The Office of Education, Training and Development, part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), successfully organised its third annual United States gathering for its Qatar Research Leadership Programme (QRLP) students who are currently enrolled in various undergraduate through post-doctoral programmes across the US. The gathering was held in Houston, Texas. 
This year saw the attendance of 31 students and representatives from Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). 
The main objective of the gathering was for the students to learn about research and development activities in Qatar and to discuss their academic progress and future career plans. Additionally, the meeting provided a great opportunity for the students to network and learn from their peers.
Dr Walid Qoronfleh from QBRI said: “It was a great QRLP gathering in Houston, where future Qatar Foundation leaders, bright minds, and ambitious scholars came together for scientific exchange and interaction with the determination to succeed and build a research culture in Doha,” he said.  
The Qatar entities addressed the students with presentations on the overview, objectives, internships, and research and development programmes. Also, selected PhD students presented their work to each institute separately. 
“Meeting QEERI-affiliated QRLP fellows provides a great opportunity to connect with the fellows, discuss their academic and research progress, and offer advice and support to their future plans. Additionally, it gives QEERI a chance to present an update on research programmes and advance and help them align their studies and research with Qatar’s national needs,” said Dr Marwan Khraisheh, the QEERI representative. 
In-line with the capacity building goal of the Qatar National Research Strategy, the gathering proved successful in guiding and providing suitable advice to QRLP students particularly in regards to their career plans. 
“It’s inspiring to connect with the future leaders in science in Qatar, the QRLP members.” Ahmed Abushaikha, a QRLP Post-doctorate at Stanford University, said. 
“I’m grateful for QRLP for the great efforts they put together to have these gatherings. They don’t only reduce distances by updating us on what is going on back home; they also motivate us to do our best to achieve excellence,” Kholoud Saleh, a QRLP member, said.
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