Current Research Projects

Select Current Research Projects

Gender on the higher education learning agenda internationally: Co-constructing foundations for equitable futures 

This research sets out to address gender inequality in international contexts, by interrogating and increasing gender inclusion and sensitivity in the focus and approach of higher education teaching in universities across five countries. Mainstreaming gender in higher education is a strategic means to driving wider social change through affecting thinking, beliefs and behaviour of decision-makers of tomorrow. This makes the research key to promoting diverse positive social outcomes including across poverty, health, infant mortality, gender violence and early marriage. The research takes a cross-national case study approach, including universities in India, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Nigeria and the UK. An established interdisciplinary team of feminist academics from each university will collaboratively generate new insights from staff and student surveys and interviews across disciplines, leading to generation of strategic outputs tailored to diverse international audiences including an openly available toolkit resource for wider impact.

Funded through the British Academy

Related conference, January 20-21, 2022. Free registration:

Related to this project, I was the lead Editor for the book, Leading Change in Gender and Diversity in Higher Education from Margins to Mainstream (2022)

Related reports and toolkits are available here.

CoWriting Kazakh: Language Learning with a Robot 

In this three-year, grant-funded study, we are an interdisciplinary team bringing together insights from pedagogical practices, cognitive learning and robotics to address current language reform in Kazakhstan. The reform is creating a change in the national language, Kazakh, to change its script from Cyrillic to Latin. In this study, by integrating learning theories, we are developing ways to support teachers and intergenerational learning.

Select conference presentations:

CoWriting Kazakh. Human-Robot Interaction. Cambridge University. UK.

Funded through Nazarbayev University Collaborative Research Grant


Gender and Schooling in Kazakhstan: A Mixed Methods Study 

A three-year, grant-funded study to examine gender and schooling in Kazakhstan, Central Asia.

“This mixed methods study is the first of its kind to investigate the relationship between gender and schooling in Kazakhstan focusing on the curriculum and textbooks, teachers’ discourse and perspectives, institutional structures and leadership and students’ practices and perspectives. The project is funded by Nazarbayev University under its Faculty Competitive Grant Programme.”

A related publication was recently published in the International Journal of Educational Development which examined the construction of gender in textbooks

Funded through Nazarbayev University Collaborative Research Grant

The Motherscholar Project

Motherscholar-Logo-Blue.jpgIn 2015, Dr. CohenMiller founded The Motherscholar Project as an international, arts-based campaign to develop awareness, community, and empowerment for those vulnerable within the academia pipeline, mothers. Today, the Project highlights over 150 women from five continents, with children ranging in age from newborn to mid-30s, and professional rank from student to professor emeritus and dean. As an outcome of this Project, international workshops, online forums, support groups, and writing retreats have been developed and implemented.

**This project is an outcome of a seed grant from the Graduate School of Education at Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, completed in 2015. No funds from the grant were used to create/run this website.

The Consortium of Gender Scholars

Dr. CohenMiller co-founded the interdisciplinary Consortium of Gender Scholars GenConLogo-BLUE-TEXT BELOW.png(GenCon) to bring together and support gender scholars in Kazakhstan and those who study the Central Asian context. GenCon’s primary purpose is to generate research designed to make meaningful change in various areas of society with regard to gender equality and the advancement of women. GenCon is interdisciplinary and based at Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan.

Select projects include:

Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy

In 2011, Dr. CohenMiller co-founded the Journal as the first open-access publication atDialogue-wide-transparent for email signature.png the intersection of popular culture and pedagogy. Throughout the years, the Journal has expanded to emphasize the ways in which pedagogical practices integrating popular culture can facilitate teaching and learning in secondary and post-secondary contexts. In addition to formal academic articles, Dr. CohenMiller expanded the volumes to include short academic online articles–Musings on Pedagogy and Popular Culture–and reviews–Book, Film, Video, Conference.

Sample issues:

NUGSE Research in Education

Primarily focused on educational reform in Kazakhstan, this journal presents pageHeaderLogoImage_en_US.pngoriginal,
English-language, scholarly work in the form of empirical studies, critical article/book reviews, theoretical analysis papers and evaluative policy analysis papers.