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Fund streamlines research application process

Smaller teams expected to foster expertise, facilitate research

Gulf News

Manama: Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has streamlined the application process for the seventh cycle of its flagship funding programme, the National Priorities Research Programme (NPRP).

The NPRP provides grants for competitively selected projects in basic, applied, and translational research that relate to Qatar’s national priorities. For 2013, QNRF is making it easier for grant applications to be submitted by developing an online, step-by-step Grant Application Guide.

“This new, streamlined application process will ensure that the calibre of proposals remains high and competitive and, in turn, will raise Qatar’s profile within the international research community,” Abdul Sattar Al Taie, Executive Director of QNRF, said.

Noor Al Merekhi, Acting Director of Programmes at QNRF, said that the changes introduced in the NPRP were aimed at empowering the research teams. “To foster a research culture at all levels of our society, we need to encourage young researchers. With this consideration the tuition fees and stipend for graduate students, who are part of the research teams, has been increased to $40,000 (Dh146,884),” she said as she elaborated on the revised format of the seventh cycle.

In its bid to streamline the structure of the NPRP, QNRF has refined the roles of the members of the research teams. A move to consolidate expertise amongst team members included having smaller research teams and reducing the grant to $300,000 per project per year.

Another change will allow researchers who are grant recipients under its Junior Scientists Research Experience Programme (JSREP) to also participate in the NPRP. Since its creation, in 2007, the NPRP has been advancing the development of Qatar’s research culture and helping to bring about the creation of knowledge in new sectors to aid the country’s economic development.

“The NPRP plays a pivotal role in bringing together investigators from academia, government, businesses, and other stakeholders in Qatar,” Al Taie said. “It has also been extremely successful at bridging the gap between the Qatari and the international research community.”

Over the course of the NPRP’s previous six cycles, QNRF, a centre within the Research & Development establishment at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, has received more than 3,300 proposals and awarded grants to over 700 projects. Some 400 institutions from Qatar and across the globe have collaborated on NPRP research projects.