Junior scientists’ research awarded grants in Qatar

August 31, 2013

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has awarded three new research grants to‘junior’ scientists, aged less than 40, in the fifth cycle of its Junior Scientists Research Experience Programme (JSREP). The three projects will receive a total funding of almost half a million dollars over the next three years.

Two of the awarded proposals belong to Qatar University and one to Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. Each project falls under a different field of research, engineering and technology, social sciences and medical and health sciences.

QNRF funds two cycles annually of JSREP, launched in 2010, and has since received 70 applications. Successful proposals are awarded grants of up to $100,000 (Dh367,214) per project, per year, for a maximum of three years.

“By supporting these junior scientists and their research we are investing in Qatar’s future,” Abdul Sattar Al Taie, QNRF’s Executive Director, said. “The projects funded under the current cycle will help tackle some key challenges facing our society. Our programmes facilitate knowledge and technology transfer, which are essential for the growth of Qatar’s research capacity,” he said in remarks e-mailed to Gulf News.

One of the two projects awarded to Qatar University aims to improve technologies for the oil and gas industries. The research could help minimise overall processing costs for the industry in Qatar.

Qatar University’s second awarded project proposes to dissect the urban structure of cities in the Gulf region into ‘places of flow’, including the flow of capital, people, goods and information. The results of this research will provide insight into Doha’s capacity and competency which could prove beneficial as Qatar gears up for the 2022 World Cup.

The third successful proposal, awarded to Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, will study the parasite that causes the disease toxoplasmosis, which affects approximately 25 per cent of the world population. The research aims to prevent transmission by felines, the disease’s primary hosts, and to reduce the risk of infection in Qatar.

“QNRF funds researchers at all levels,” Abdul Nasser Al Ansari, QNRF’s Deputy Executive Director, said. “JSREP is designed to offer funding opportunities to those younger researchers, who cannot generally compete with the more seasoned researchers that apply for the National Research Experience Programme (NPRP). JSREP gives these younger awardees the opportunity to compete for funding and then lead their own research projects, hence preparing these young researchers for advanced future research endeavours. Similar to the NPRP, awardees must report progress in their research every six months to continue receiving further funding instalments.”

QNRF will launch the sixth cycle of JSREP in November and will call for submissions in December.

QNRF funds original, competitively selected research that addresses the national priority needs of Qatar. Beside their significance for Qatar, the research projects funded by QNRF are also expected to have an impact on global needs in the areas of health, environment, technology and social sciences.




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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