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Haya H Al Muhannadi
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QNRF grants $113.8 mn for 126 proposals

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) announced the grant of $113.8 million for the 126 proposals of its flagship programme, the National Priorities Research Programme (NPRP), in its third cycle. 

Executive Director of QNRF Dr Abdul Sattar al Taie announced the winners at a function held on Wednesday. The grant will be given to all the 126 proposals submitted by 14 institutions in collaboration with 373 institutions from more than 49 countries. The recipients were informed about the grants. 

The awarded proposals are in the disciplines of Natural Science, Engineering and Technology, Medical and Health Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Qatar University, Texas A&M in Qatar, Weill Cornell, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and Hamad Medical Corporation were the leading organisations in terms of the number of proposals as well as the number of accepted proposals. 

The QNRF also announced the launch of the fourth cycle of the NPRP with major changes and enhancements from the existing programmes. Noor al Merekhi, the NPRP programme officer, said the fourth cycle proposals would be given more fund and time. 
Exceptional proposals would be allocated more time - up to 5 years- and/or fund up to $5 million and beyond. The QNRF, in its first cycle, had awarded $25 million to 47 out of 175 proposals that had passed its screening. Its second cycle had a grant of $86 million for 93 out of the 482 proposals that had passed the QNRF screening. In the third cycle, an impressive number of 536 proposals passed screening and went through the peer reviewing process where 126 proposals were approved for grant. 

Dr al Taie presented all the statistics pertinent to the third cycle and described the selection process. He said, "This forum provides the opportunity to researchers and research offices to hear about the QNRF's latest initiatives, enhancement to existing programme. 
It also gives an opportunity to the QNRF to meet and interact with researchers." 

He mentioned that the submitted proposals were independently reviewed by up to five international peer reviewers and their selection was based on their research qualifications. The QNRF wanted utmost integrity and transparency throughout the submission and the review of the proposals. 

"The awards reflect Qatar Foundation's ambitious vision of developing research, and the QNRF commitment to fulfil that vision," he said. Al Taie also said that both government and private organisations were given the opportunity for submitting the proposals. 

The NPRP is an annual programme with grants ranging from $20,000 up to $350,000 per year (up to three years). It funds original, competitively selected research. It is the largest funding activity of the QNRF. The fund is open to both Qatari and non-Qatari citizens, within and outside the country and accepts proposals from academic fields. The submission of Letters of Intent (LoI) for the fourth cycle of the NPRP will start on September 14.

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