Five aspiring scientists took an important step towards building successful careers in research recently when they graduated from the Biomedical Research Training Program for Nationals of Weill Cornell Medicine–Qatar (WCM-Q).

Kholoud Al-Najdi, Fatima Al-Dasim, Amal Saif, Wadha Al-Marri and Shaikha Al-Abdul-Jabbar spent six months working alongside WCM-Q’s world-class scientists in the college’s state-of-the-art laboratories. In addition to learning a comprehensive range of research competencies, including practical lab skills, how to conduct clinical research and knowledge of research administration, the interns were also able to gain hands-on experience of biomedical research by contributing to ongoing scientific studies carried out at WCM-Q.

In recognition of their successful mastery of these skills and competencies, the interns were presented with certificates of graduation at a special ceremony held at WCM-Q.

Dr Khaled Machaca, Associate Dean for Research at WCM-Q said that all of them have been truly impressed by the dedication, enthusiasm and raw talent of the young scientists during their time at the programme.

Through the Biomedical Research Training Program for Nationals, these young people have gained essential skills and experiences to become outstanding members of Qatar’s new generation of researchers and innovators, as well as leading contributors to the growing R&D sector of the Qatari economy toward the 2030 vision of a knowledge-based economy.’

This is the seventh annual cycle of the Biomedical Research Training Program for Nationals, which was launched in 2011. To date, it has assisted 33 graduates to take their first step on the path to a successful career in research. The internship cycle runs from January to July each year. The programme expanded its interaction with the SIDRA Nationals Development Program this year by hosting two SIDRA trainees as full-time participants in the programme and four additional trainees who participated in the didactic parts of the programme. Close collaborations among different biomedical institutions to enhance research training goes a long way toward preparing the next generation of researchers.

All of the interns who completed the Biomedical Research Training Program for Nationals this year are graduates of leading universities in Qatar. This year’s cohort graduated from Qatar University, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and Texas A&M University at Qatar.

Texas A&M University at Qatar Chemical Engineering graduate Kholoud Al-Najdi spent six months at WCM-Q as an intern in Research Administration.

Transitioning from being a university student to a working professional can be intimidating, so this programme was the ideal opportunity to make a smooth transition. I got to work in a comfortable and welcoming environment as part of the research training team in research administration. Although the programme was challenging in the beginning, the team was always there to help me. They cared about what we had to say, always open to suggestions.’

Fatima Al-Dasim, a graduate of the Biomedical Sciences programme at Qatar University, participated in Clinical Research under the guidance of WCM-Q Professor of Psychiatry and leading researcher Dr Ziad Kronfol.

Being involved in this programme has improved my research skills remarkably. The courses of the programme guided me through the ethics of research, writing a proposal for grants, applying for Institutional Review Board approval, recruiting subjects, practicing lab work and analysing data using statistical software. I would definitely encourage graduates to seize this chance if they are considering medical research as a prospective profession. Joining the Biomedical Research Program for Nationals is an outstanding opportunity for any scientist.’

WCM-Q has now begun accepting applications for the 2018 cycle of the Biomedical Research Training Program for Nationals. Deadline for submission of application is on 5 November 2017.

To learn more about the different research training programmes at WCM-Q or to apply for a slot in the programme, check out this link