David Edward Moore
/ Categories: Press Releases


Revamped Awards Designed to Drive Excellence and Enhance Qatar’s Human Capacity

Qatar’s new generation of scientists and researchers are being supported to embark on their careers and generate impact by two revamped programs launched through Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF).

Its Graduate Sponsorship Research Award (GSRA) and Postdoctoral Research Award (PDRA) – the latest cycles of which are now open for submission of proposals – have been embedded into QNRF’s unique Qatar Research Leadership Program (QRLP). QRLP aims to identify and nurture Qatar’s finest homegrown scientific and research talent by providing high-quality training, practical experience in collaboration with prestigious universities and research institutions around the world, financial support, and a gateway to opportunity.

Led by the capacity building team of QNRF, part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), the two tracks - QRLP-GSRA and QRLP-PDRA - are collectively designed to support candidates from graduate level, through postdoctoral studies, to their early careers, enabling them to play leading roles in advancing Qatar’s ambitious research agenda. The alignment of these tracks with QRLP – from which 52 young scientists and researchers have graduated in the eight years since its establishment – is designed to produce human capital equipped to underpin and sustain the nation’s research and innovation ecosystem.

“Cultivating a constantly-renewing homegrown pool of scientific and research talent is vital for Qatar’s goal of becoming a hub of world-class research and innovation, and integral to QNRF’s mission,” said Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director, QNRF. “Through the three previous cycles of GSRA and the two previous cycles of PDRA, young scientists and researchers have been immersed in knowledge and exposed to real-world research environments, providing them with the framework from which to pursue successful and impactful careers that bring tangible benefits to Qatar.

“By aligning these awards with QRLP, we are streamlining and synergizing the process which leads aspiring scientists and researchers to become key players in the advancement of Qatar’s research and development enterprise. The QRLP-GSRA and QRLP-PDRA tracks will nurture talent and enhance competitiveness, consequently driving excellence and equipping candidates with the greatest potential to create impact and ensure Qatar’s national priorities are identified and addressed.”

Through the competitive scholarships offered by QRLP-GSRA, outstanding graduate students will be supported to undertake research-based studies towards Master’s and Doctoral degrees at approved institutions within and beyond Qatar. By promoting such studies, it aims to encourage talented Qatar-based students to pursue careers in research and provide them with high-quality training that intertwines with, and supports, the work of Qatar’s research and academic community.

QRLP-PDRA is designed to attract Qatar’s top Ph.D. graduates and encourage independence in the early stage of their research careers. It offers highly-competitive fellowship awards, benefits, and expert mentoring, as it supports postdoctoral scholars to work within research groups focused on Qatar’s national priorities while providing Qatar’s research institutions with a pipeline of skilled staff and new ideas.

“Every aspect of QRLP-GSRA and QRLP-PDRA is designed to ensure that candidates achieve their full potential, and that their talent is recognized and realized for the benefit of Qatar,” said Dr. Aisha Al-Obaidly, Education Director, QNRF.

“These awards provide access to knowledge, experience, and opportunity, and support not only the candidates, but also Qatar’s research and academic institutions, through developing a pool of highly-skilled, dedicated, ambitious, and homegrown talent capable of seamlessly transitioning from study to practice,” she added.  “By combining the expertise, resources, and collaborative scope of QRLP and these awards, through this new approach, we believe QNRF will further elevate its contribution to building the human capacity that is essential to the development of a sustainable and diversified economy.”

The online proposal submission process for QRLP-GSRA is now open, with the deadline for applicants’ submissions being May 6, 2017, and awards to be announced in June 2017. The window for QRLP-PDRA proposals, which should also be submitted online but through Qatar-based institutions with approved research offices, closes at noon on April 10l, 2017, with awards for both programs being announced in June 2017.

For more information about QRLP-GSRA and QRLP-PDRA, including Q&As, full eligibility details and criteria, and downloadable information and application forms, please visit

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