British Council workshop unites Qatar and UK researchers
19/02/2014 3:18 pm EDT

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Aspire Academy today hosted the opening of the British Council’s Researcher Links workshop on Youth, Health and Sport. Researcher Links is a five-year British Council initiative encouraging international collaboration between young UK researchers and 18 countries from around the world. Under the guidance of established UK academic institutions, Researcher Links provides a forum where researchers can learn from each other and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research partnerships.

The first in a series of Researcher Links workshops to be held in Qatar, this year’s theme of Youth, Health and Sport brings together experts in Sports Science from Qatar and the UK. Participation in sports is crucial in ensuring the physical health of young people and there is much scientific interest in exercise as a preventative medicine in response to lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

The British Council’s Researcher Links initiative provides opportunities to forge new research ties between the UK and countries beyond its traditional academic partners. Over the next three days, UK researchers in related fields such as medicine, biology, health and physiotherapy are applying their knowledge to the specific set of challenges facing young people in Qatar. Through presentations, roundtable discussions and networking, participants will identify potential joint research projects in the field of paediatric exercise science, still a relatively young discipline in Qatar.

Director of the British Council Qatar Martin Hope said: “The British Council Qatar is delighted to facilitate this exchange between Qatar and the UK, which addresses an area of mutual concern for both countries. The Researcher Links workshop will create long-lasting relationships between individuals and institutions, and a strong sustainable network leading to joint research projects in the future.”

International collaboration has been shown to improve the quality of research, with citation rates increasing with international co-authorship, and higher productivity levels of internationally mobile researchers. Qatar has made a strong commitment to expanding its research capacity under plans to move towards a knowledge-based economy and the Researcher Links initiative will benefit research in Qatar and the UK through sustained interaction between the two countries.

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