In the Media

Meena Antony
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QNRF awards $1.78mn grants to junior scientists

DOHA QATAR National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, has awarded grants worth $1.78 million to nine projects in the third cycle of its research funding programme for junior scientists. QNRF’s Junior Scientists Research Experience Programme (JSREP) aims to develop critical thinking skills and foster a vibrant research culture in Qatar by supporting junior scientists, both Qatari nationals and expatriates, in all disciplines. A total of 16 junior scientists have previously participated in the programme. This year winning projects are from four academic and research institutions. Four of the research grants were awarded to Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and two each to Qatar University and Texas A&M University at Qatar. Aspetar - Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital - received the final JSREP grant. The hospital is the first of its kind to receive QNRF funding for research in the field of sport and fitness sciences. The project will study the regulation of prolonged self-paced exercise in hot climatic conditions. The other projects range from studies on ovarian cancer and the use of stem cells for cardiovascular tissue engineering to research on pharmacology and medicine as well as telecommunications. The JSREP witnessed a significant increase in turnout in its third year, with more proposals received than in both previous cycles combined. The rise in interest reflects the continued spread of research culture in Qatar and an increasing recognition of its importance in building a knowledgebased society. Overall, 32 proposals were submitted to this cycle of JSREP, covering a wide range of research topics aligned with the Qatar National Research Strategy. The entries include proposals from six Qatari researchers, the highest number since the programme inception in May 2010. Commenting on the success of the recent cycle, Executive Director of QNRF Dr Abdul Sattar al Taie said, “As a result of recent changes in the proposal requirements and increasing awareness among junior researchers, the third cycle of JSREP has witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of participants and research proposals submitted.” Director of Programmes at QNRF Dr Khalid al Quradaghi said, This research programme is an integral part of QNRF strategy to support a scientific research culture and develop a qualified generation of junior scientists. The majority of this year submitted projects were in the field of medical and health sciences, with 16 proposals received and five projects awarded in this category. The remaining grants were given to two projects in the field of natural science and two in engineering and technology.
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