2009 Beneficiary Astghik Shahkhatuni

Astghik Shahkhatuni, molecular physicist, was very happy to win her first ANSEF grant in 2006. “I had won scholarships within the framework of other scientific groups, but this prize was completely different” confessed Astghik. “This time I applied as a leader of a scientific research group. This encouraged me greatly and strengthened my belief in my abilities.” This year, winning again, she is able to continue her work.

The theme of her grant project, she described, is as follows: “The current scientific environment allows the study of new properties of molecules. Now, researchers also study the intramolecular properties and characteristics such as charge distribution, molecular dynamics and electrostatics. We study the influence of various external and internal electric fields on NMR parameters of model molecules. We hope to establish a technique for the experimental evaluation of electric fields and electrostatic interactions in molecules.”

“I love my work” expressed the young scientist, “Most of the day I spend in the laboratory.” This shows unbelievable dedication on her part, as her monthly salary is $170, not even enough to survive on. In such difficult situations, the international grant programs lend a helping hand. The awarded grant is enough not only to continue scientific activities but also to travel for scientific assignment, participate in international symposiums, and meet with foreign colleagues. According to Ms. Shahkhatuni, this kind of communication expands the world vision of a scientist and helps her, especially, to consider new perspectives.