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QNRF hosts annual forum, to fund new research initiatives
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QNRF hosts annual forum, to fund new research initiatives

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) will launch new programmes as well as funding for a number of programmes related to the grand challenges of the country within the first quarter of next year. 

This was announced yesterday at QNRF’s 10th Annual Forum, attended by HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation (QF).

“QNRF will set up a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Lab hub in collaboration with Texas A&M University at Qatar (Tamuq), which aims to help students on STEM-related topics,” said executive director Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie.

 “We will also be launching a High School Research Experience Programme with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to provide hands-on experience to high school students,” he disclosed. 

“We are poised to launch funding for the thematic and grand challenges programmes. It includes several programmes such as precision medicine, cyber security among several others. We are planning to launch most of these within the first quarter of next year,” said Dr al-Taie.

“QNRF — a member of QF  —has helped develop a thriving research culture as it has formed the framework for a congenial research atmosphere in the country. QNRF has contributed significantly to the global standing of the academic institutions of Qatar,” highlighted Dr al-Taie.

During the event, QNRF announced the winners of the 11th cycle of its National Priorities Research Programme (NPRP) and the recipient of the Best Research Office Award for 2018. 

Tamuq received the Best Research Office Award at the forum for its outstanding performance in managing research projects during the pre-award and post-award stages. 

Recipients of NPRP included researchers from the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, QF members Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Sidra Medicine, QF partner universities Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar; Tamuq; Hamad Medical Corporation, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, and Qatar University. The NPRP is QNRF’s main funding programme, and the primary means by which it supports research projects that address Qatar’s national priority areas under the four pillars of the Qatar National Research Strategy: Energy & Environment; Biomedical and Health; Information and Communication Technology; and Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities. Its 11th cycle received 284 proposal submissions, 77 of which were awarded grants for research projects. 

“Our priority is to identify research projects that will positively impact Qatar through innovation. Year on year, we receive a host of submissions from researchers spanning the nation’s academic and research institutions, which is testament to the increasing homegrown research culture that QNRF aims to nurture and support. We look forward to assisting the recipients of grants under the 11th cycle of the NPRP as they work to make valuable contributions to the country’s research objectives,” explained Dr al-Taie.

Keynote speaker Dr Catriona MacCallum, director of Open Science, Hindawi, gave a plenary lecture on open access publication, open data access, and data management, as well as the challenges and opportunities presented by a global network of Open Science. 

This year’s Energy and Environment priority themes under the NPRP included research projects focused on solar photovoltaic systems, energy efficiency, water, and oil and gas. In the Biomedical and Health sector, emphasis was placed on diabetes, cancer, genetic diseases, and epidemiology. 

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