Qatar forum to raise research standards in the region

August 31, 2012

Students and researchers have been urged to submit abstracts of their work to the Joint Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum and Arab Expatriate Scientists Network Symposium taking place in October.

“Last year, we saw a 35 per cent increase in submissions, where one in four abstracts were submitted by students, and we expect an even greater increase this year,” Faisal Al Suwaidi, President of Research and Development at Qatar Foundation, said. “Year after year, Qatar’s research culture becomes more vibrant, whether in hospitals and university labs or in the field, and this will be reflected in the quantity and quality of work presented at the forum this year.”

During the three-day event, awards will be presented for the best research programmes, student research projects, and poster presentations, organisers have said.

A panel comprising international experts and industry leaders from the Arab Expatriate Scientists Network will judge and select the four most impressive entries in each of the three categories.

Research topics must fall within the country’s national research priorities, including health and biomedicine, energy and environment, computing and information technology, behavioural and social sciences, arts, humanities and Islamic studies.

Successful candidates will be given a grant to allow them to continue their research projects.

Winners of the best oral and poster presentations will also be given monetary awards.

An array of groundbreaking research projects was presented at last year’s forum, including studies on cancer, humanoid robots, natural language processing, changing patterns of Qatari family formation, and an analysis of water desalination processes, the organisers said.

“We are excited to see what this year’s abstract submissions will bring, and I look forward to shedding light through the forum on the cutting-edge work produced right here in Qatar,” Al Suwaidi said.

Dirar Khoury, Acting Executive Director of the Research Division at Qatar Foundation and Chairman of the Annual Research Forum Program Committee, said the panel would base its selection on the quality of research as well as its originality, merit, and relevance to the nation.

“Priority will be given to research performed in Qatar, conducted in collaboration with an organisation in Qatar, or carried out with the support of a Qatari institution,” he said. “The selections at the forum will not only be a celebration of Qatar’s growing research capacity, but a chance for all of us, presenters, reviewers and panel members to learn from the great scientific minds of the Arab world.”

Poster presentations by representatives of the Arab Expatriate Scientists Network are a new feature in this year’s event amid hopes that they will stimulate discussions for potential collaborations, elevate the research culture in Qatar and raise its international profile.

This year’s forum will also provide an opportunity for local organisations to participate as exhibitors.

“Exhibition stands will offer participants additional opportunities to network and learn more about the institutions, universities, hospitals, foundations, non-profit and government agencies that are leading Qatar’s drive towards becoming a research powerhouse in the Gulf and the wider region,” Khoury said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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