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QNRF Newsletter Archive


Majd Sakr, Ph.D. Giving Qatar a technological and entrepreneurial edge

Majd Sakr, Ph.D. Giving Qatar a technological and entrepreneurial edge

Majd F. Sakr, Ph.D., is the Assistant Dean for Research at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q). He is also the co-founder of the Qatar Cloud Computing Center. In addition to working at CMU-Q and Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, he has held appointments at the American University of Science and Technology in Beirut and at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. His research specializations include data-intensive scalable computing, computer micro-architecture, compiler optimizations, scientific computing, embedded systems, reconfigurable systems and human-robot interaction.

QNRF Executive Director shares insights at Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum

QNRF Executive Director shares insights at Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum

This November saw the second Qatar Annual Research Forum, drawing together researchers and leadership from across Qatar, and speakers from prominent institutions worldwide. Joining the speakers was QNRF Executive Director, Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, who shared insights on the dramatic changes that have occurred within QNRF and Qatar's research community in the five years of the funding agency's existence.

Secondary school program increasingly attracting students

Secondary school program increasingly attracting students

Secondary school students throughout Qatar are stepping forward in greater numbers to learn through their very own research projects. The unique opportunity to write proposals and manage investigations through to results is theirs due to Qatar National Research Fund's Secondary School Research Experience Program. In its second cycle, the program recently drew 273 letters of intent (LoIs)—a 55 percent increase from the first cycle—261 of which advanced into projects.

National Priorities Research Program: Steady into its 5th cycle

National Priorities Research Program: Steady into its 5th cycle

As the clock struck noon in Doha on December 6th, so too hit the deadline for National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) grant proposals from researchers in Qatar and their collaborators worldwide. Now in its fifth cycle, the NPRP attracted 1,460 Letters of Intent, which resembled the number from last year and thus reflected the stringent eligibility criteria put in place by QNRF to ensure the highest quality research output, according to Noor Al-Merekhi, NPRP Program Manager at QNRF.

QNRF invited to speak at 53rd annual National Council of Research Administrators meeting

For the second consecutive year, Dr. Omar Boukhris, QNRF Senior Manager-Award Administration was invited as a guest speaker at the 53rd annual meeting of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) held in Washington D.C. this past November. Dr. Boukhris headed a team from QNRF, attending the full event and returning to share the outcome with all QNRF staff.

QNRF invited to speak at 53rd annual National Council of Research Administrators meeting

QNRF invited to speak at 53rd annual National Council of Research Administrators meeting

For the second consecutive year, Dr. Omar Boukhris, QNRF Senior Manager-Award Administration was invited as a guest speaker at the 53rd annual meeting of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) held in Washington D.C. this past November. Dr. Boukhris headed a team from QNRF, attending the full event and returning to share the outcome with all QNRF staff.

QNRF celebrates Qatar National Day

QNRF celebrates Qatar National Day

The Public Relations Department of QNRF held a ceremony for QNRF's employees and partners to celebrate Qatar National Day and learn more about the past, present and future of the dynamic country. A traditional tent was set up in one of QNRF's meeting spaces at its office location in downtown Doha. Flags, food, gift bags, a traditional tea service and music of Qatar created a festive and warm environment.

QF's new President for Research and Development visits QNRF headquarters

QF's new President for Research and Development visits QNRF headquarters

Mr Faisal Al-Suwaidi, Qatar Foundation's new President for Research and Development, recently visited QNRF's headquarters in downtown Doha to meet higher management and senior staff in order to connect with, and learn more about, the funding agency's Programs and objectives.

Getting a clearer view of disease risk

Getting a clearer view of disease risk

 In 1997, a movie called Gattaca hit the screens and got everyone talking about what life would be like if you could predict a person’s future based on their genes. The ethical implications of precise genetic prediction would be massive, as babies would be judged harshly before birth. Research has come a long way since the 90s, however, and Gattaca is now more comic than compelling. Genetic differences, although precisely linkable to certain diseases, are limited in their ability to determine whether and when a disease will actually occur. The environmental and lifestyle variables are just too considerable and are where many researchers are focusing their efforts today.

Toward a more conscious approach to urban development

Toward a more conscious approach to urban development

Qatar is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. At the heart of the vision for the country's development is a decreased dependence on natural resources and an increased reliance on a knowledge economy. This vision demands much in terms of aligning infrastructure to support education and research. But more than that, it demands the right people to bring, create and transfer knowledge. Attracting them is one thing, retaining them is another. For the first time, a researcher in Qatar is putting Doha under the microscope to make suggestions about its development.

Involving robots in disaster response

Involving robots in disaster response

Killing over 230,000 people in fourteen countries, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Dr. Bernardine Dias, Associate Research Professor of Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, was a witness to the devastation, which impacted her both personally and professionally. Her work in the field of robotics from that point forward was in part dedicated to how technology can enhance disaster response.

Qatar-based learning styles study sheds light on key gaps

Qatar-based learning styles study sheds light on key gaps

Time for a lecture. The professor enters the room, sets down her folders and speaks to a hall full of students who are navigating the web, falling asleep, messaging friends on their mobile devices or doodling in their notebooks. The class is expensive and the information will impact their future. But somehow the students can’t focus. The professor, frustrated, leaves the lecture hall wondering why ‘kids today’ are so distracted, why they don’t care. But is youth and modern distraction really the problem? A team of researchers based in Doha says ‘not necessarily,’ and they’ve been sharing evidence to this effect around the region and Europe.

Welcome to this eighth issue of the QNRF Newsletter, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the launch of QNRF’s first funding program the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP). In such a

Welcome to this eighth issue of the QNRF Newsletter, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the launch of QNRF’s first funding program the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP). In such a

Qatar National Research Fund has committed funds, amounting to $363million over the past five years, representing only a modest portion of the 2.8 percent of Qatar’s GDP allocated to research annually, which clearly confirms the strong sense of dedication and foresight on the part of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Their aim is to encourage and advance research in all sectors, thus raising Qatar’s reputation as a knowledge hub and laying the firm foundation of the knowledge economy specifically outlined in Qatar’s Vision 2030.