We mark the achievements of 2022 and celebrate those who worked hard to get them. In this blog, we are going to talk about the participants of the PhD Support and Faculty Research Funding programs, who have been selected to receive funding in 2022. Each of the participants has been awarded a certificate at the ceremony held specifically for them.

The Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) implements both programs with the support of PMI Science R&D Center Armenia and in a wide range of scientific fields including materials science, alternative energy sources, industrial engineering, and data science. PhD students from foreign and local universities and research institutes were welcome to apply for PhD Support Program and research teams for Faculty Research Funding Program in 2022.

The selection of students and teams for funding is done through a 5-step process that evaluates compliance with requirements, the relevance of the study topic, and expected results of the study: technical examination, scientific review, interview, shortlisting into two lists, and final selection from the lists.

The focus of the PhD Support Program is on providing young scientists with the funding and assistance they need for research and science projects. The funding is provided to 10 selected students for up to a year, through monthly payments of around AMD 360,000 (USD 750).

The students shared with us their thoughts on what they believe the main aspects and benefits of the program are. Zhirayr Baghdasaryan (Yerevan State University) noted that the program makes Armenian scientists competitive in the modern world by enabling them to conduct relevant studies.

Another YSU student, Hayk Gasparyan said: “Many experiments in my studies require modern equipment, and with this funding, I can get it.” According to Lilya Parseghyan (L.A. Orbeli Institute of Physiology NAS RA), the program will help the beneficiaries to conduct research at a higher level, faster, and more efficiently. Narine Amirkhanyan (Institute of Chemical Physics NAS RA) finds that the key part is that she can perfect her skills and methods as a scientist and learn new ones.

Tsovinar Ghaltaghchyan (Institute of Chemical Physics NAS RA) said: “The funding allows me to focus on science and not look for a second job to support myself and invest in my studies.” Tigran Sargsyan (Russian-Armenian University) underlined the importance of getting support at the beginning of one’s career, while Eliza Gyulgyulyan (Institute for Informatics and Automation Problems NAS RA) stressed the program’s value for the country’s development, noting that science is among key engines of progress.

Ruzanna Shushanyan (YSU) drew our attention back to the global significance of the research, saying: “The results of my research can be printed in international science journals and that will enable me to establish ties with foreign colleagues.” And finally, Gayane Tonoyan (Institute of Applied Problems of Physics NAS RA) added: “I can conduct deeper studies thanks to the resources I can access due to the program.”

The Faculty Research Funding Program is all about systemic support for research teams from universities, research institutes, and companies. In the framework of this program, 14 selected teams will receive funding of AMD 7 million for their projects for up to 12 months.

The selected teams shared their thoughts with us, for instance, Sergey Hayrapetyan (YSU) and his team underlined that the program engages young scientists, which facilitates the succession of generations in the field. Marieta Zakaryan (A.B. Nalbandyan Institute of Chemical Physics NAS RA) noted that her team is gaining invaluable experience just by conducting the research. Karen Simonyan (Orbeli Institute of Physiology NAS RA) said: “We are looking forward to securing international collaborations, so it is our belief that the program brings tangible, applicable results.”

Ashkhen Hovhannisyan (Russian-Armenian University) agreed, pointing out that the program enables the teams to commercialize the results of their research and collaborate with other research teams. Hakob Avetisyan (A. Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory) said: “We are working on very relevant topics, such as the application of the quantum theory. Research on such topics can impact science globally.”

According to Liana Gabrielyan (YSU), it was thanks to the program that she and her peers were able to form an independent research team. Paytsar Mantashyan (A.B. Nalbandyan Institute for Chemical Physics NAS RA) underlined the organizational aspect, saying: “The program is very flexible, it allows us to focus on science, not bureaucracy.” Edvard Kokanyan (Institute for Physical Research NAS RA) concluded: “This is also an investment in the future, as the experience we get in this program will enable the teams to start new projects.”

The EIF with the support of PMI Science R&D Center Armenia has been implementing the PhD Support and Faculty Research Funding programs for a number of years. So far, 50 PhD students and 76 research teams from more than 20 research institutions and universities have become the beneficiaries of the programs.

The EIF congratulates the selected participants, wishing them success in their work. We are looking toward following the career paths of our beneficiaries with certainty, that their hard work will bear fruit and the results of their studies will bring the anticipated results.