Meet our Fellows

Fellowships are designed for leading members of civil society and researchers from Eastern Europe and Central Asia to conduct intensive research, writing and networking.

We bring fellows from the region to Prague, to focus on their projects in a safe space, away from the daily routine of their organisations and home countries to help them connect with other groups and individuals from across the EU.

The range of fellows and types of projects we support are diverse, including journalists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, protestors and political prisoners working on everything from articles and books to films and comic strips. We encourage fellows to take a step back from their day-to-day routine to help them re-strategise, think and plan for the future of their society.

Click here to meet our former Fellows


Tinatin Khidasheli


Tinatin is a highly qualified professional from Georgia, with over 24 years of experience in research, academia, activism, politics and think tank activities.

Tinatin has worked in many different positions, especially concerning the national security of Georgia. She has been elected to the Tbilisi City Council, the National Parliament of Georgia, and served as Minister of Defence.

Her fellowship project is entitled: “National security architecture under the constantly changing threats and challenges”.

Alexander Iscenco


Alexandr  is from Moldova, and an experienced and well-known member of the civil society sector in the country.

He is the co-founder and president of the MEGA-initiative, which is a social-entrepreneurial organisation founded in 2013.

He has a lot of experience in start-ups within the civil society sector, especially concerning environmentalism and environmental economy, in which he has a degree.

His fellowship project is called: “Engage ‘em all!”, and will be a study on civil society engagement and collaborative activism in nature conservation and similar, with the use of innovative methods.

Arzu Geybulla


Arzu Geybulla (Kurtulus) is Azerbaijani columnist and journalist, with special focus in human rights and press freedom in Azerbaijan. Some of her work has been featured on Al Jazeera, Open Democracy, Eurasianet, Foreign Policy Democracy Lab, Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty as well as Meydan TV, Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso and Global Voices. She is the recipient of the 2014 Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship with the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. In 2014, Arzu was featured on BBC 100 Women Changemakers. Arzu recently completed her research on information controls in Azerbaijan at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard.
During her fellowship, Arzu will focus on doing research for a book on Azerbaijan, documenting stories of Azerbaijani dissidents, and the political struggle at home between 2003 and now. The book aims to serve as a future resource on Azerbaijan’s near past featuring the country’s political, social and economic issues through the individual stories. 

Yaroslav Minkin


Yaroslav is chairperson of the board of the Ukrainian youth NGO “STAN”.

He works in western Ukraine as a human rights defender, and has more than ten years of experience in organising public awareness campaigns to defend public interests, and has experience in the civil sector conducting trainings, lectures and facilitating events gathering local human rights defenders and activists.

His fellowship project is entitled: “Democracy defenders – action plan for Ukrainian youth centres,” and will examine best practices of youth advisory bodies in Ukraine, and create educational programme for Ukrainian youth centres.

Mikayel Zolyan


Mikayel Zolyan is from Armenia. He is closely affiliated with the media and non-governmental sector through his work with the Yerevan Press Club, where he functions as a programme coordinator and research analyst. In Prague, Mikayel Zolyan will work on research concerning Armenia’s recent revolution, and the domestic and geopolitical implications arising from it.

Victor Vorobyev


Victor Vorobyev is a research assistant at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Victor Vorobyeyv has experience working in educational institutions and for civic initiatives. In addition he has run in local elections. His fellowship project with the Prague Civil Society Centre is entitled “Academic autonomy and state control in higher education”, and will explore methods of ensuring the independence of the academic sector.

Olga Poliakova


Olga Poliakova is an activist from St. Petersburg-based civic education project ‘Trava’. Over the last five years she and her team have brought to life numerous successful initiatives based on the concept of horizontal hierarchy, including “Restaurant’s Day”, “Open map”, “Sami”, etc. These initiatives have not only became popular among the people of Saint Petersburg, but also  in other Russian cities. During her fellowship Olga would like to develop the programme: “How to launch a civic educational project in your yard, community or town?“, providing methodological recommendations for the post-Soviet space.