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Panel Formed for Manoogian Simone Research Fund

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YEREVAN, Armenia ‒ The American University of Armenia (AUA) is pleased to report that the activities of the Manoogian Simone Research Fund (MSRF) are in full swing. MSRF was established earlier this year with the generous initial funding of $200,000 from the Manoogian Simone Foundation (MSF) and in cooperation with AUA and the Armenian Government. The Fund is designed to sponsor research in higher educational institutions in Armenia, also engaging international experts.

Currently the MSRF Panel, composed of representatives of the Government and AUA, is actively engaged in the review and selection of research topics that have been proposed as priority by the office of the Acting Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan. The Panel representatives appointed by the Armenian Government include Dr. Vache Gabrielyan and Varak Sisserian, Head of the office of the Acting Deputy PM Avinyan. Within eighteen topics proposed, the Government has highlighted four priority areas. Once the topics are selected, the Panel will issue an open call for proposals by students and researchers.

“I am thankful to the Dean of the Zaven and Sonia Akian College of Science & Engineering (CSE) Dr. Aram Hajian, who agreed to serve on the Panel, representing AUA. We are also very pleased that the Government appointed Dr. Gabrielyan, who has taught at AUA for many years, and Sisserian, who is an AUA alumnus. I think we have a powerful Panel to objectively review and select awardees,” remarked AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian.

Sisserian highlighted two crucial aspects of MSRF: “First, this initiative illustrates how Diasporan Armenians can contribute to the advancement of our country, by investing in people and accelerating human capital development. Second, the Government prioritizes evidence-based policy making, which is possible through direct cooperation of the government and academia.”

Dr. Hajian mentioned: “We welcome this synergistic initiative which brings together academia, government, and innovation through applied research projects, which will build long term capacity in Armenia.”

The Fund is aimed at enhancing capacity among Armenian researchers and students, as well as providing international experts with the opportunity to conduct research on topics that are of great interest to the Armenian Government and will be used in developing national policies.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.