For our ‘Spotlight’ series this month, we sit down with Riham Daher, who joined QNRF back in 2007 shortly after starting her professional career and is currently the Director of Programs Administration. We ask her about her motivations, the role of QNRF in defining and advancing her career, and how she sees the impact of QNRF in the development of a thriving research ecosystem in Qatar. Read her interview below to learn more.
- What moved you to pursue a career in the research and education sector?
Pursuing a career in the research sector came to me by chance. I started my career in 2006 as a science teacher in a government school in Qatar and a few months later, I heard about QNRF. I was intrigued about the unique nature of work they were doing for Qatar. After learning more about QNRF’s mission, I decided that I want to be a part of it to witness Qatar’s development through research more closely and participate in advancing research and development in my country and beyond.
- How has your experience been working at QNRF and how has it helped you develop?
I joined QNRF as a fresh graduate in 2007 and you can say that my journey of growth began with that of QNRF. I started off by working in award administration, which helped me gain valuable experience and learn about QNRF’s programmatic goals, and gain a thorough understanding of policies and procedures of various grants that were developed inhouse by QNRF. Moreover, it developed my expertise in dealing with procurement and financial procedures along with the legal and regulatory environment in which QNRF works to successfully oversee award agreement creation.
I progressed along my career ladder till I reached the position of Post-Award Administration Manager in 2017. This experience helped me gain required knowledge about our partners and clients and issues pertaining to both pre and post award stages. I kept on pursuing valuable skills for managing and supervising impactful teams and collaborating with colleagues from various departments. These skills and experiences paved my path to be appointed in my current position of Director of Programs Administration.
- What is the most rewarding part of your work and can you share any achievement at QNRF that you are proud of?
I was proud to be given the opportunity to pursue further education by QNRF and received a master’s degree from Imperial College London, a world leading university, and this greatly impacted my career development at QNRF.
Getting selected to my current position was based on a competitive screening process among qualified employees within and outside QNRF. I am proud to say that my long-term experience at QNRF provided me with the required confidence to apply for this position and I was selected due to the knowledge, experience and skills I have gained over the past 14 years in working at QNRF.
- How has the research ecosystem grown in Qatar over your career and what role has QNRF played in this?
As I commence my 15th year at QNRF, I have witnessed the growth of a thriving and dynamic research culture that has supported Qatar in becoming a leading hub for knowledge creation and exchange. I firmly believe that QNRF has played a leading role for the advancement of research and development in Qatar. Furthermore, QNRF has facilitated the process of knowledge creation and exchange and research advancement at the national, regional, and international levels, while maintaining the necessary emphasis to address the Qatar Research, Development and Innovation Strategy 2030.