Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has streamlined the application process for the seventh cycle of its flagship funding programme, the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP). The application period will begin this month.

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

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

The NPRP provides grants for competitively selected projects in basic, applied, and translational research that relate to Qatar’s national priorities. Through this and other funding activities, QNRF aligns its funding with the Qatar National Research Strategy and its four pillars of energy and environment, computer science and ICT, health and social sciences and the arts and humanities.

Since its creation, in 2007, the NPRP has been a huge success, 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.

For 2013, QNRF has made it even easier for grant applications to be submitted by developing an online, step-by-step Grant Application Guide. Dr Al Taie said:

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.’

Over the course of the NPRP’s previous six cycles, QNRF, a center 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.

Elaborating on the revised format of the seventh cycle, Noor Al Merekhi, Acting Director of Programs at QNRF, said:

The changes introduced in the NPRP are 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 [US] $40,000.’

As QNRF further streamlines the structure of the NPRP, it has refined the roles of the members of the research teams. In order to consolidate expertise amongst team members, there will be smaller research teams and hence the grant will be reduced to US $300,000 per project per year. Another noteworthy change will allow researchers who are grant recipients under its Junior Scientists Research Experience Program (JSREP) to also participate in the NPRP.

A Letter of Intent, followed by a full proposal, can be submitted by applicants starting from noon on the 17 September 2013. Applicants must comply fully with the requirements listed in the NPRP seventh cycle ‘Request for Proposal (RFP),’ available for download from QNRF’s website, to ensure their submissions are complete.

Public presentations covering, the application process and highlighting the changes introduced in the seventh cycle of the NPRP will be held by QNRF in Doha on 23, 25 and 26 September 2013. For those unable to attend, QNRF will also hold two webinars, on the evenings of the 28 and 29 September 2013 timed to benefit international applicants in different time zones. Each session will be followed by a comprehensive question and answer session. To participate, register at QNRF’S website.

Schedule of NPRP public presentations:

Monday, 23 September 2013 at noon in Qatar University, Al Tarfa, Doha.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 at noon in HBKU Student Centre, Qatar Foundation, Education City, Doha.
Thursday, 26 September 2013 at 4:30 pm in QNRF’s offices on the 5th floor of the Tornado Tower, West Bay, Doha.

Schedule of NPRP webinar(s)

Saturday, 28 September 2013 at 5 pm and Sunday, 29 September 2013 at 5 pm.

For more information, visit QNRF’s website.