Posted on February 14, 2016

Details of Qatar University (QU) Office of Academic Research annual report were outlined yesterday at a press conference in which QU Acting VP for Research Dr Darwish Al-Emadi and assistant director Ms Nayla Ahmad M Al-Thani highlighted the Office’s research outcomes during the last year.

Dr Al-Emadi noted that QU is recording remarkable returns on its investment in research with its recent ranking as No 1 in international collaboration in the Times Higher Education (THE) MENA Universities Ranking. “QU has become one of the fastest growing institutions for research in the region with a compound annual growth rate of 36.45%, based on a 2015 comparative study”, he said, adding that the institution achieved many research successes and undertook more than 450 research projects with 319 collaborators, which have resulted in 3,200 co-authored publications from 1,093 collaborating institutes.

“Our researchers’ published work has increased by approximately 246.7% based on the field-weighted citation impact, which is a quality metric maintaining a value of 1.17 in 2014, and 1.25 in 2015,” Dr Al-Emadi said. He noted that these achievements highlight QU’s commitment to Qatar National Vision 2030, and to the country’s stated ambitions towards a knowledge-based economy. He further noted that QU’s budget for current active grants and contracts was $141.5 million of which $48 million were awarded in 2015, with Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) providing 94% of the funding. “In the course of the last eight years, around 1,200 students benefited from student grants, and about 800 students were supported through university, start-up, and summer grants with QU spending approximately $14 million on these grants”, he said.

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Dr Al-Emadi noted that QU researchers were also provided with funding from several other government agencies. “Over the past eight years, QU has received about $22.7 million from agencies other than the QNRF in support of its various research activities”, he said, adding, “QU continues in its efforts to create an enabling environment that engenders research excellence by providing full support to its research community, especially with enormous funding opportunities. This highlights QU’s role as the country’s first national institution of higher education committed to advancing quality higher education and research excellence in Qatar and the region.”

In her presentation, Ms Al-Thani said that QU’s main source of funding is QNRF, receiving through the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) a total of $331 million in support of 414 research projects conducted by 1,514 key investigators, with an average of 62% of the lead principal investigators coming from QU. “This process involved a research support team of 1,734 people, as well as collaboration with 319 institutes, research centers and companies worldwide”, she said, adding, “during the past eight years, 1,668 undergraduate students from QU have benefited from the QNRF Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP). The University receives 55 UREP grants per year totaling approximately $1.9 million.”