DOHA: The Georgetown University Qatar (GU-Q) has brought renewed focus on research initiatives the faculty pursue inside and outside the classroom.
“We’re helping build a strong, vibrant research culture in Doha,” says Dr John Crist (pictured), Director of Research at GU-Q.
“We’re doing that by exploring a diverse range of issues that affect Qatar, the region and beyond, in the field of the humanities and social sciences. We also look for ways to apply our research and scholarship to help meet local and global challenges.”
Grants awarded to GU-Q from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) have funded projects — independent and collaborative initiatives — pursued by visiting and permanent faculty members. QNRF has provided over $6m to GU-Q since the university established a campus in Qatar.
“Traditionally, the hard sciences — such as medicine, engineering, and business — receive more funding since these well-respected professions have a long tradition in the Middle East in the role of national development,” said Dr Crist. “So we have a responsibility to demonstrate the value of investing in social science research and the value of evidence-based analysis and policy for the social realm. We have to work harder to do that.”
One innovative GU-Q research project with major practical applications in the social realm is the International Islamic Bioethics Information Resource Project, which for the first time, has identified more than 1,500 writings on Islamic perspectives on healthcare issues such as genetics, organ transplant and reproductive technologies, in English and Arabic. QNRF funding for the project was through a three-year, $1,050,000 grant to the Bioethics Research Library and the GU-Q Library to develop these information services.