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QNRF benefits 2,500 undergraduates
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QNRF benefits 2,500 undergraduates

(MENAFN - Gulf Times) About 2,500 undergraduate students from universities in Qatar have been supported by Qatar National Research Fund's (QNRF's) Undergraduate Research Experience Programme (UREP), a top QNRF official said yesterday. One third of the participants were Qatari. 
Speaking at the award ceremony of the seventh annual UREP competitions, Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie, executive director, QNRF, noted, "So far we have supported about 2,500 undergraduate students since the inception of UREP in 2006. Students have participated in 761 projects during the 16 UREP cycles that have been held so far with 656 UREP projects completed in the past seven and half years."
Dr al-Taie added, "It is not only an opportunity for the budding researchers to show their potential to the public but also an occasion to get recognised for their outstanding work. In the spirit of inclusion, the UREP competition also embraces wider community outside of the academic sector to undertake research in an effort to promote Qatari youth." 
"QNRF invests in and supports cutting edge research programmes to support the nation's vision for innovation and technology capacity to develop the country into hub of research activities. Facilitating research opportunities is a crucial part of developing knowledge based 
society," the official added.
Dr Abdulnasser al-Ansari, deputy executive director, QNRF, said that the projects submitted by the students are also evaluated by a QNRF team for feasibility and commercial viability.
He said, "If we come across any project that is feasible for any of the national projects or commercial viability, we study it further. If we are convinced that the project can be worked out with better co-operation and co-ordination with other entities, we try to develop them and support the researchers with more assistance and technical 
support." 
The official continued that each presentation of the competition is evaluated with specific criteria. The projects are valued on the basis of level of scientific or technological content, research experience gained by the student and quality or logic of the oral or poster presentation. 
QNRF was established by Qatar Foundation in 2006 to advance knowledge and education by acting as a support system for researchers and presently it is a centre within the Research and Development at Qatar 
Foundation.

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