the Ottoman Empire, and the outskirts of Imperial Russia respectively. Between them, Kúnos and Ansky managed to preserve a portion of the oral heritage that might otherwise have been lost during the wars that devastated the two declining powers of the East.

Dr. Valny Giacomelli Sobrinho is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and International Relations, Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Brazil. In 2000, he finished his MSc in Environmental Management at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands, and, in 2007, his doctorate in Forest Management at the UFSM, in Brazil. He has taught and been responsible for including in the study programme of Economics several courses addressing environmental issues at both undergraduate (Ecological Economics, Environmental Macroeconomics, Pollution Economics) and graduate (Sustainability Economics) levels. He is also the leading researcher of the Research Group on Ecological, Environmental, and Natural Resource Economics, whose works have already won and been nominated for a few nationwide awards in the field. Shortly, his research effort has been bound up in grounding economics in its supportive biophysical basis, thereby stressing the underlying feedback between economic policies and environmental impacts. In this regard, he has published some book chapters in which a bio-economic model is applied to carbon sequestration by forests (2011, 2014) and a loanable-funds model is used to account for forest conversion or conservation through pricing forest bonds according to the carbon storage of trees (2017). By the same token, he is further going to analyse how countries’ economic growth and energy matrices will be affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. 

Dr. Olha Nimko  is a Research Excellence Fellow at the Center for Ethics and Law in Biomedicine (CELAB)  at Central European University. She is an Assistant Professor of the Law Department at Zhytomyr National Agroecological University, Ukraine.  She holds PhD from the National Agrarian University, Kyiv (Ukraine), in 2008. She teaches Environmental law, Law and Genetics, Veterinary law, Medical law, Agrarian law, Administrative law, Financial law, Administrative liability and Administrative procedure courses to undergraduate and master classes. She is trainer at Center of retraining and advanced training for employees of state power bodies and bodies of local self-government, state enterprises, institutions and organizations of the Zhytomyr Oblast State Administration and the Zhytomyr Oblast Council, Zhytomyr (Ukraine). In 2009 she took part in Project "Legal Competence of Educators as a Key to the Rule of Law in Education" of the educational program "Legal Education", developed by the foundation "Renaissance".  In 2015-2016 she spent six months as a Postdoctoral fellow at the Scientific Research Institute of Intellectual Property of the National Academy of Law Sciences of Ukraine. In 2016 she successfully completed an internship at Western Finland College and University of Applied Sciences of Satakunta (Finland). She supervises scientific research on the topic “Legal Liability for Violation of Natural Resources Law of Ukraine”, “Problematic Aspects and Improvement of Legal Regulations of Biotechnologies, Biosafety, Prevention of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism”. She has published  monograph, several books and number of scientific papers in numerous well-known international journals which provide a long list of recommendations concerning law amendments. She got a number of academic and professional honors, the most significant being the Certificate of Achievement of Union of Lawyers of Ukraine.  

Dr. Vekkal John Varghese teaches at the Department of History in the School of Social Sciences University of Hyderabad, India. He was with the Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Trivandrum and the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, prior to this. His areas of interest include modern South Asian history, transnational migrations from South Asia and making of regional modernities in South Asia, with a focus on Kerala in South India and Punjab in North India. He has co-authored Dreaming Mobility and Buying Vulnerability: Overseas Recruitment Practices in India (Routledge) and co-edited Anjuru Varshathe Keralam: Chila Arivadayalangal in Malayalam (Tapasam/DC Books), Migration, Mobility and Multiple Affiliations: Punjabis in a Transnational World (Cambridge University Press) apart from writing in reputed journals and contributing chapters to many edited volumes. He held visiting fellowships at the University of Sussex (2010-11) and the National University of Singapore (2014), prior to the one now at the Central European University, Budapest. 

Dr. Osman Bahadir Dinçer is a Research Excellence Fellow at the CEU’s Center for Religious Studies. He has a PhD in Political Science from Bilkent University in Ankara. Engaged in research at International Strategic Research Organization (USAK) between 2005 and 2016, he acted as the Director of the organization’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies after 2012. Prior to joining the Research Excellence Fellowship program, he worked as an Assistant Professor at Istinye University in Istanbul for six months in 2017. As a comparative political scientist, Dinçer has focused the majority of his research on Middle Eastern politics with particular reference to the state, violent/non-violent non-state actors, social and political movements, democratization, and Turkish foreign policy. Dinçer has authored/co-authored numerous articles, reports and policy papers for various research institutions, including the NATO Centre of Excellence Defense against Terrorism, the Valdai Discussion Club, the Brookings Institution, German Marshall Fund, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, European Leadership Network, as well as for USAK itself both in English and Turkish. He has a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington D.C., a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara and a language certificate from Cairo University. As a visiting research fellow at the CEU’s Center for Religious Studies, he explores the historical, political and societal contexts within which the state and its citizens are embedded in Iraq and Syria. He also takes part as an associated fellow in the Center's research project Striking from the Margins: Religion, State, and Disintegration in the Middle East.