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Secondary school students win awards for QNRF research
Haya H Al Muhannadi
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Secondary school students win awards for QNRF research

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), in collaboration with the Supreme Council of Education (SEC), yesterday announced the winners of the latest cycle of its Secondary School Research Experience Program (SSREP) designed to provide secondary school students with research experience.

Eighty-one students, including 39 Qataris, were awarded prizes of up to QR 5,000 each for 48 research projects on a wide variety of topics, during a ceremony held at the Awsaj Academy. SSREP a collaboration between QNRF and the SEC is aimed at spreading a culture of research in the early stages of a young student's education.

Dr Abdul Sattar Al Taie, Executive Director at QNRF, said, "We are continuously impressed by the student research resulting from SSREP, and this year is no different, with 42 secondary schools participating in this cycle. There is a marked increase of 25 percent in the number of awarded schools, demonstrating a significant rise in interest amongst secondary schools in Qatar. It is also an illustration of the success our program has achieved in cultivating the Qatari youth's enthusiasm for research."

To further encourage research excellence within Qatar's secondary school community, QNRF awarded prizes of QR 5,000 to school teams that ranked highest for their research projects. The runners-up received QR 4,000 and QR 3,000 respectively for second and third ranks. Twenty-three schools were involved in the winning projects, with five of them receiving special recognition for crossing the 90 percent benchmark, on seven projects.

Commenting on the results, Dr Abdulla Al-Kamali, SSREP Program Officer, said, This program encourages high school students to actively participate in research, helping to develop a research culture in Qatar at an early stage. We are very pleased to report that nearly half of the awarded students are Qataris.

As a next step in encouraging students to actively participate in research, QNRF and the SEC will also collaborate to nominate a number of outstanding research projects conducted by Qatari students to compete for the next cycle of the Annual Education Excellence Day Award, he added.

QNRF received a total of 314 research proposals during the third cycle of SSREP, 307 of which passed expert screening at the SEC Curriculum Standards Office. Students were then given four months to conduct their research, after which 191 final research reports were submitted to QNRF, each then being evaluated by three independent experts according to predetermined standards. In the past three cycles of SSREP, over 820 students from 55 schools have participated in the program.

The winning research projects achieved an average score of 80 per cent or above based on their quality and relevance in accordance with criteria developed by QNRF and the SEC.

Yesterday's ceremony also marked the beginning of the fourth cycle of SSREP. To help foster a research culture, QNRF encourages all secondary school students in Qatar to undertake research projects. The Program also encourages teachers to help guide and mentor these young researchers.

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Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) – a member of Qatar Foundation (QF) – has announced the outcome of the fifth cycle of its Postdoctoral Research Award (PDRA).

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