Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a centre of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), has awarded grants totalling US$1,629,600 to four Ph.D. candidates in Qatar as part of the first cycle of its Graduate Student Research Awards (GSRA) program.
GSRA is QNRF’s latest program, created to further develop graduate studies by supporting outstanding Qatari and international students interested in pursuing doctoral degrees in universities in Qatar.
Four female Ph.D. candidates from Qatar University received the grants to carry out extensive research in the areas of urban planning, electrical engineering and computer science.
Impressed by the quality of candidates’ qualifications, experience, and their proposals, QNRF’s Executive Director, Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, said, “The calibre of the candidates and the proposals we received from them highlights the growing research capacity and culture in Qatar. We are deeply committed to promoting candidates with the highest potential to drive research excellence across all levels and disciplines. The grantees from the first cycle of the Graduate Student Research Awards program demonstrate that we are on the right track for building elite human capital in research which is much needed for the transformation of Qatar’s economy to a knowledge-based economy.”
He added, “We believe that GSRA is a vital addition to QNRF’s funding scope and, after seeing the potential of these candidates and their research plans, we are confident that the program will continue to encourage research creativity and productivity for future high potential graduate students – ultimately benefiting Qatar.”
Awarded Ph.D. candidates Emam Sabor and Simona Azzali are based in the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning. They will focus their projects on incorporating environmentally-friendly practices into urban development projects in Qatar. Sabor’s research aims to develop a framework to evaluate urban sustainability in order to enhance the quality of life and physical conditions of neighbourhoods. Azzali seeks to identify how huge sporting events can act as innovative catalysts and boost sustainable urban regeneration and growth. Regina Padmanabhan, a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering, has received funding for carrying out research focussed on improving overall patient well-being by developing technologies that optimise multiple drug interaction. Another awardee is Amal Al Mouhamed, a Ph.D. candidate in the Computer Science Program. Her research includes processing Arabic digital audio-visual data in order to facilitate its access and retrieval, and the production of new multimedia resources.
Dr Wyatt R. Hume, Executive Director of Education, Training and Development within Qatar Foundation Research and Development, said “I predict that many distinguished researchers, who will contribute to advances in knowledge in Qatar and elsewhere in the future, will take great pride in having been supported by GSRA early in their careers. I am confident that the four Ph.D. candidates to be awarded the grants will make significant contributions to the economic diversification, improved health, environmental sustainability and improved safety and security of Qatar and its region.”
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