Qatar University (QU) in collaboration with eight other GCC universities, has announced the GCC-wide Universities Funding Programme at fostering collaboration between GCC higher education institutions, facilitating researcher and student exchange.
It also aims to provide an easily accessible platform for research training to graduate students and postdocs.
The objective of the programme is to break down barriers and create a genuine single market for GCC grant challenges, generate more research capabilities and expertise within the GCC and further enhance regional research networking.
It seeks to build national human capital in GCC; establish/enhance research collaboration among GCC universities/institutions; foster collaboration between researchers and develop research networks; optimally utilise resources, infrastructure and expertise to the joint advantage of the region; and build trust, develop relationships across institutions, learn from each other’s experiences, and help the region advance scientifically in a concerted manner to fulfil the knowledge-based economy aspiration.
It will also provide opportunity for collaboration among outstanding researchers and research institutions in the GCC countries and a vibrant cross-pollination research platform to students and researchers in the region by creating exchange opportunities.
With up to four projects expected to be funded annually, researchers from institutions in the region are encouraged to submit applications that align with GCC research priorities, including basic and applied research. Four priority areas have been outlined for the first round of collaborative proposals. They are: energy, environment & resources sustainability; social change and identity; population, health & wellness; and Information and Communication Technology which will encompass sciences, arts and humanities.
QU hosted the inaugural meeting on this initiative on May 19 during which three universities – University of Nizwa, American University of Sharjah and Sultan Qaboos University signed up for it. The meeting was attended by QU president Dr Hassan Rashid al-Derham, and vice president for Research and Graduate Studies Prof Mariam Ali al-Maadeed as well as other top officials from the QU Research and Graduate Studies Office.
Dr al-Derham said: “We have taken this initiative to expand our leadership role among GCC universities with the understanding that knowledge and expertise sharing is fundamental to solving regional problems and challenges as we aspire towards a knowledge-based society. We welcome every opportunity that enhances the uniqueness and distinctiveness of the GCC region in the area of collaboration in diverse fields."
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