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  • 2-24 York Street, Ulster University

    BT15 1AP Belfast

    United Kingdom

  • 4

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr. Toimbek possesses a background in quantitative and qualitative research. Her master's thesis explored the knowledge indicators shaping the socio-economic resilience of Kazakhstan's population. The interest in analysing security issues across political, economic, social, and environmental spheres led to the completion of a PhD in Non-Traditional Security from Zhejiang University in China. The doctoral thesis focused on Kazakhstan's energy security, emphasising the necessity for economic diversification beyond traditional hydrocarbon extraction.

Scholarly contributions extend to peer-reviewed journals, examining political economy and policy of extractive institutional regimes within the context of social and human capital theories. Through a commitment to community service via active engagement with various civic organizations and initiatives, her research interests feature advocacy for addressing public policies in energy transition and data-driven decision-making in the Global South, with particular interest in Central Asia.


Dr. Diana Toimbek holds an MSc in Educational Leadership from the Graduate School of Education at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan, and a Ph.D. in Non-Traditional Security from the School of Public Affairs, Department of Government at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.

She worked as a senior expert at the National Centre for Educational Quality and Assessment (now the Information and Analytical Centre) in Kazakhstan with responsibilities for the nationwide organization, management, and planning of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Before joining Ulster University, Dr. Toimbek worked as an Associate Professor in Political Science and held the position of Director of the School of Creative Industries at Astana IT University.

Her professional trajectory reflects a blend of academic excellence, administrative leadership, and a commitment to advancing knowledge in both educational and public affairs domains.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Non-Traditional Security, Zhejiang University

Award Date: 30 Mar 2021

Master, MSc in Educational Leadership, Nazarbayev University

Award Date: 19 Aug 2016