GU-Q wins UREP grant
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GU-Q wins UREP grant

Georgetown University in Qatar's (GU-Q) student Fatma Marafi and her faculty mentor GU-Q Assistant Professor of Economics Alexis Antoniades were announced as one of the 37 winners of the Qatar National Research Fund's (QNRF) 17th cycle of the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) grant award. 

The grant was awarded to Dr Antoniades and Marafi for a project titled 'Do US Banks Discriminate in Lending'. 

The project aims at analysing more than 100 million residential loan applications in the US between 2004 and 2012 to study whether lending discrimination exist in the US against female, minority and Hispanic applicants. 
In addition, the goal of the project is to establish new facts on how such lending biases vary over business cycles when liquidity is in constraint, and how they vary across US states. 

Antoniades said,"Lending discrimination has adverse consequences for households, communities, firms and economies, even in advanced economies such as the US. With access to massive micro-level data on loan applications in the US, we will be able to provide new insights into lending bias that will enhance policy making." 

He further noted that such research projects offer students hands-on experience in research, policy issues, large data, analytics and programming, presentation skills, and an overall learning experience that goes beyond the conventional learning methods.
GU-Q Director of Research John Crist said,"Georgetown shares a common interest with UREP in promoting 'hands-on' research skills while engaging with topics of global significance and bolstering Qatar's reputation and capacity in the field of research. The student researcher will be actively involved in all aspects of the project and she will expand her toolset and skills in several meaningful ways over the course of this project."
Marafi expressed her excitement to be given the chance to work on such an interesting and important project. 
"I began the work for this project as part of my honours thesis at GU-Q and I am grateful to UREP for this exciting opportunity which will allow me to deepen my knowledge and skills even further," she said.
Through the year-long project, under the supervision of Dr Antoniades, Marafi will tackle various components of research. 
UREP aims to promote 'learning by doing' and 'hands-on' mentorship activities as effective methods for undergraduate education. In addition to a research-based education, participating students gain experience in team-based research collaboration with faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and other undergraduates or research staff in Qatar.

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