The initiative will foster cooperative research among UAE and US researchers with shared priorities related to infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. Photo used for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: In a move set to provide a boost to Dubai’s scientific research capabilities, Al Jalila Foundation, together with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and three UAE universities have announced the establishment of the UAE-NIH Collaborative Research Initiative (UAE-NIH-CRI).

Al Jalila Foundation is a non-profit healthcare organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical innovation. The UAE universities participating in the collaborative initiative include Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Khalifa University, and UAE University. The partnership between Dubai’s Al Jalila Foundation, NIH, and three of the UAE’s most reputable academic institutions is the first of its kind in the Arab world.

Dh14 million fund

The UAE-NIH-CRI will support ongoing and new meritorious UAE-US research cooperation. It will foster cooperative research among UAE and US researchers with shared priorities related to infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. The initiative will also boost the UAE’s capacity in biomedical research through scientific training opportunities, with the partner organisations contributing combined funding of almost Dh14 million over three years.

The UAE-NIH-CRI is expected to fund up to six meritorious awards over three years to support pioneering research collaborations among UAE and US scientists, bringing the brightest minds together. A request soliciting proposals from researchers for the UAE-NIH-CRI awards was released on August 31 by CRDF Global, an independent non-profit organisation. The application deadline is December 16. Grant recipients will be announced in the spring or early summer of 2023.

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Merit-based funding

A council representing the five participating organisations will oversee the UAE-NIH-CRI, review the scientific merit of applications, make funding recommendations, and review progress reports. The merit review process will be handled independently by a panel of experts.

While announcing the initiative, Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Science has no borders and will flourish through global collaboration, knowledge transfer, and continuous innovation. Our vision is to foster world-class medical research to deliver medical breakthroughs. This partnership will further enhance our efforts to advance scientific discovery and be a leader in medical innovation. We are confident that our work together will promote better health outcomes and improve patients’ quality of life.”

Dr Abdulkareem encouraged researchers in the UAE and the US to work together to apply for collaborative research funding.