Deadline nears for submission of research proposals to NPRP
Lead Principal Investigators can submit proposals by noon February 21 while the final date for Research Office's final proposal submission and vetting is February 28. Ineligible proposals will be notified next month while successful proposals notifications and awarding will take place in June this year.
“The objective of the programme is to competitively select research projects that will address national priorities through supporting basic and applied research as well as translational research/experimental development,” says the QNRF, a member of Qatar Foundation, on its website.(www.qnrf.org)
Through this NPRP-10 cycle, QNRF intends to stimulate partnerships between academics and research end-users. The NPRP’s overall objectives have been revamped compared to the previous cycles. The programme now aims to focus on research projects that demonstrate a potential impact on the development of Qatar’s society and economy emphasizing the following: tackle needs and challenges that local research end-users face; support projects with tangible impacts; focus on subjects that are highly promising in terms of commercial and technological potential; promote a public-private partnership culture in Qatar; encourage co-funding; encourage a more cross-cutting / interdisciplinary approach to projects; stimulate scientific excellence and the advancement of knowledge in Qatar.
The priority areas of research are divided into four categories: Energy and Environment, Health, ICT, and Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities. Under fifth special category “Cross-cutting Themes”, various topics have been prioritized including diabetes and social behavior, socio-economic and policy factors driving the energy demand and supply in Qatar, smart control of energy demand and supply, human behavior in cyber-security, and health risks related to urban air quality.
The National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) is the main funding program of QNRF and the primary means by which QNRF seeks to support research that addresses Qatar’s needs. These needs have been specified as Grand Challenges in the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS) 2013 and QNRS 2014.
The NPRP is assisting in this area by supporting the country's colleges and universities to attract, develop and retain skilled faculty members. The NPRP will also provide incentives for institutions to build the organizational infrastructure needed to support researchers. Furthermore, the NPRP will help to build human capital through the promotion of knowledge and technology transfer, whilst encouraging collaboration with institutions outside of Qatar.
By funding research that will raise Qatar's profile within the international academic community, the NPRP will help to address the sense of geographical isolation felt by some researchers in Qatar, fostering a level of integration with the global research community, to the benefit of the researchers in Qatar and Qatar as a whole.
The benefits of the implementation of the NPRP will be direct and indirect. In addition to helping promote research that will directly benefit Qatar, the programme will also provide indirect benefits by improving the reserve and quality of human capital in the country by attracting competent scientists, and thus convey prestige upon Qatar at an international level.