Discovering the Future
2020
ADVANCE
Unprecedented platform to bring the top-notch expertise in the targeted STEM-related fields in Armenia
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Apply for Research Project in Neuroscience
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Stages
General Information
About the program

ADVANCE STEM Research grant program serves as an unprecedented platform aimed to bring the top-notch expertise in the targeted STEM-related fields in Armenia. ADVANCE grant program connects the distinguished international researchers with the local research groups for them to work jointly on innovative research projects. FAST will ensure comprehensive long-term institutional and financial support for outstanding research groups in Armeniaproviding them an opportunity to produce internationally competitive research. 


The first round of the program is implemented with Yerevan State University. Two grants will be distributed among two newly formed research groups in Armenia. Each group will be recruited to work under the supervision of an international Principal Investigator (PI), around a certain topic identified by the PI, starting from May 2020. The researchers from any institution in Armenia and beyond are welcome to apply based on their interests and qualification in the suggested topic. The program aims to create inter-institutional connections; therefore the composition of the research groups might be very diverse. The duration of the projects will be from 2 to 4 years, details of each project can be found on the “Research Projects” page.


The research activities will be conducted primarily in Armenia. The PI will both visit Armenia and coordinate the group’s work remotely throughout the entire duration of the research project. The PI will also be involved in intensive teaching activities in the local universities to have a broader impact on the ecosystem.

About the PIs

The PIs are scientists who have solid expertise in a related field, extensive experience in leading groups of researchers, as well as ties with international institutions and labs to connect local researchers to the global scientific network. The PIs submit the project proposal, introduce their vision for the project development and, in a broader sense, the subfield’s development in Armenia. They also define the needs of a proposed project and requirements for the researchers, participate in the selection of the researchers and, throughout the project implementation, ensure the project quality.


Granting scheme
  • PI’s travel expenses and some remuneration during their visit to Armenia 
  • Salaries for the local researchers 
  • International travel costs for the local researchers’ participation in the conferences or collaborative research activities abroad 
  • Laboratory supporting materials, consumables 
  • Publications in journals, patenting costs, wherever applicable


Selection process

Application packages can be found under the description of each project. The packages include but are not limited to the application form, CV, and recommendation letter(s). After reviewing the application packages, FAST Committee will short-list the most motivated and qualified candidates for the PIs’ review. The PI will identify the finalists, who will be invited to the interview with the International Committee, involving also the PI.

The application packages are accepted until March 15.


Appeal process

Applicants will be sent a letter about the decision of the Selection Committee. In case of rejection, the Selection Committee might not be able to provide individual information on the specific reasons for rejection. Assessment is competition-based, and applicants with the highest scores are admitted to the program. It is unlikely that any decision made by the Selection Committee will be reversed, as every applicant’s candidacy is going through extensive reviews through a carefully planned and objective assessment process. Still, if the applicant has a serious and compelling reason that they feel the committee should consider, they can appeal the decision. The appeal must represent significant new professional information that was not present at the time of application review. This information should validate the application as stronger than when originally reviewed.

The appeal should be submitted by the applicant to programs@fast.foundation with all the necessary and final information within 5 days after receiving the decision letter. If the appeal is submitted after the deadline, it will not be considered. Each applicant may only submit one appeal per admission term. Once the appeal is received, it will be reviewed by the Selection Committee who will make a final decision. Applicants will be notified of the appeal decisions via email within 10 days after the appeal was received by email. All appeal decisions are final.

Research projects
Research Project in Neuroscience

Principal Investigator: Prof. Sarkis Mazmanian

University: California Institute of Technology, USA

Local Supervisor: Dr. Konstantin Yenkoyan

Vacancies: 2 PhD students in Neuroscience at YSMU

Monthly stipend: 500 USD

Launched in collaboration with Apkarian Foundation (AF) and Yerevan State Medical University (YSMU) in the newly established "COBRAIN" Scientific-Educational Center for Fundamental Brain Research, the Project aims to enhance and accelerate neuroscience research in Armenia with the objective of training the next generation of internationally recognized, highly-impactful biomedical researchers.

The Project starts from the creation of two fully-funded PhD positions in Neuroscience at the YSMU. Those two students who will be admitted to the PhD program will be awarded a monthly stipend of 500 USD and enroll in the ADVANCE grant, benefitting from all of its opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the PhD program the applicant is expected to:

  • Have a Master’s degree in Medicine/ Biology/ Biochemistry/ Chemistry/ Physiology or have a qualification of MD
  • Plan to pursue a career in biomedical research as a neuroscientist
  • Have very good knowledge of English language

Required Documents

To apply, interested candidates should submit an online application attaching to it the following supporting documents:

  • Research proposal in the field of Autism, Alzheimer's disease or Stroke
  • Statement of Motivation
  • Letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency certificate (TOEFL IBT - 70, IELTS - 6.5)
  • Higher education diploma and its annexes
  • List of publications
  • Curriculum vitae or resume

Application deadline: September 19, 2021

Learn more about the program.