We appeal to various national and international foundations and organizations and our colleagues both in Armenia and the Diaspora to support us for the successful implementation of the Network activities.

UNESCO Chair in Life Sciences at Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center (LSIPEC) is organizing the Inaugural Workshop of “UNESCO/UNITWIN Interregional Network on PhD Education and Research in Biophysics, Biotechnology and Environmental Health”, which has been officially approved by UNESCO.

UNESCO Chair in Life Sciences will present the results of the research carried out in the Center in International Conferences

Degree Programs



The educational program for preparing PhD students in biophysics, biotechnology and environmental health will be compiled on the basis of analyses and generalization of the corresponding programs of the leading institutions of developed countries and considering the needs and regulations of home countries of participant universities of UNESCO/UNITWIN Interregional Network on PhD Education and Research in Biophysics, Biotechnology and Environmental Health.



The objective of doctoral study is to develop each student's ability to conduct original, advanced research as an independent scientist. In keeping with this goal, each student is expected to guide his/her own research project, under the supervision of one of Faculty Members, with a high level of effort and accomplishment, and thereby gain the capacity to be self-teaching and the ability to design and conduct research on important issues in the student's field.


The duration of PhD courses is 3 years (12 semesters, in each 10 weeks).  Courses are conducted in compliance with PhD international program providing the students 66 USA credits. The courses are given by the international team of distinguished scientists. PhD students have the opportunity to conduct a part of their dissertation in foreign laboratories. PhD dissertation are supervised by four leading scientists. The graduates will receive an appropriate diploma of the state standard according to regulations of home country. The students will be involved in research projects that will be implemented within the framework of the Network. English and modern computer courses are included in the program.


PhD courses leading to the doctoral degree (66 USA credits) will consist of the following components:


  • Core courses  (total  -15  credits):  10  credits  will  be  obtained  from  the  courses  provided  by participant institutions, 5 credits obtained from the courses provided by outside institutions,
  • Supporting courses as approved by PhD Advisory Board (12 credits minimum) - 7 credits will be obtained from the courses provided participant institutions, 5 credits will be obtained from the courses provided by outside institutions
  • Dissertation research (35 credits) 30 credits provided by participant institutions of the network, 5 credits will be obtained from outside institutions during their visit to leading institutions.
  • Seminar (4 credits)
  • Satisfactory seminar and defence of an approved doctoral dissertation based on laboratory and/or theoretical research.


The NETWORK provides PhD program, which is  partially borrowed  from  PhD  educational  program  of Institute for Health and the Environment of University at Albany (USA) and Graduate School of Biological Sciences at Southampton University (UK). The courses are conducted in English. Theoretical courses (core and supporting) are realized through DES and will be conducted by a team of leading lecturers from participant institutions (providing 17 credits) and some western institutions (10 credits). PhD students have the opportunity to conduct a part of their dissertation (to obtain 5 credits out of 35 credits) in foreign laboratories. The duration of core and supporting courses (27 credits total)  are  45  weeks  with  five  semesters,  in  each-10  weeks.  At  the  end  of  each  semester  the examination on current courses are organized.




A temporary advisor for each incoming student is selected. The advisor meets with the student  whenever  necessary  to advice  on  course  selection,  advanced  standing,  course  waivers, examination waivers,  and  selection  of  thesis/dissertation  advisors. Recommendations  concerning advanced standing, course and examination waivers are submitted to Committee for Management and Programming of the Network. Students must meet with the research groups involved in the project before selecting a dissertation principal advisor.

After selecting a dissertation principal advisor, at the end of the first semester, the student together with the principal advisor will select PhD Advisory Board, which is composed of at least three other members from the participant institutions and one member from a western institution. The scientists are chosen based on the dissertation topic as well as the eligibility criteria elaborated by the Education Group. The composition of the PhD Advisory Board is reviewed and approved by the Committee for Management and Programming.


Preliminary Examination: Before the end of the second semester of study an oral examination is conducted  and  graded  by the  PhD  Advisory  Board.  The  examination  is  administered  by  four members of PhD Advisory Board and encompasses broad general questions in relevant areas of the selected division. On the basis of the student’s performance in the preliminary examinations and grades in courses, the PhD Advisory Board recommends that:

*  the student continues the PhD program,

*  the student retakes the examination once, at a time specified by the examination committee,

*  the student quits his study in the framework of the Network.


Qualifying Examination (Part 1): At the end of the third semester, each student who has passed the preliminary examination is examined by the student's Advisory Board, after all course requirements are completed. This is an oral examination and is in the major area of the anticipated research specialization. The Advisory Board assigns a pass/fail to the student. A student who fails may be reexamined within one year with the scope of the examination being determined by the Board. The student who fails to pass on the second try is required to quit his study.


Qualifying Examination (Part 2): This examination consists of an oral defence of a written research proposal prepared by the student. The proposal and the oral defence is evaluated by PhD Advisory Board  (Pass/Fail). The  exam  treats  the student’s  depth  of knowledge  in  his/her chosen  area of specialization as well as his/her ability to write and defend a research proposal.  This examination is to be on a topic intended to serve as a basis for the student’s PhD dissertation research. This examination is at the end of the 4th semester.


The research proposal should be a detailed document outlining the background and conduct of the proposed dissertation research and should be designed to answer a significant question in the field of his/her study. The student may consult someone in the course of preparing the proposal, but the written document must represent the student's own work. The principal advisor may aid in the development of specific aims and construction of a topical outline for the dissertation proposal. The advisor also may direct the student to relevant literature and may edit an initial draft. However, the advisor should not act as a co-author. The research proposal is judged on standard criteria, including, but limited to, the student's grasp of the field, significance of the proposed work, originality and depth of thoughts and feasibility of the experimental approach. The proposal is submitted to the PhD Advisory Board at least one month prior to an oral presentation of the proposal. At the oral defense, the student answers questions on related topics; the questions focus on (but are not restricted to) the student's program area. The PhD Advisory Board, chaired by the dissertation advisor, administers the exam. The student must pass the exam by the majority of votes of the Board. The PhD Advisory Board communicates the data and results of the exam. If the student does not satisfactorily complete this part of the exam, the PhD Advisory Board makes appropriate recommendations, which may include modifying the proposal and re-taking the exam, completing remedial course work, or dismissal from the program.


Admission to candidacy: A student is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon meeting the following standards:

  •  A minimum of a B average evaluation record*.
  •  Completion of course requirements.
  •  Satisfactory completion of both Parts of the Qualifying Exam.
  •  Completion of any additional requirements specified in the Network’s Educational Bulletin.

* If a student gets lower than B record in a required course, he/she must retake the course.


Dissertation research, role of the PhD Advisory Board: The student’s Advisory Board meets regularly with the student throughout the course of his/her dissertation research to evaluate progress and advice. The Advisory Board is also responsible for evaluating and accepting the final written dissertation and conducting the student’s oral dissertation defence. Acceptance of the dissertation is by majority of votes of the Advisory Board and is subject  to the approval of  Committee for Management  and Programming.


Laboratory rotations:  The laboratory where the student is intended to pass the rotation will be selected

by the student’s Advisory Board. The aims of the laboratory rotations are:

  •   To allow the student to interact with scientists of varied disciplines.
  •   To introduce the student to laboratory principles and techniques.
  •   To give both the students and the Department an opportunity to interact intellectually.
  •   To aid the student in selecting a mentor for graduate research.


It is advisable that all students regardless of their previous laboratory experience participate in the lab rotations and should not repeat a rotation in with the same mentor. The student is expected to put at least 12 hours per week during each rotation.

The rotation schedule is designed to obtain the maximum lab (clinical) experience within the framework of courses and additional graduate responsibilities. There will be a Summer Rotation for students who enter the program early or those who enter in January and wish to satisfy their rotation requirement before the fall semester. Data for these alternate rotation schedules may be obtained from the PhD Advisory Board. At the end of each rotation the students are required to write a brief report (3-5 pages) describing their project. This report should be given to the research advisor and, after his/her final draft, must be submitted to the PhD Advisory Board one week after the end of the rotation. The student are responsible for submitting this report and the failure to do so will result in an incomplete grade.


At the end of the core courses, i.e. after receiving 15 credits, the final examination is organized. Starting from the 4th semester the students continue their study in the supporting courses according to their chosen directions (tracks). The main tracks of the program are discussed and finalized during the first meeting of the consortium. By the end of the 4th semester the dissertation subject and the members of the Advisory Board of each student are finalized and approved by Committee for Management and Programming.


The supporting courses also have practical and theoretical parts. The laboratory rotations are organized in specialized laboratories of participant institutions and the theoretical part will be taught by the invited lecturers of both participant institutions and leading western universities through DES.


By the end of the 5th  semester the examinations and seminars on the subjects of the dissertation works are organized for each student and only after receiving the approval from Committee for Management and  Programming,  they  finalise  their  dissertation  thesis  under  the  leadership  of members of the PhD Advisory Board.




Duration of Ph.D. course is 3 years.
During Ph.D. courses the students will get 66 credits.

Courses are conducted in English. The courses will be conducted by the international team of distinguished scientists. English and modern computer courses are included in the educational program. 
After accepting the documents from the potential students the entrance examinations will be organized to choose the students on the competition basis. The applicants will be examined according to their major and regulations of their home institution and will have to take an English language test. Those applicants who have publications in international journals will have priority in being accepted to the program. The graduates will  receive  an  appropriate  diploma  of  the  state  standard  according  to regulations  of  home countries.

The applicants should pass an exam according to the speciality and test in English.
The applicants should present:   

application form (the application can also be filled in here)

The following documents shoud be sent to e-mail address:

  • a copy of applicant's graduate diploma,
  • 4 photos,
  • 2 letters of recommendation from advanced scientists of the appropriate area.


The details on the course can be found here

For additional information please contact:
Avan - Acharian 31, Yerevan 0040,Armenia
Phone/Fax: (374 10) 62 41 70