The stories in this newsletter attest to the momentum created by QNRF’s dynamic funding programs, but this is no excuse to relax, and with the announcement of the opening of the fifth cycle of the NPRP, QNRF has already re-engineered the application process, including the introduction of an experience threshold for researchers, as proven by their publication record.
So far, we have attracted high-quality research teams for NPRP funding, and it’s time to set more standards in place to maximize the potential of the funds. Meanwhile, we’ve made every effort to reach out to the research community with seminars and webinars to ensure a seamless level of application and participation in our programs.
As we make headway supporting seasoned researchers, we have also made considerable investments in cultivating scientific knowledge among members of the next generation, and the launch of QNRF’s latest cycle of the Secondary School Research Experience Program (SSREP) is an example the broad outreach of our funding programs. The first cycle of SSREP, announced at the end of September, saw awards go to students from 11 secondary schools around Qatar: 30 outstanding projects involving 48 students—of whom 23 are Qatari—were awarded certificates and 5,000 Qatari Riyals per participant.
In July, undergrad researchers benefitted from the announcement of more than 50 grants awarded through the 10th cycle of QNRF’s Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP), engaging nearly 200 students across six academic institutions in Qatar in "hands-on" research and "learning by doing" in the labs and under the mentorship of senior researchers.
At every level, QNRF is focused on continually improving standards, involving top researchers working at the cutting edge of science while catalyzing the production of a knowledge-based economy in Qatar. Through the pages of our newsletter, I now invite you to share in the evolution of our systems, as well as the fruits of our many dynamic programs involving scientists at all levels throughout the nation, the region and, indeed, the global scientific community.
Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie
Qatar National Research Fund