QNRF Newsletter Archive

UREP announces competition winners and launch of 14th funding cycle

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First-prize winners at UREP competition
The fifth Annual Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) Competition concluded with students from Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) winning first place for their project which examined the effects of ultra-high pressures and temperatures on oil–based drilling mud.

The competition–a spin—off of the QNRF's UREP, which provides students with ‘hands-on’ experience, under faculty mentorship, as part of the organisation’s ‘learning by doing’ approach towards undergraduate research education—was held on March 27th, under the patronage of Mr Faisal Alsuwaidi, President of Research and Development at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

The winning project was one of 88 UREP projects completed in 2012. The team then presented their work to a panel of seven judges who ranked the project and its team on the quality of their presentations and the relevance of their data for Qatar.

Members from the winning team emphasized the importance of the scientific research experience they gained through the Program. Radhwan Al Saad, said, “As undergraduate students, participation in UREP was a very enriching experience for us at an early stage in our careers. This Program supports the overall environment for research that Qatar is promoting. The data compiled as part of research is a resource that the country can refer to in future years when they adopt different techniques for oil drilling.”

His fellow student participant, Mohammed Al-Jubouri, added, “Our research methodology and the interpretation of results were both very technical as we had to do an in-depth study of topics related to our research. The skills gained and the knowledge developed have expanded our horizons.”

Students from College of the North Atlantic - Qatar won second place for their research on antimicrobial properties of traditional Arab medicinal plants, with students from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar taking third place for their project to create a collaborative, illustrated publication based on the preservation of Qatari oral folktales.

Qatar University and TAMUQ students were placed fourth and fifth, respectively, for their research on the genetic diversity of endangered mangrove species and specific skills for Qatari secondary students to enhance engineering education success.

As he addressed the audience at the competition, QNRF Executive Director, Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie lauded the Program and its benefits in developing young researchers. “Over the past six and a half years, UREP has received more than 1,250 research proposals, with around 650 of them receiving grants from QNRF valued at a total of around 20 million US dollars. More than 2,000 undergraduate students have participated in the Program during this time. As we celebrate this achievement in undergraduate research education, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that today also marks the launch of the 14th cycle of UREP. Aimed at developing student capabilities in science and research, UREP serves an important role within QNRF’s overall mission to foster a vibrant research culture in Qatar”.

Registration for participation in the 14th cycle of UREP opened on 27 March 2013. Interested faculty members and students can visit the QNRF website or download the iOS-enabled QNRF mobile app for further details of the Program.

First place: Investigating the Effects of Ultra High Pressures and Temperatures on the Rheological Properties of Oil-Based Drilling Mud
Project no.: UREP10-012-2-004
Institution: Texas A&M University - Qatar
PFM: Dr. Mahmood Amani
Student: Mohammed Al-Jubouri

Second place: Antimicrobial Properties of Traditional Arab Medicinal Plants
Project no.: UREP09-010-3-002
Institution: College of the North Atlantic - Qatar
PFM: Ms. Susan Madzia
Students: Aysha Khan, Tasneem Syed

Third place: From Orality to Image: Traditional Qatari Narratives and Visual Media
Project no.: UREP09-016-6-001
Institution: Virginia Commonwealth U - Qatar
PFM: Prof. Patricia Gibbons
Students: Al Hussein Wanas, Felicity Ulmer

Fourth place: Genetic diversity of the endangered mangrove species Avicennia marina in Qatar using DNA markers
Project no.: UREP10-098-1-012
Institution: Qatar University
PFM: Dr. Talaat Ahmed
Students: Amna Hussain Babssail, Fatma Mohammad Ali

Fifth place: An investigation into specific skills requiring enhancement in Qatari high school students to succeed in an engineering education
Project no.: UREP10-091-5-027
Institution: Texas A&M University - Qatar
PFM: Dr. Beena Ahmed
Students: Souad Aqeel, Mohamed Salem Yacout
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