Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has launched a new funding programme designed to support research-based PhD studies in Qatar by both supporting outstanding local students and attracting international students to study in the country, with an emphasis on distinguished Qatari students.

The Executive Director of QNRF, Dr Abdul Sattar Al Taie, said:

We are hugely excited to be launching the Graduate Student Research Awards, as this will give an opportunity for more doctorate students to participate in hands-on research while enhancing the creativity and productivity of research in Qatar’s universities and research institutions. We continually strive to encourage and support high-quality research that serves Qatar’s national needs and interests.’

The Graduate Student Research Awards (GSRA) is QNRF’s latest initiative to develop human capital in research for Qatar, and to push forward the creation of new PhD programmes inside Qatar. The award is designed to be highly competitive on an international scale, both in terms of the funding provided and the standards of excellence required to apply.

The fund covers basic and applied research in all fields of natural sciences, engineering and technology, medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences, creative artworks, social sciences and humanities. Successful students will have their tuition fees paid and will also be awarded a competitive stipend to the equivalent US $42,000 per year for PhD students. In addition, a generous living allowance will include travel, accommodation and insurance for international students and their dependents. Successful Qatari students will also receive a retention allowance of an additional eight percent of the stipend.

The Training Programs Manager at QNRF, Sunitha Shyam, said:

Students selected for the GSRA will be privileged to receive highly competitive funding when compared to other research funding agencies worldwide…Aside from this, students will also gain recognition for their outstanding merit which, in turn, could lead to opportunities to take a leading role in future research opportunities.’

Prospective students must show an interest in GSRA support when applying for enrolment in any approved graduate studies at a QNRF-approved institution. QNRF, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, has a number of other funding programmes available for research in Qatar, with GSRA being the latest. There will be two award cycles of GSRA per academic year, one beginning in the fall semester and one in the spring semester.

For the first cycle, the application process will start on 23 September 2013. The Request for Proposal and timeline updates have been made available on QNRF’s website. A public presentation, as well as webinars for the benefit of international applicants, will be held in October. The dates for these will be updated on QNRF website, social media channels and will be communicated to all applicants registered in QNRF’s database.

With the launch of this new programme, QNRF has also re-vamped its Online Submission System (OSS). As a first step, applicants and reviewers for GSRA will be able to access the new OSS before it is made available for all other programmes. The new OSS boasts a better-organised menu layout to facilitate improved access to the system functions used on a daily basis. With its enhanced user-interface, the OSS endeavours to simplify processes for both applicants and reviewers alike as it streamlines the channels for accessing relevant data in a single place.

For more information, visit QNRF’s website.