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$1.5m awarded to undergraduates for research

Study on female corporate leadership, safer driving among projects

Gulf News

Manama: Grants worth more than $1.5 million have been granted by a Qatari fund to undergraduate students in Qatar.

The $1,570,088 grants from Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) are part of a programme that provides recipients with ‘hands-on’ experience conducting original research under faculty mentorship, the fund said.

More than 2,200 students have taken part in the Undergraduate Research Experience Programme (UREP), now in its 14th cycle.

“This programme has provided invaluable research experience to hundreds of undergraduate students over the past seven years, helping to build a research culture amongst young people in Qatar,” Abdul Sattar Al Taie, QNRF’s Executive Director, said as he congratulated the awarded students. “In total, UREP has supported almost 700 projects for basic and applied undergraduate research in the fields of natural sciences, engineering and technology, medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences, social sciences and the humanities.”

In UREP’s latest cycle, 128 proposals were submitted to QNRF and, after a stringent peer review process, 42 were granted funding.

The awarded institutions include Qatar University, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, University of Calgary – Qatar, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Northwestern University in Qatar and Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar.

However, it is Qatar University that led the awarded institutions, with 27 projects receiving funding for research involving 106 students and 44 faculty members. Texas A&M University at Qatar received funding for five projects, and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar received four research grants.

“Over 500 young Qatari women have participated in UREP so far,” Sunitha Shyam, Training Programmes Manager at QNRF, said. “We are particularly pleased at the level of interest the programme has garnered, given our mission to support young women in Qatar to develop their skills in science and research,” she said in remarks emailed to Gulf News.

The undergraduate students awarded in this cycle will carry out research on a range of topics relevant to everyday life in Qatar, including techniques for safer driving, methods for screening gastrointestinal pathogens amongst incoming workers, studies on female corporate leadership, and the history of Qatar’s cuisine.

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

QNRF is a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.