For the first time Vilnius University awards Karapet Babayan Foundation scholarships to promote research on Armenia

For the first time in its history, Vilnius University (VU) will award Karapet Babayan Foundation scholarships to students from all VU academic units and study cycles who intend to carry out research in the field of Armenian studies.

All VU students, regardless of their study programme, cycle and year, who plan to write a research paper on Armenian studies in Lithuanian within one year from the date of application, are eligible for this scholarship. The eligibility criteria also exclude students who have academic debts and a grade point average below 7 in the last year.

Dr. Babayan is the Honorary Consul of Armenia in Lithuania, a renowned surgeon, oncologist, one of the developers of Lithuanian laser medicine, and a pioneer of dermoscopy and SIAscopy in Lithuania. According to Dr. Babayan, his mother, a teacher of Armenian language and literature, who instilled in him a long-lasting love for the Armenian language and for everything related to Armenian studies, mostly influenced the establishment of this scholarship. Dr. Babayan has not forgotten his native culture in the country he resides, and he is therefore keen to strengthen the links between Armenia and Lithuania: “Even though I settled in Lithuania at an early age, I have always had the idea of enhancing cooperation between these two wonderful countries.”

Karapet Babajan with his wife Gyte. Photo by T. Baur.

The founder of the scholarship notes the lack of research on Armenian studies in Lithuania: “Many European countries, as well as many states in the USA, have Departments and Centres for Armenian Studies where many local scholars explore Armenian studies. We often met with colleagues from the Lithuanian research community, and I saw that almost no Armenian studies were covered in Lithuanian linguistics.” According to the doctor, Armenian studies would also help to build closer relations between the two countries: “They would help to take friendly relations between Armenians and Lithuanians to a new level.”

Dr. Babayan also points out that while the older generation of Lithuanians and Armenians have a good knowledge of both Armenia and Lithuania, the current young generation lacks it; therefore, scholarship is expected to promote a mutual understanding of cultures. The founder of the Foundation is certain that the relationship will eventually lead to mobility opportunities for students from both countries: “This is an exciting opportunity for the Armenian and Lithuanian research communities to establish new contacts, as we will help many people to visit and study in Armenia and present their research there.”

Students applying for this scholarship should be prepared to carry out research over the coming year that makes a significant contribution to the knowledge and exploration of the culture, language, history, religion and political role of Armenia. The evaluation will also take into account research originality, innovation, relevance and added value to the relations between Lithuania and Armenia.

The form of the research may vary: it can be a scientific article, a paper, a publication or a final thesis. Accordingly, the size of the scholarship available ranges from EUR 200 to EUR 3000.

Applications can be submitted to the VU information system by 30 April. Applicants must fill in the application form for the scholarship and submit an abstract of their planned research on Armenian studies in PDF format (up to 2000 characters without spaces).