PR/Press About MSRF

Manoogian Simone Foundation Establishes Fund to Support Research on Topics of Interest to the Armenian Government

YEREVAN, Armenia ‒ On October 10, the American University of Armenia (AUA) signed an agreement with the Manoogian Simone Foundation (MSF) to establish the Manoogian Simone Research Fund (MSRF) with the generous initial funding of $200,000. The MSRF will be used to conduct research in Armenian universities and by international experts, where appropriate, on topics of interest to the Armenian Government. The research Fund adds a new dimension to the MSF’s steadfast support of Armenia and the AUA. Acting Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan and Christine Simone of MSF were instrumental in launching the idea.

“As a research University, we are thrilled with this new program that the Manoogian Simone Foundation has funded. The Fund will serve as a timely platform for in-depth studies of topics that are crucial for sound policy making by the new Armenian Government. It will also build research capacity in Armenian universities,” commented AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian.

The topics for research will be prioritized by the office of the Acting Deputy PM Avinyan. A Panel of experts appointed by the Government, the MSF and the AUA will review the topics and solicit proposals from researchers in Armenian universities and make recommendations. The AUA will administer the research Fund for projects within AUA as well as those awarded to researchers in other universities. This program will build a much-needed bridge between the academia and the Government.

In addition to the solicited research projects, the MSRF will award fellowships to selected bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral university students to conduct research. The Panel will announce the topics and seek applications from interested students. Aside from supporting talented students, this program aims to develop research capacity among university students.

Detailed instructions for preparing and submitting proposals and fellowship applications will be issued by the MSRF Panel in the near future. –


Panel Formed for Manoogian Simone Research Fund

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. ( )