Capacity building for ANAU research centers
Coordinator of the ANAU International Research Programs, Doctor of Biology, Armine Abrahamyan has initiated a series of capacity building trainings for the research centers and institutes under ANAU. Representatives of H. Petrosyan Research Center for Soil Science, Land Reclamation and Agrochemistry as well as those of the Research Center for Agrobiotechnology were the first to receive this training.
SWOT analyses of both institutions clearly showed similar strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, the most important common strength being the human capital. In particular, both centers have sound achievements in agricultural research; however lack of modern equipment and technologies in the laboratories is a challenge yet to be addressed.
Another challenge voiced by the managers of both centers was inability of most of the staff to use computer software and the lack of knowledge of English. This dramatically limits the possibility to participate in international research conferences and publish their research papers in international magazines.
Other challenges/threats are the imperfect legal framework regulating the sector, largely responsible for the low level of government’s participation in investments in agricultural science and research, as well as the weak cooperation between the research institutions themselves operating in the system of ANAU.
Following the SWOT analysis, Dr. Abrahamyan transferred knowledge and skills on how to write grant proposals.
“Having a business idea is not enough; you need to properly present that idea making it compatible with the requirements of the particular grant. Don’t be afraid of failing; any failure to get a grant is a prerequisite to develop a better proposal. Don’t hesitate to speak up about your ideas. Share ideas with others; you will at least leave each other having two ideas instead of one,” said Dr. Abrahamyan.
The theoretical knowledge then was strengthened by practical development of an actual research proposal. Armine Abrahamyan will continue to develop capacities of research staffs for the rest of the ANAU research units.