Discovering the Future
An academic course aimed at providing basic knowledge and practical skills to Armenian Masters and Ph.D. students on Research Design and Science Commercialization.
General Information
About the program

In November 2020, FAST designed the SciNova Program to create courses on "Research Design” and “Science Commercialization'' that introduce Masters and PhD students in Armenia to the basics of conducting quality research and making scientific inventions commercially viable.

From FAST’s previous and ongoing programs, including FellowshipADVANCE STEM Research grant program, and entrepreneurial initiatives, some valuable lessons have been learned that highlighted the number of significant challenges for ecosystem players that could be overcome through the courses for skilling the youth to implement scientific research and turn the research output into a new product.

From the perspective of the advancement of the science ecosystem, the development of these courses became crucial:

  • to ensure that students in Armenia are equipped with basic knowledge of how research is conducted,

  • to nurture competencies among the students to translate research outcomes into innovation outputs,

  • to recast the image of science among Armenian youth from something abstract and academic to something of practical relevance and tangible benefits.

This program has been designed within the Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme framework funded by the British Council.

Academic institutions benefited and trained
Master and PhD students benefited and trained
Academic staff trained
Anastasiya Tyurina
Founder and CEO, Digital Spring Agency
Anahit Hovhannisyan
Researcher, RA NAS Institute of Molecular Biology (former NextGen Council Member)
Astghik Hakobyan
Researcher, RA NAS Institute of Molecular Biology
Smbat Gevorgyan
Senior Researcher, FAST
Sarkis Knyazyan
Managing Partner of Knyazyan & Partners
Shoghig Keoshkerian
Trainer of Trainers, Designer of Professional Educational Modules
Vardan Gevorgyan
Head of Innovation Division at National Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, RA Ministry of Economy
David Hayrapetyan (Guest Lecture)
Head of the Department of General Physics, Quantum Nanostructures, Institute of Engineering Physics, RAU
Geoff Parkes (Guest Lecturer)
Senior Teaching Fellow and Associate Dean of the School of Business, Aston University
Hovakim Zakaryan (Guest Lecturer)
Co-Founder, Denovo Sciences
Larisa Avetisyan (Guest Lecturer)
Grants Coordinator, FAST
Phase 1

Curricula Development | Training of Trainers

The curricula for the "Research Design" and "Science Commercialization" courses have been developed in cooperation with subject matter experts and ongoing consultancy and validation from Aston University, the key implementing partner of the project.

A successful partnership was established with the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) to pilot the course for 25 Master's students during the Spring semester of the 2020-2021 academic year.

To support academic staff in successfully delivering the curricula, training of trainers has been conducted for 39 academic staff from Armenian National Agrarian University, Yerevan State University of Economics, Yerevan State University, Yerevan State Medical University, and International Scientific - Educational Center of NAS RA.

As a result of the project's first phase, the Armenian National Agrarian University has fully integrated the course into its MA programs. Additionally, the International Scientific-Educational Center of NAS RA, Yerevan State Medical University and Armenian State University of Economics redesigned their "Research Design" courses and integrated new modules and methodology from the SciNova course.


New Partnerships | Instructor Manual Development | Training of Trainers

Partnerships with all STEM-focused universities were established during the project's second phase to ensure the nationwide spread of the courses. As a result, 15 STEM-focused universities in Yerevan and RA regions signed partnership agreements aiming to integrate the courses into their academic programs based on the strategies and needs of the universities.

The training for trainers program also scaled up and involved about 60 academic staff members from 15 partner universities. The training program involved a student-centric approach and practical modules supporting the delivery of the “Research Design” and “Science Commercialization” courses.

To assist the instructors in implementing the curricula, a bilingual (English and Armenian) instructor manual on "Research Design” and “Science Commercialization'' have been developed and published. Prepared in cooperation with the American “JetPub Scientific Communications” LLC and Aston University’s Editorial Board, the manuals are equipped with all the necessary methods, assignments and materials for student-centred instruction.

As a result of the second phase, the "Research Design" course was reformed in 10 Yerevan-based and regional universities, becoming available to more than 800 students in the new format. Some universities are currently developing the implementation program for the "Science Commercialization" course.