NEW YORK—Twenty years ago, a group of luminaries in the Armenian diaspora lead by Professor Yervant Terzian joined forces to create the Armenian National Science and Education Fund (ANSEF). Its mission was to help Armenian scientists and scholars who were struggling to continue their work in the newly independent Republic.
ANSEF was modeled on Western science funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, and adapted to Armenia’s circumstances. Under the auspices of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) and thanks to the generosity of many individuals, ANSEF has provided more than 3 million dollars in research grants to over 2,500 scientists and scholars in Armenia. The grants enabled cutting-edge research in the physical sciences, engineering, the natural sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences that resulted in thousands of publications in Western journals.
In the 20 years of ANSEF’s existence we saw our young Republic transform from a struggling state to an emerging modern, knowledge-based economy. The needs of scholars and educators have evolved accordingly, and ANSEF is committed to meet these new challenges.
In this vein, and in order to preserve the legacy of ANSEF founders including Yervant Terzian, a powerful driving force behind ANSEF for the last 20 years who passed away last year, the organization has established an Advisory Board. It will be comprised of prominent individuals, scholars and benefactors who will serve as advisors to ANSEF’s Executive Board. This will allow ANSEF to be more agile and able to dynamically incorporate input from scholars and leading figures from Armenia proper and the Armenian diaspora.
The new Advisory Board consists of FAR Board members Armen Avanessians and Lynn Dadourian Barsamian, Esq, and ANSEF founders Aram Chobanian, MD; Vartan Gregorian, PhD; Garabed Eknoyan, MD; Tavit Najarian, ScD; and Yervant Zorian, PhD. Further, at the unanimous decision of the ANSEF founders, this organization will from now on carry its founding Chairman’s name: The Yervant Terzian Armenian National Science and Education Fund.
ANSEF is one of the most prestigious funding programs in Armenian academia, especially amongst young scientists. According to Areg Mickaelian, PhD, Director of Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, “ANSEF has been around for Armenian science, especially Armenian young scientists for already 20 years and, today, we can hardly find a group, R&D institution or university in Armenia that did not benefit from it. I can say with confidence that ANSEF has developed a unique scientific culture in Armenia, which gave hope to many researchers and created an opportunity for the development of scientific teamwork. We were really concerned about ANSEF's future when our beloved Yervant Terzian passed away, since ANSEF has been much more for Armenia than just a monetary grant. Now, seeing these great founders of ANSEF, outstanding luminaries and leaders on its Advisory Board, we are assured that its future is secured. Together with its extraordinary Research Council, the Advisory Board will make ANSEF, I am sure, even stronger and more efficient.”
Members of the new Advisory Board work to ensure its long-term success. Their knowledge, expertise and social visibility are invaluable in support of ANSEF’s mission and in promoting ANSEF throughout academic and R&D communities in the US and globally. The Advisory Board will grow, and new members will be announced as they join. The ANSEF Executive Board(formerly the Research Council) will continue to handle the day-to-day operations and chart new programmatic directions to meet the evolving needs of Armenian science.
Currently, the new ANSEF Executive Board consists of co-chairs Ashot Papoyan, PhD and Prof. Vatche Sahakian; Prof. Lerna Ekmekcioglu, Prof. Ruben Minasian, Prof. Anna Ohanyan, Prof. Lilit Yeghiazarian, and Eduard Karapetyan, ANSEF Coordinator at FAR Armenia.
The Executive Board is also poised to grow and include specialists in a wide array of disciplines in the sciences, humanities and education. New members will be announced as they are appointed.