Qatar University (QU) continues to strive for excellence through its efforts in education and research, while serving the local and international community, in addition to working through its methods to contribute in achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Besides the current challenges induced by the breakout of COVID-19 worldwide, Qatar University is continuing to support its research community with a total of 74 newly awarded projects for the new cycle. In addition, Qatar University continues its efforts to support its students in their research work by funding about 250 students each year, through different student grants.
The Research Support (Grants and Contracts) at the Research and Graduate Studies Sector in Qatar University organized an online event, on Wednesday 27th of January 2021, to announce the Cycle 4 Internal Grant Awards, with the Presence of Prof. Mariam Al-Maadeed, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at Qatar University.
The event started with a preview of the submitted grants. Globally, most of the programs had seen an important increase in the total number of submissions compared to last cycle, with the total reaching 267 this year (figure below).

As an example, the High Impact Grant submissions had an increase from 7 to 27 submissions with 6 awarded projects, and the Collaborative Grant submissions had an increase of 70% with a total of 18 awarded projects. It was shown that the College of Engineering (CENG) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) led the way by collectively claiming around 50 percent of the total submitted grants.

In terms of research fields, most of the submitted proposals were in the Health and biomedical Sciences and Energy & Environment research pillars of the university (figure below).

Due to the exceptional circumstances of COVID-19, the Office of Research Support established recently two specific short lifecycle grants, as part of an international research effort to deal with the virus and support the speed of rapid scientific research initiatives:
– The Qatar University Emergency Response Grant (ERG): provides a bridge support to new and early stage investigations. It supported 9 projects covering five research areas: basic molecular research, clinical research, social-behavioral research, infectious disease epidemiology and e-health.
– The Concept Development: Emergency Response grant (CD-ER): deals with the high demand for innovative solutions. CD-ER is intended to enable the development of innovative prototypes, processes and innovative platforms. It covered 7 additional awarded projects.
Beyond studying the virus from different perspectives, Qatar University researchers contribute to enhance proper protection plans and awareness, in addition to highlighting the role of the university in addressing such emerging concerns.
The International Collaboration, through the International Research Collaboration Co-Fund (IRCC), remains highly attractive with new submissions from Canada, Malaysia, Turkey, China, Norway, Poland, France, Ukraine, Italy, Australia, UK and US totaling 13 new co-funded projects. This year, Qatar University also strengthened its specific IRCC Strategic Track with Oman with 4 additional co-funded projects.

From the industry side, Qatar University has initiated the new “QAFCO Research and Development Grant” (QRDG) in collaboration with Qatar Fertilizer Company (QAFCO). The grant targets faculty and students from different fields of research, and supports QAFCO strategy in creating knowledge, contributing to enable Qatar becoming self-sufficient and building a knowledge-based economy to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030. The grant has dedicated solutions with high Technology Readiness Level in process enhancement, environmental studies, climate change adaptation and soil health management. QRDG supported 8 early-stage projects in its first phase, from which 2 projects will be selected to continue as one-year projects by mid-2021.
Qatar University adopts an ambitious research roadmap aiming to achieve the main and transformative priorities in the four areas of research: Information and Communication Technology, Energy and Environment, Health and Biomedical Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, and aims at keeping high standards in terms of support for its faculty, researchers and students.