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QNRF launches new funding program targeting top postdoctoral scholars
Haya H Al Muhannadi
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QNRF launches new funding program targeting top postdoctoral scholars


Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a key constituent of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), has announced the launch of a new funding program called the Postdoctoral Research Award (PDRA). Supporting scholars who will work within the research institutes of QF R&D and other Qatar-based research entities, focusing on the four major pillars outlined in the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS).

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, through Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser's leadership, is committed to advancing education, research and social development in Qatar and the region.

Consistent with that vision, QF R&D strives to support the development of the highest possible level of research capability in Qatar, first and foremost among young Qataris and also among the best possible international candidates who can be attracted to Qatar for research training and careers. PDRA is a part of continuous endeavours to support these goals of QF R&D as well as address the research grand challenges of Qatar. This competitive funding program will provide research institutions with substantial funds to pay salaries and related expenses of successfully nominated scholars.

QF R&D has several other programs aimed at attracting young people into scientific careers and supporting their training and personal development.  One of the most recent additions is the Graduate Student Research Award program (GSRA), which focuses on supporting outstanding graduate students from both inside and outside Qatar to undertake graduate research-based studies towards Doctoral Degrees at approved institutions inside Qatar.
Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director of QNRF, said, PDRA is the second in a series of new programs to be launched by QNRF this fiscal year and joins a whole host of on-going funding programs. PDRA will be one of the mechanisms to attract outstanding local and international postdoctoral scholars to relocate to Qatar. It will provide them with invaluable work experience that will help them to cement their careers in research which, in turn, will support the demand for researchers at universities and research institutions in Qatar.

PDRA will provide each successful postdoctoral scholar with a highly attractive stipend, in addition to a competitive package of benefits. Qatari nationals will receive an additional retention allowance, amounting to eight per cent of the stipend, to further encourage the growth of a high-quality, home-grown research community.  

Elaborating on the eligibility for applying to this new program, Dr Abdulnasser Al Ansari, Deputy Executive Director of QNRF explained, “Candidates who have earned their PhDs five years ago or less from institutions, as well as graduating PhD students, located inside or outside Qatar are eligible to apply for this program on a competitive basis. PDRA candidates must be nominated for the award by approved local research institutions located inside Qatar.

As part of PDRA, successful candidates will be awarded grants for up to two years, with an extension of one additional year if required. They will also gain recognition for contributing socially and scientifically to Qatar's research mission, with the potential for worldwide impact.

QNRF-approved research institutions are eligible to nominate their current and prospective postdoctoral scholars for the PDRA, which will have two award cycles per year. The program has opened for applications from the 30th October 2013. The PDRA timeline and Request for Proposal have been made available on QNRF's website http://www.qnrf.org/funding_programs/pdra/.

In order to give details about the programs design and the application process, QNRF will be conducting two public presentations and hosting a webinar. To attend the presentations, please register at www.qnrf.org/~aRQc1 and for webinar please register at www.qnrf.org/~yPXRW

Public presentations:

First presentation: 9:30am on 4th November, 2013 at HBKU Student Centre, Education City.

Second presentation: 9:30am on 7th November, 2013 at Lecture Theatre, New Research Centre, Qatar University.

Webinar:

5pm Doha time (GMT+3) on 11th November, 2013
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