Press Releases

Haya H Al Muhannadi
/ Categories: Press Releases

National Priorities Research Program exceeds all expectations

Following a large-scale communications campaign including public presentations, advertising and mass-emailing the National Research Priorities Program, the flagship program of Qatar National Research Fund, has achieved interest from researchers across the globe far in excess of projections.

A total of 206 proposals were received (involving more than 600 key researchers from 40 countries), 175 of which have reached the final stage of the funding application process having met the National Research Priorities Program application criteria. This figure is 6 times higher than projected at the feasibility stage and reflects the exceptionally high international interest in the funding program and the success of the communications campaign.

The 175 proposals have been sent to over 875 internationally respected independent assessors, ‘peer reviewers’, who are experts in their disciplines. Five reviewers will read the proposals before the shortlist of winners is announced in November. Applications were received for all research disciplines; engineering and technology, physical and life sciences, medicine, humanities, social sciences and the arts.

Applying to the National Research Priorities Program was regionally unique in being conducted as an online process. This involved creating an electronic submission form and applicant database. Usage of the website has far exceeded expectations with website visitors from across the globe and a total of nearly 190,000 hits.

This flagship program will be the largest funding activity of the Qatar National Research Fund and it will conduct one cycle of funding per year. The total amount available this year is US$10 million in research and grants can range from US$20,000 up to US$250,000.

The proposals must be concerned with research that will benefit Qatar as well as the rest of the region and elsewhere. To contribute to the development of human capital in Qatar, at least one scientist or "investigator" must reside in Qatar for at least the duration of the project. The Program has an additional objective of raising Qatar's profile in the international research community also.

Other notable achievements of the Qatar National Research Fund's first year include the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) which is entering its third cycle of funding. It has been enthusiastically embraced by the undergraduate community across Qatar. Qatar National Research Fund's workforce has grown exponentially to its growth in its first year from 5 to 13, including 5 Qataris; an above average of 38%.

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