Posted on May 19, 2011

Qatar University (QU) bagged $48.49mn out of a total of $121mn awarded in the fourth cycle of the National Priorities Research Programme (NPRP) of the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and became the best achiever among all institutions that submitted proposals.

The national varsity also topped in terms of the number of proposals by submitting 332. The success rate was 20%. QU also has 45% of the lead principal investigators (LPIs) from Qatar. NPRP, the flagship funding programme of QNRF, is announced annually to fund successful proposals ranging from $20,000 up to $350,000 per year, for research project periods of one, two or three years.

Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) was awarded $27.51mn, with a success rate of 32% from a total of 94 proposals. TAMUQ has the maximum number of LPIs, 70%, from Qatar. Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar received $14.46mn. The total number of proposals submitted was 42, and the success rate, 36%. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar got $11mn. The success rate was 32% and the total number of proposals submitted, 38. Hamad Medical Corporation was awarded $10.86mn, with a success rate of 24%. A total of 51 proposals were submitted.

The Shafallah Centre for Children with Special Needs received $2.39mn. There were a total of nine proposals. The success rate was 32%. Qatar Science & Technology Park got $1,049,553. It submitted three proposals. The success rate was 33%. Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar received $408,373. The institution submitted six proposals, and the success rate was 17%. “The average success rate of the fourth cycle was 23%,” QNRF executive director Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie said yesterday at the third annual forum after announcing the results.

NPRP is intended to support the overarching goal of QNRF, which is to foster a research culture in Qatar. The proposals are assessed on a six-point criteria: They are: 1) How original is the proposal; 2) How well conceived and organised is the project; 3) How significant is the research to advancing knowledge; 4) Benefit to Qatar; 5) Research team qualification; 6) How realistic is the proposed budget.

Points 1, 2, 5 and 6 carry a total of 20 marks each, whereas 3 and 4 have 10 marks each.

QNRF’s parent organisation, Qatar Foundation, was represented by vice chairman Dr Saif al-Hajari at the event. QF’s research advisor and QNRF project manager Dr Amer al-Saadi gave the keynote address. Senior officials of the institutions that submitted proposals were also present.

source: Gulf Times