Hovnanian Public Service Fellowship
iGorts in the regions
The H. Hovnanian Family Foundation, in support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, funds and implements the Hovnanian Public Service Fellowship that allows up to 10 exceptional iGorts fellows to continue working for another 12 months in their designated positions within state institutions.
Through this Fellowship, the Foundation has also initiated an ‘iGorts in the Regions’ program, which decentralizes the iGorts program by encouraging fellows to spend their iGorts year outside of Yerevan where needs are great.
As a pilot, five (5) fully-funded iGorts fellows will be placed in northern Armenia in the Shirak region to address specific priority needs as identified by state institutions located there. The professional backgrounds to be targeted for these five fellowships include: a) Architect-Engineer, b) Museum Curator, c) Tourism Expert, d) Cultural Events Manager, and e) Dendrologist.
iGorts in the Regions
The H. Hovnanian Family Foundation believes that the decentralization of the iGorts program to the regions of Armenia will get valuable resources placed where they are needed most.
About the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs’ iGorts Fellowship program
The Republic of Armenia's Office of the High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs launched the iGorts Fellowship program in 2019. Since inception 50 Diasporan-Armenian professionals have been selected annually to serve in various offices within Armenia’s government for a commitment of 12 months.
Following an application and interview process, Diaspora professionals are placed in state agencies across different sectors in need of their expertise. Selected participants contribute to the improvement and the development of programs and policies within state institutions.
The repatriation rate from the completed cohorts is approximately 70% with many iGorts alumni now holding critical positions in private and public organizations. It is also important to note that within three years, despite both the Covid pandemic as well as the 44-Day Artsakh war and its aftermath, the iGorts program has had many successes within the public sector as well, including the nomination of 3 of the fellows to Deputy Minister of Economy, Head of the National Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship CEO and Head of Armenia's Tourism Committee. Over a dozen participants have been recruited as advisors and experts within their respective ministries.
The iGorts program is funded by the government of the Republic of Armenia.
For more information about the program, and current and past participants, click here.
Hovnanian Public Service Fellowship
Since 2021, the Hovnanian Public Service Fellowship has funded 24 iGorts participants, in 12 different public institutions, to continue on program for an additional 12 months if they have been proven indispensable to their public institutions.
- Bachelor’s degree with at least 5 years of relevant work experience OR a Master’s degree (or equivalent, or higher) with at least 3 years of relevant work experience
- Must have studied and/or worked in the Diaspora for at least 5 consecutive years
- Must be able to obtain a one-year residency permit in Armenia based on ethnicity (unless a citizen of Armenia)
- Willingness to live in Armenia for the duration of the fellowship (12 months)
- For iGorts in the regions, proficient knowledge of Armenian is mandatory
Eligible applicants are invited to apply via the iGorts application found here.
Please choose Shirak Province in the question regarding possible placement institutions. In order to complete the form you will need the following:
- 2 reference letters
- Motivation letter explaining why you want to participate in the program and what makes you suitable for it.
iGorts in the regions remuneration package
Successful candidates of iGorts in the regions will be receiving;
- Monthly 420,000 AMD stipend to cover living expenses for 12-month duration of fellowship
- Emergency medical insurance
- Fee for a one-year residency permit (unless already an Armenian citizen)
- Air travel reimbursement might be available based on needs and skill sets of applicant
iGorts in the regions FAQ
The program is designed to be a 12-month long program for purposes of realistic impact. We believe that in order for our participants to have any significant achievements during their fellowship, 12 months are the minimum time required in order to understand the way the public sector works in Armenia and to forge progress within that setting. Oftentimes, our fellows mention that they would have preferred to have a longer time to be able to see their work through to completion.
The purpose of the iGorts program is for our participants to experience the Armenian public institutions with all its challenges and successes. We envision this as a hands-on full immersion program which aims to bring positive change and best practices into the public institutions of Armenia. These changes also pertain to work culture and since our participants are placed in these institutions for a limited time, they also need to be passed forward. We believe that both the fellow and their local colleagues only gain from the daily interaction and exchange of knowledge, culture and practices and therefore the program doesn’t allow for remote work.
Since remote work is not permitted by the program and the participants will have to arrive at their jobsite every day, it is logistically preferable that the participants reside in Gyumri in order to enable them to truly experience the city in all its aspects.
The program provides the participant with a stipend which is intended to cover the costs of accommodation and essentials, but the onus to find suitable accommodations is on the fellow.
The official stipend amount of iGorts participants is a monthly 336,000 AMD. The H.Hovnanian Foundation is offering an additional monthly 84,000 AMD to the participants of “iGorts in the regions”. Although we are aware that this amount might seem little, it is important to remember that the average salary in Armenia amounts to 200,000 AMD/month. Also the monthly stipend participants receive is higher than the amount most public sector employees earn. The aim of the stipend is to cover accommodation and basic needs of the participants. Seeing as the cost of living in the regions are cheaper than Yerevan and with the added incentive, participants should be able to cover their basic needs throughout the duration of the program.
iGorts fellows receive 20 days of personal leave to be used at their discretion throughout their fellowship year as per Armenian labor law. Aside from vacation taken, it is expected that they remain in Armenia during the remainder of their fellowship.
The iGorts in the Regions fellowship program is a full time (M - F, 9.00-17.00) position. It is also an opportunity to experience Armenia in all its aspects, socially and culturally as well, and therefore we do not encourage maintaining side positions as well. Nonetheless, if your additional position does not interfere with your ability to be fully committed to the program 40 hours per week during normal business hours, you may.
In order to be eligible for the program, you need to be able to obtain a one year residency permit in Armenia based on your Armenian ethnicity.
Unlike the iGorts program that prefers but doesn’t require its participants to know Armenian, it is mandatory for our participants in the regions to have proficient knowledge of the Armenian language. This is because much fewer people know English within the regions of Armenia and in order for our participants to be able to communicate with their coworkers and to work efficiently and effectively, they will have to know Armenian, including proficient reading and writing.