Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a centre of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), has awarded 33 grants to 127 undergraduate students in universities across Qatar, 44% of which are Qatari students.

The students are conducting research in various fields significant to Qatar’s development including social sciences, engineering and technology, humanities, natural sciences and medical and health sciences. The budding scientists – awarded as part of the 16th cycle of the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) – are from eight academic institutions in Qatar.

QNRF’s Executive Director, Dr Abdul Sattar Al Taie, said:

UREP serves an important role within QNRF’s overall mission to foster a vibrant research culture in Qatar. Providing research opportunities for young students is key for the development of a sustainable knowledge-based economy, which is why it is crucial to encourage new generations of researchers to carry out research in Qatar and equip them with the tools to do so.’

Among the awarded students is a team of researchers from Qatar University, whose research proposal seeks to assess the level of water consumption in Qatar and examine peoples’ awareness of water sustainability. The research ultimately aims to develop water conservation campaigns, particularly in arid environments.

In addition, a group of student researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) will evaluate the socio-demographic and psychiatric profiles of patients with psychosis in order to help design preventive measures and improve treatment received.

Awarded students from Georgetown University will be gathering statistics to highlight the most important reasons that prevent women in Qatar from pursuing careers after an undergraduate degree. The objective of the research is to provide recommendations to increase the participation of women in Qatar’s workforce.

An awarded team of students from the University of Calgary in Qatar will seek to improve teaching nursing in Qatar through developing means to analyse student evaluations of their lecturers.

Deputy Executive Director at QNRF, Dr Abdulnasser Al Ansari, said:

As long as we have young students interested in research we need to value them, which is why programs like UREP are so important. I am always impressed with the proposals that are submitted and the 16th UREP cycle is no exception. This cycle awarded 29% of reviewed proposals, and saw a 12% increase of awarded Qatari students from the 15th cycle. Year after year, these groups of students demonstrate their exceptional research capabilities and prove that there is a bright future in research for Qatar.’

First launched in 2006, UREP is QNRF’s longest-running program, with two cycles per year. Under faculty mentorship, students gain hands-on experience, an essential component of QNRF’s learn-by-doing approach towards undergraduate research education.

For more information about QNRF’s Undergraduate Research Experience Program and QNRF’s other funding programmes, visit QNRF’s website.