A QNRF-funded team of junior scientists works on their project.
DOHA: Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has awarded three new research grants to ‘junior’ scientists, in the fifth cycle of its Junior Scientists Research Experience Programme (JSREP).
The three projects will receive total funding of almost half a million dollars over the next three years.
Two of the awarded proposals belong to Qatar University and one to Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. Each project falls under a different field of research, which are engineering and technology, social sciences and medical and health sciences.
QNRF’s Executive Director, Dr Abdul Sattar Al Taie, said: “By supporting these junior scientists and their research we are investing in Qatar’s future. The projects funded under the current cycle will help tackle some key challenges facing our society. Our programmes facilitate knowledge and technology transfer, which are essential for the growth of Qatar’s research capacity.”
QNRF funds two cycles annually of JSREP, which was launched in 2010 and has since received 70 applications. Successful proposals are awarded grants of up to $100,000 per project, per year, for a maximum of three years.
QNRF’s Deputy Executive Director, Dr Abdulnasser Al Ansari, said JSREP gives these younger awardees the opportunity to compete for funding and then lead their own reach projects and prepare these young researchers for advanced future research endeavours. Similar to the NPRP, awardees must report progress in their research every six months to continue receiving further funding instalments.
One of the two projects awarded to Qatar University aims to improve technologies for the oil and gas industries. The research could help minimise overall processing costs for the industry in Qatar.
Qatar University’s second awarded project proposes to dissect the urban structure of cities in the Gulf region into ‘places of flow’, including the flow of capital, people, goods and information. The results of this research will provide insight on Doha’s capacity and competency which could prove beneficial as Qatar gears up for the 2022 World Cup.
The third successful proposal, awarded to Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, will study the parasite that causes the disease toxoplasmosis, which affects approximately 25 percent of the world’s population. The research aims to prevent transmission by felines, the disease’s primary hosts, and to reduce the risk of infection in Qatar.