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Meena Antony
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QNRF awards research grants for junior scientists

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, has announced the results of the third cycle of its research funding Program for junior scientists. QNRF’s Junior Scientists Research Experience Program (JSREP) aims to develop critical thinking skills and foster a vibrant research culture in Qatar by supporting junior scientists, both Qatari nationals and other residents, in all disciplines. A total of 16 junior scientists have previously participated in the Program. This year, grants worth a total of $1.78 million have been awarded to nine winning projects from four academic and research institutions. Four of the research grants were awarded to Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, and two each to Qatar University and Texas A&M University at Qatar. ASPETAR – Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital received the final JSREP grant, the first of its kind to receive QNRF funding, for research in the field of sport and fitness sciences. The project will study the regulation of prolonged self-paced exercise in hot climatic conditions. Covering a range of critical issues for the State of Qatar, other funded projects range from studies on ovarian cancer and the use of stem cells for cardiovascular tissue engineering, to research on pharmacology and medicine, and telecommunications. The Program witnessed a significant increase in turnout for its third year, with more proposals received this time around than in both previous cycles combined. This rise in interest reflects the continued spread of research culture in Qatar, and an increasing recognition of its importance in building a knowledge-based society. Overall, 32 proposals were submitted to this cycle of JSREP, covering a wide range of research topics, aligned with the Qatar National Research Strategy. Submissions from six Qatari researchers were received, the highest number since the programme inception in May 2010. Commenting on the success of the most recent cycle, Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director of QNRF, noted, “As a result of recent changes in the proposal requirements and increasing awareness among junior researchers, the third cycle of JSREP has witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of participants and of research proposals submitted.” Dr Khalid Al-Quradaghi, Director of Programs at QNRF, said, This research Program is an integral part of QNRF strategy to support a scientific research culture and develop a qualified generation of junior scientists. The majority of this year submitted projects were in the field of medical and health sciences, with 16 proposals received and five projects awarded in this category. The remaining grants were given to two projects in the field of natural science, and two in engineering and technology. For more information on Junior Scientists Research Experience Program, please visit: www.qnrf.org/funding_programs/jsrep.
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Breakthrough in use of recycled, local materials in construction

A research project has identified the main solid waste streams in Qatar for potential use in construction and investigated advanced technologies for recycling that could be effectively applied in the country. In a statement, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) said it was awarded the project by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) regarding the implementation of recycled materials in construction.

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Executive Director’s Message

Welcome to the sixth edition of QNRF’s newsletter, ‘Research Matters’. For over the past three months, we have been working from home as per the instructions of the Government of Qatar to control the spread of COVID-19. However, it is still business as usual at QNRF, and though separated by distance, our staff has been working together diligently under our guiding mission of enabling research excellence in Qatar and improving the standard of life, education, and health for its citizens and residents.

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