Senior Researcher Dr. Octavian Țîcu is a associated researcher at „Grigore Gafencu” Research Center. Since his graduation of the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași (1994) his research field is focused mainly on the Soviet and post-Soviet history and the processes of post-communist transition in Eastern Europe. The specialization resulted from his Ph. D. thesis on the Soviet-Romanian relations and Bessarabia problem during the interwar period (2000) and as many scholars appreciated, the quality of this work was determined by the use of valuable diplomatic documents both from the Soviet (Russian) and Romanian Archives and its interpretation within the new historical realities created after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. As consequence of the high appreciations the research has been published in the Republic of Moldova in 2004 and has been awarded the Youth National Prize of Moldova in the Field of Science and Literature: Problema Basarabiei şi relaţiile sovieto-române în perioada interbelică (1919-1939) [The Bessarabia Problem and Soviet-Romanian Relationships in the Interwar Period (1919-1939)].
All the features pointed out earlier were the main reason for which he has been invited in 2001 to teach the Master course “Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe in the interwar international relations” at UNESCO Chair of South-East European Studies, Moldova State University. Further, he has developed his interest in studying the history of Eastern Europe and former post-Soviet state being invited to teach the Contemporary History of Eastern Europe at the History and International Relations Department, International Free University of Moldova, then to research at the Institute of History, Academy of Sciences of Moldova. Since 2015 he has been accepted as associate researcher at the Grigore Gafencu Reseach Center for International Relations and Cultural Studies, Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania, with large implication in joint publications (Miloiu, S., Ticu, O., Jarmolenko, V., From Neighbourhood to Partnership: Highlights of Lithuania Relations with Romania and Moldova, Târgoviște. Cetatea de Scaun, 2013, 311 pp.) and organization of international academic events (Sixth Annual International Conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania. Historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity: Romania, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region in comparison, Ovidius University of Constanta, Romania, May 22-23, 2015.). All this time he has proven the ability to develop a large and lasting network of international academic contacts, particularly in the United States, France, Switzerland, Hungary, the Baltic states and the republics divorced from the Soviet Union in 1990-1991. Octavian Țîcu was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, at University of Illinois, researcher at Central European University in Budapest and University Paris 8, France, but in the same time he taught and researched at several universities in Republic of Moldova, Romania and other European countries (Lithuania, Ukraine). The American experience was expecially valuable for the proposed project since it was focused on the analysis of the Soviet identity policies and practices in Bessarabia, which led to some transformation and assimilation of Romanians from Moldovan SSR and Soviet Union as a whole. The published results of research (The Pact Molotov-Ribbentrop and the emergence of the „Moldovan” nation: reflections after 70 years, In: Political Science Almanch, Nr. 7, Kaunas, 2010, pp. 7-35; “How to Make a ‘Nation”: Reflections on the Moldovan Nation-Building Policies during the Soviet Union (1944-1989), In: Transylvanian Review, vol. XVII, nr. 4, winter 2008, pp. 130-153) helped him to establish a straight connection to the proposed research and to enrich its methodological approach.
In December 2009 he was invited to represent the Republic of Moldova in the Lithuanian Parliament with a speech on the Molotov-Molotov Pact and its consequences for post-Soviet space. As recognition of these merits, the President of the Republic of Moldova appointed him as member of the Presidential Commission for Studying and Appreciation of the Communist Totalitarian Regime in the Republic of Moldova and awarded him with a high state decoration for my work in the named Commission (Medal „Civic Merit”).
During this time he has also been actively engaged in research grants, organized and participated in widely acclaimed international conferences (USA, France, Burkina Faso, Greece, Finland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Kyrgystan, Kazahstan, Moldova, Romania, Italy) and stirred the knowledge of legacy of World War II and the mobility of academics, researchers and students, especially by his role in furthering the knowledge of the fate Romanians deported by Stalinist regime and of former POWs of Romanian extraction from Kazakhstan, where he organized an International research project – the Expeditions of Memory, which resulted in a series of documentary films (Expeditions of Memory I Kazakhstan, http://tvri.tvr.ro/expeditiile-memoriei-un-documentar-in-patru-episoade-la-lumea-i-noi_12343.html ) and in a very important publication (Dulatbekov, N., Ticu, O., Miloiu, S., Spassk 99: o istorie a prizonierilor de război români în documente și materiale, Bucharest, Eikon, 2016).