QNRF awards 33 grants to 127 students

July 21, 2014 - 2:11:56 pm

DOHA: Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has awarded 33 grants to 127 undergraduate students from universities in Qatar.

Qatari students comprise 44 percent of the awardees, QNRF said Monday in a media statement.

The award is a part of the 16th cycle of the Undergraduate Research Experience Programme (UREP).

The students, from eight academic institutions in Qatar, are doing research in social sciences, engineering, technology, humanities, natural sciences, and medical and health sciences.

QNF is a centre of Qatar Foundation Research and Development.

QNRF's Executive Director Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie said, "The UREP serves an important role within QNRF's overall mission to foster research culture in Qatar.

"Providing research opportunity to young students is vital for developing a sustainable knowledge-based economy.

Therefore, it is crucial to encourage researchers in Qatar and equip them with the tools to do it."

A team of researchers from Qatar University is among the awardees.

This team's research proposal seeks to assess the level of water consumption in Qatar, and examine peoples' awareness of water sustainability.

The research ultimately aims to develop water conservation campaigns, particularly in arid environments.

A group of student researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) will evaluate the socio-demographic and psychiatric profiles of patients with psychosis in order to help design preventive measures and improve treatment received.

Awarded students from Georgetown University will gather statistics to highlight reasons that prevent women in Qatar from pursuing careers after an undergraduate degree.

The research aims to provide recommendations to increase women's employment in Qatar.

An awarded team of students from the University of Calgary in Qatar will seek to improve teaching nursing in Qatar through developing means to analyse student evaluations of their lecturers.

Commenting on the quality of proposals submitted, QNRF Deputy Executive Director Dr. Abdulnasser Al Ansari said, "As long as we have young students interested in research we need to value them, which is why programmes like UREP are important.

"This cycle awarded 29 percent of reviewed proposals, and saw a 12 percent increase of awarded Qatari students from the 15th cycle.

Year after year, these groups of students demonstrate their exceptional research capabilities and prove that there is a bright future in research for Qatar."

First launched in 2006, UREP is QNRF's longest-running programme, with two cycles per year.

Under faculty mentorship, students gain hands-on experience, an essential component of QNRF's learn-by-doing approach towards undergraduate research education. (QNA)