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Molecular Virology/Epidemiology Training in Kazakhstan (MoVE-Kaz)

The Yale School of Public Health has partnered with the Nazarbayev University School of Medicine in Astana, Kazakhstan to launch an advanced research training program. The program, called MoVE-Kaz (Molecular Virology/Epidemiology Training in Kazakhstan), is funded by a grant from the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. It aims to support promising scientists and clinicians interested in the phylogeny of viruses and molecular epidemiology.

The training program will equip Kazakh scientists and research clinicians with the necessary skills to investigate the spread of HIV in Central Asia and its impact on high-risk communities. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of people living with HIV infection in Kazakhstan increased by 133%, which is in contrast to decreasing HIV incidence outside of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Populations transmitting the infections are poorly understood in Kazakhstan, and persons living with HIV lack access to proper health treatments and interventions.

The MoVE-Kaz program is intended to improve HIV disease surveillance capacity and treatment options by providing better knowledge of resistance patterns in the region. Molecular surveillance tools for HIV are both epidemiological and virological, and they must be integrated. Details of the program can be found on the Nazarbayev University website in English and Kazakh.

About MoVE-Kaz

Molecular Virology/Epidemiology Training in Kazakhstan (MoVE-Kaz) is a collaborative program that aims to train early career scientists and clinicians in molecular epidemiology and HIV control. The program is supported by United States and Belgian universities and includes key Kazakh institutions.

MoVE-Kaz provides research and training opportunities in HIV and public health for scientists, researchers, academic medical school faculty, and government public health officials in Kazakhstan. It is a partnership between Nazarbayev University School of Medicine in Astana, Kazakhstan, and Yale School of Public Health. Other key collaborating institutions are Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University, Faculty of Public Health in Almaty, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and State University of New York (SUNY)-Downstate in Brooklyn, NY, USA.

The program is funded by the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health and aims to build a pool of well-capacitated Kazakhstani faculty who conduct molecular virology research and enhance research capacity for HIV molecular epidemiology in Kazakhstan.

MoVE-Kaz program admissions are currently closed.

Admissions to the Molecular Virology/Epidemiology Training in Kazakhstan Program are now closed. Please check back for the next round of admissions in March 2025.
Training opportunities

The goal of MoVE-Kaz is to train early-career Kazakhstani physicians and scientists in:

  • Basic and advanced concepts of molecular virology and epidemiology through two 3-month certificate courses (modules 1 and 2).
  • Developing hands-on research skills through an 18-month research certificate course (module 3) in molecular virology and field epidemiology for studying transmission and emergence of infection, drug resistance, and viral variants – applying this knowledge to improve HIV surveillance and patient care.
  • Ethical conduct of research that meets international standards.
  • Developing competitive grants to fund research in molecular virology and epidemiology.
Research Topics

Topic areas for research theses may include population-based studies related to HIV treatment and prevention, viral hepatitis and other infections, with emphasis on molecular analyses.

Selection Criteria
  • Candidates must be employed at an academic, research, or clinical Kazakh institution.
  • Candidates should have documentation of the ability to retain their academic/work position during and after the completion of the program.
  • Ability to converse with ease in English.
  • Demonstrated interest or background in HIV or closely related topics (such as infectious diseases or public health, epidemiology).
  • Minimum English language competency as indicated by TOEFL scores: Internet Based Test 79, IELTS 6.5, Duolingo 110.
Application requirements
  • Letter of interest, including work and research experience (up to 1 page, single-spaced)
  • Curriculum vitae (we do not have a template, but if you wish, you can refer to this model scientist CV format example or this model physician CV format example)
  • Prior academic performance through official university transcripts and diplomas
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores unless English is your native language
  • Personal interview (if invited by the co-directors)
Application instructions
Please review all the instructions listed below before beginning the application.

  1. Letter of Interest: A personal document detailing your professional skills, prior positions, and reasons for applying for this training course (up to 1 page, single-spaced).
    !! Upload the PDF version of your letter to the submission portal using the following file name formatting: Applicant Surname_letter_date.pdf
    The date must be in this format:(day.month.year) as with 31.01.1990
  2. Resume or curriculum vitae: The applicant is requested to upload their resume/CV file.
    !! Upload the PDF version of your CV with this file name: Applicant Surname_CV_date.pdf
    The date must be in this format:(day.month.year) as with 31.01.1990
  3. Official diplomas and transcripts: Applicants are requested to submit copies of their Diplomas from EVERY post-secondary institution attended.
    !! Upload the copies of your Diplomas and transcripts to the submission portal with the following file name: Applicant Surname_DiplomaTranscript_InstitutionProgram Name
  4. English language proficiency: All applicants whose native language is not English and who did not receive the equivalent of a bachelor's degree at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction should submit the proof of English language proficiency.
    !! Upload the PDF version of the unofficial scoring paper from the English test to the submission portal with the following file name: Applicant Surname_EnglishScores.pdf OR explain your exemption.
The standard requirement of English language proficiency for the applicant: Within the past 5 years, we require a minimum score of either TOEFL iBT – 79-100, or IELTS – 6.5-7.0, or Duolingo English exam – 105-120.

For applicants who wish to waive the English Language Proficiency requirement, please email your justification to Dr. Ali at

Application review criteria
We will use the following criteria for selecting participants:
  • Work and research experience — an applicant’s CV showing relevant work and research experience in HIV/HCV/STI, TB, or other areas of prevention and care
  • Prior academic performance — diploma of master/doctoral level training in public health, virology, microbiology, bioinformatics, or related fields
  • English level proficiency — as stated above
  • Promise for a future research career using molecular epidemiology and virology tool
Admission decisions
Once an admission decision has been made, you will receive a formal email from one of the MoVE-Kaz co-directors, Drs. Syed Ali or Sten Vermund.