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Happy New Year and welcome to the fifth issue of QNRF's newsletter, which provides a platform for researchers to learn more about our funding activities and programs.

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In a short period of time since its inception in 2006, QNRF has managed to establish good visibility and has extended its reach within research communities both in Qatar and internationally. QNRF has completed three cycles of its flagship National Priorities Research Program (NPRP), which has provided more than US$230m to fund 266 research projects, involving more than 620 researchers, with approximately half originating from Qatar and the other half from more than 30 different countries. On September 14th 2010, QNRF commenced the fourth cycle of the NPRP, receiving more than 690 proposals. We expect to announce the awards in the second quarter of 2011.

The NPRP has developed an additional funding opportunity within the NPRP, the National Priorities Research Program - Exceptional Proposals (NPRP-EP) for proposals of exceptional scientific merit that require funds of up to US$5m.

Over the last four years, QNRF has implemented nine cycles of its Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) supplying more than US$13m in funds for 450 research projects involving 1,300 undergraduate students.

In May 2010 QNRF successfully launched the inaugural cycle of the Young Scientists Research Experience Program (YSREP) to fill the gap between the level of eligible applicants for the above two programs and also to guarantee sustainability of research in Qatar. This venture was well received amongst young researchers and institutions in Qatar, consequently QNRF decided to have two funding cycles of this program annually to provide funds of US$100,000 per year, per project and the project duration can be up to three years.

QNRF has recently launched the second cycle of YSREP. Candidates applying for funding under the YSREP program should be no more than 35 years old and are required to hold a doctorate degree or a terminal academic research degree in their field, with a minimum of two peer-reviewed scientific publications. The candidate should be affiliated to a local institution in Qatar at the time of submitting the research proposal and remain so during the entire duration of the project.

Additionally, QNRF recognized the need to introduce and foster research culture at an early stage for the new generation in Qatar. QNRF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Supreme Education Council (SEC) which paved the way for the launch of the first cycle of the Secondary School Research Experience Program (SSREP). This program allows secondary school students to gain hands-on experience in research methodology and ethics by implementing modest research projects which will in turn enhance students' capability to accomplish research at the university level with more focus and confidence. I am delighted to announce that QNRF received 177 research proposals from more than 26 secondary schools in Qatar.

I would like to wish all researchers the best of luck in their application to receive funds from QNRF as they join us in laying down the foundations of a research culture here in Qatar.
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  • ISSUE NUMBER 16
  • MAY 2015