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Haya H Al Muhannadi
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QNRF announces results of NPRP's 4th cycle

Hosting an interactive discussion on research, QNRF announces its support of 145 research projects in all areas of research relevant to Qatar.
At its 3rd Annual Forum, Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, announced today that a total of US$121 million - a seven percent increase from last year - will be distributed among 145 research proposals for funding as part of the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) - the flagship funding program of QNRF designed to foster a research culture in Qatar.
The projects all lie in the following research areas: natural sciences, engineering and technology, medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences, social sciences and humanities.
Held at the Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel, the event was attended by some of the leading researchers in Qatar.
Since the beginning of NPRP's fourth cycle in September 2010, QNRF received over 1,400 Letters of Intent, out of which 695 proposals were submitted to QNRF. The 695 proposals were vetted by the Research Offices of the Qatari submitting institutions and then screened by QNRF, only 631 proposals were sent for external review by 5 international peer reviewers per proposal, culminating in a total of 3,155 reviews. After extensive analysis by QNRF, 145 proposals were awarded.
In this 4th cycle, 14 submitting institutions from Qatar in collaboration with 134 international research institutions from 25 countries, were awarded US$121M - an increase of 7% over the 3rd cycle awards. By funding such projects, NPRP aims to build upon human capital in Qatar and benefit the nation, region, and world through innovative research initiatives.
"We are very lucky, because we live in a time and place where we can watch the landscape of scientific research transform and develop in the right direction, thanks to Qatar's vision, its momentum, and commitment to the advocacy of knowledge and technology transfer at the highest level," said Dr. Amer Al-Saadi, Advisor - Research, Qatar Foundation, during his keynote address.
"The State of Qatar represents a shield which protects the march of scientific progress from the effects of the economic downturn. And this progress will be continual, because QNRF is transitioning into new stages across its various projects," he said.
The keynote address was followed by a comprehensive presentation on the NPRP by Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie - Executive Director, QNRF.
"Few nations provide such a strong support apparatus, like NPRP, to their residents for research," said Dr. Al-Taie, of the program which provides financial grants to both Qataris and non-Qataris, residing in and outside of Qatar.
"NPRP has achieved considerable success in attracting eminent researchers from all over the world. They can apply for the program provided that they work with local partners, given that effective partnerships can be formed with the 54 research centres that currently collaborate with QNRF. The main priority of the fund is to create research capacity in Qatar," he said.
During each cycle of NPRP, international practices of reviewing research are applied to all projects in the various areas of research.
In addition to the presentation by Dr. Al-Taie, Dr. Omar Boukhris, Award Administration Manager, QNRF gave a presentation in which he shared with the audience information on the latest technology implemented in the bidding and evaluation processes.
The 5th cycle of NPRP is scheduled to begin in mid-September.
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