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QF conference to offer opportunities to budding researchers

DOHA QATAR Foundation Research & Development (QF R&D) has announced opportunities for student researchers to gain valuable exposure at the Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference (ARC'13).

The conference will open its doors to young researchers to showcase their projects, network with peers and learn from the local and international research community at the Qatar National Convention Centre from November 24 to 25.

To be held under the theme ˜Qatar's Cross-cutting Research Grand Challenges', this year's edition of ARC'13 will bring together renowned researchers, experts from the public and private sectors, academia and budding scientists with the aim of finding solutions to the challenges outlined in the Qatar National Research Strategy.

The meet will provide national stakeholders and international partners with the opportunity to network, learn about and get involved in Qatar's latest research initiatives. The event will also feature poster sessions as well as stands for local and international exhibitors, offering all attendees an exciting opportunity to interact directly.

Executive Director for Education, Training and Development at QF R&D Dr Wyatt Hume said, œWe see in many of these students a strong talent that will propel Qatar to the forefront of research excellence. As a premier platform for local young scientists to gather, the Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference 2013 offers talented students the opportunity to develop, learn and fulfil their potential. 

Nearly 1,170 abstracts have been submitted and a total of 517 have been accepted. Of these, 125 abstracts will be presented by students at the ARC'13.

In addition to the annual conference, QF R&D is behind several capacity-building initiatives which aim to support and sustain a vibrant ecosystem of research and innovation in Qatar.

QF R&D recently launched its first PhD programme, entitled Qatar Foundation Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Energy Sciences. This competitive doctoral programme is collaboration between QF R&D and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), the first university to join the programme, and will provide its graduates with an excellent platform for a successful career in the field of energy sciences. QF R&D is also liaising with other universities interested in joining the programme.

An impetus constituent of QF R&D, Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), also runs a number of funding programmes aimed at providing opportunities for young researchers from high school students to graduates. It recently launched the Graduate Student Research Awards (GSRA), a new funding programme which will help to develop human capital in research for Qatar and to encourage PhD programmes inside the country. Its Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) and its Junior Scientists Research Experience Program (JSREP) are two of many other programmes which fund competitively selected projects in basic and applied research that relate to Qatar's national priorities.

QF R&D's Qatar Science Leadership Program (QSLP) aims to foster a research culture among youth in Qatar. It encourages young people interested in science and research to pursue careers in this field. The programme facilitates unique opportunities for its trainees to work and intern at research institutes such as Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) and Qatar Energy and Environment Research Institute (QEERI), and offers students the opportunity to study at prestigious institutions such as the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others.

Head of Research Training at Qatar Foundation R&D, who also oversees QSLP's programmes, Dr Ayman Bassil said, œQatar Science Leadership Program offers full-scale support for students interested in science and research where they can join our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

œIt is through the exposure to, and participation in, conferences such as the QF Annual Research Conference that students gain valuable experience helping them to pursue a career in science and research, a significant field on Qatar's journey to a knowledge economy. This year one of our students, who has participated in the past three editions of the conference, will be the first student in QSLP's Research Scientist Track to receive a PhD from Imperial College London, a testament to the huge benefits students can gain from these programmes. 


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