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Current and Past PAI Grant/Fellowship Recipients


Faculty Research Grants 

Processing and Preserving the Bedros Alahaidoyan Music Collection: Proposal for an Inaugural Project for the Planned UCLA Armenian Sound Library  

The project is a collaboration between PAI and the Armenian Music Program headed by Movses Pogossian (Professor of Violin and Director of the Armenian Music Program, UCLA) and Melissa Bilal (Distinguished Research Fellow, UCLA CNES; Lecturer, Department of Ethnomusicology). The main goals of this project are 1. To introduce Bedros Alahaydoyan and his body of work to the scholarly community of Ethnomusicologists 2. To make the Alahaidoyan archive widely available to scholars at-large as well as the broader public. This project is envisioned to become a part of a larger project of building a permanent digital Armenian sound library at UCLA curated and managed by the Armenian Music Program and hosted by the Ethnomusicology Archive of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Amount: $10,000

Period of Funding: 2021-2022


Armenian Communities of Iran: History, Trade, Culture

This grant covers publication and graphics costs associated with the 14th volume of the UCLA series, “Historic Armenian Cities and Provinces,” edited by Richard Hovannisian (Professor Emeritus, UCLA History). The Armenian communities of Iran date back to antiquity and there has been a steady interaction between Armenia and Iran in cultural, social, economic, and political history. This volume will explore the centuries-long Armenian Iranian connections, especially since the forced migration of countless thousands of Armenians to New Julfa, across the river from the Safavid capital of Isfahan. There is a focus on art and architecture, urban and rural communities, trade and commerce, and processes of integration of the Armenian Iranians.

Amount: $18,000

Period of Funding: 2021-2022


Armenian Medical Genomics Project 

A seed grant provided to the Armenian Medical Genomics Project continues the group's sequencing and interpretation of genomes on DNA samples from Armenia with additional samples collected from Artsakh. The project is headed by Dr. Wayne Grody, director of the Diagnostic Molecular Pathology Laboratory within the UCLA Medical Center and Professor in the Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Pediatrics, and Human Genetics at the UCLA School of Medicine, and Dr. Salpy Akaragian, Director Emerita at UCLA’s International Nursing Center. 

Amount: $40,000

Period of Funding: 2020-2021


Course Development Grants 

Through an Archival Lens: Armenia, the Genocide and Diaspora UCLA Information Studies

This interdisciplinary undergraduate course centers the nature and role of “the archive” in understanding past events and future trajectories affecting the Armenian people. Designed by Dr. Anne Gilliland in collaboration with Dr. Marianna Hovhannisyan, it will use case studies and community engagement activities to teach students how to identify, compile, and critically read and respond to the multilayered dispersal, fragmentation, deliberate erasure, distortion and withholding of the Armenian archival record. Course content will be drawn from the instructors’ research engagement with official, community and family archives and other forms of memory texts across the Diaspora, historical Western Armenia, the Republic of Armenia, and the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh.

Amount: $8,975

Period of Funding: 2022-2023


PAI Postdoctoral Fellowships 

Anoush Tamar Suni 

 Under the mentorship of Dr. Salih Can Açiksöz, Dr. Suni will focus on expanding her dissertation—which traces the afterlives of the architectural heritage of the now-absent Armenian community that has persisted on the landscape of southeastern Turkey alongside more recent ruins—into a book manuscript to submit to an academic press.

Period of Funding: 2023-2024


Haley Tupper

Under the mentorship of Dr. Shant Shekherdimian of UCLA Division of General Surgery, Dr. Tupper will evaluate Armenia’s and other post-Soviet nations’ successes and failures in expanding access to healthcare according to the WHO framework of key health system building blocks, to help guide Armenia’s universal healthcare (UHC) development.

Period of Funding: 2022-2023


Helen Makhdoumian

Under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Rothberg, chair of the UCLA Department of Comparative Literature, Dr. Makhdoumian’s research will involve a contrapuntal study of Armenian American, Palestinian American, and American Indian/First Nations novels and memoirs; specifically, using a rubric of “nested memory” to articulate the structure of the multigenerational transmission of memory in the face of the recursivity of collective trauma.

Period of Funding: 2022-2023


Astghik Kuzanyan

Working under the supervision of Professor Artur Davoyan of the UCLA Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Dr. Kuzanyan’s research will involve experimental and numerical studies related to nanometer scale single photon thermoelectric detectors, nanophotonics, and thin film materials, and will lay a foundation for collaborations between UCLA and Armenia’s Institute for Physical Research of the National Academy of Sciences.

Period of Funding: 2021-2022


Alyssa Mathias

Under the mentorship of Dr. Melissa Bilal and Professor Movses Pogossian of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Alyssa Mathias will develop a book manuscript positing that musicians occupy a unique vantage point from which to understand the complex web of transnational, diasporic, and regional initiatives that address pressing concerns in Armenia today; advocating that attention to musical performance offers unique insight into local perspectives on philanthropic and development initiatives in the Republic of Armenia. Alyssa Mathias will also undertake research at UCLA for her second project, a multigenerational study of silence in the U.S. Armenian diaspora.

Period of Funding: 2021-2022


Hrag Papazian

Working under the supervision of Professor Salih Can Açiksoz of the UCLA Department of Anthropology, Dr. Papazian will work on a book manuscript based on his ethnographic research on the Armenians in Turkey, which will discuss the diversity of the country’s Armenians and the multiplicity of contemporary Armenian identity by studying the traditional Christian Armenian community, as well as the recently emerging Muslim and Alevi Armenians, and the labor migrants arriving from neighboring Armenia.

Period of Funding: 2021-2022


Sona Tajiryan

Working under the supervision of Professor Dr. Sebouh Aslanian, Dr. Sona Tajiryan works on two research projects. First, she will turn her dissertation titled, “The Early Modern Global Trade of Diamonds and Gems: An Armenian Family Firm on the Crossroads of Caravan and Maritime Trade (ca. 1670-1730),” into a book manuscript. Dr. Tajiryan's second project is the preparation of an annotated translation with a lengthy introduction of a previously unstudied accounting ledger of a gem merchant. 

Period of Funding: 2020-2021


Armenian Genocide Research Program Postdoctoral Fellowships 

Sedat Ulugana 

Under the mentorship of Dr. Taner Akçam, Dr. Ulugana will examine the shifting nature of the Kurdish-Armenian political movements and alliances towards the formation of the modern Turkish state, revealing how the transformation from an imperial political setting to a modern national state impacted the state-society relations, as some Kurdish communities that were implicated in the Armenian Genocide became victims of state violence themselves.

Period of Funding: 2023-2024


Anna Aleksanyan

Under the mentorship of Dr. Taner Akcam, director of the PAI Armenian Genocide Research Program, Dr. Aleksanyan will write a monograph based on her dissertation, examining the gendered aspects of the Armenian genocide, in particular, the ways the Ottoman Armenian females were targeted for physical destruction, sexual abuse, rape, sexual slavery, forced assimilation, forced marriages, and forced prostitution.

Period of Funding: 2022-2023


Dissertation Year Fellowships 

Erdem Ilter

 Under the mentorship of Dr. James Galvin, Erdem Ilter will complete his dissertation which examines the history of the Anatolian General Inspectorate, Anadolu Umûm Müfettişliği (1895-1899). Sultan Abdulhamid II established the inspectorate to solve the growing “Armenian Question,” which was seen as an existential threat to the empire during the late nineteenth century.

Period of Funding: 2023-2024


Daniel Ohanian (partial fellowship)

Under the mentorship of Dr. Sebouh David Aslanian, Daniel Ohanian will complete his dissertation, which examines a period of turmoil among the Armenian communities of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. Around 1700, these communities reacted to increased Roman-Catholic missionary work in their midst by either (1) doubling down on their adherence to the traditional Armenian Apostolic Church or (2) converting to Catholicism and creating new, Armenian-Catholic institutions.

Period of Funding: 2023-2024


Jennifer Manoukian

Under the mentorship of Dr. Peter Cowe, the UCLA Nareketsi Professor in Armenian Studies, Jennifer Manoukian will complete her dissertation which explores the emergence of the written standard known today as Western Armenian and examines the intellectual labor that led to its acceptance as the dominant medium for writing and education among Ottoman Armenians by 1900.

Period of Funding: 2022-2023


PhD Student Fellowships 

Lori Pirinjian

Lori Pirinjian is a Ph.D. student in the Armenian Studies Program in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Lori also holds a Master’s degree from San Francisco State University in Cultural Anthropology as well as Bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of San Francisco. In her research at UCLA, which she is pursuing under the supervision of Professor Peter Cowe, Lori is studying gender expressions in modern Armenia and their narratives of national belonging and identity.

Period of Funding: 2020-2021


Undergraduate or Master's Level Student Research and Travel Grants 

Nathan Chu

Nathan Chu is an undergraduate student studying Pre-Human Biology and Society (class of 2024). Working under the mentorship of Dr. Shant Shekherdimian of the David Geffen School of Medicine, and through a partnership with university students in Armenia, Nathan will administer a survey that will analyze the attitudes and beliefs of male tobacco users towards lung cancer screening.

Amount: $2,400

Period of Funding: 2021-2022


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Published: Wednesday, December 2, 2020