Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) recently held a high-level event exploring pathways for developing human capital, essential in building a sustainable knowledge-based future for Qatar.
Representatives from ministries, research institutes and universities attending QF R&D’s Human Capacity Development Workshop, discussed existing initiatives and programmes to widen Qatar’s R&D talent pool. The event also examined the key challenges and priorities for this area, and potential solutions and enhancements.
The workshop addressed the need for the continuing development of Qatar’s human capital in research and development, one of the primary objectives of the Qatar National Research Strategy.
By bringing together entities and institutions with a diverse research and education scope and shared goals, the event aimed to identify common areas of interest and focus to address gaps in capacity-building provision, nurture and retain high-calibre researchers and scientists, and bolster Qatar’s workforce and the nation’s research culture.
In a roundtable discussion, stakeholders outlined their capacity-building programmes, initiatives, insights and suggestions. The workshop provided an overview of Qatar Research Leadership Programme – a unique QF R&D initiative dedicated to developing homegrown scientific research and research management talent in Qatar – and the capacity-building sponsorship programmes of Qatar National Research Fund, also part of QF R&D.
“By providing a forum for key stakeholders to discuss education and training needs relating to the development of human capacity in Qatar, Qatar Foundation Research and Development aims to enhance understanding of the landscape of provision in this area, so that gaps can be identified and addressed,” said Dr Dirar Khoury, executive director, Research Co-ordination and Special Initiatives, and acting executive director, Education, Training, and Development, QF R&D.
The workshop also highlighted that the number of researchers in Qatar increased twenty fold between 2008 and 2015, to about 1,600, including more than 250 Qatari researchers. It emphasised the need for continued investment in the development of human capacity in research and development to underpin Qatar’s economic growth and diversification and build the high-calibre workforce required to sustain a successful knowledge-based society.
“Through this workshop, QF R&D has provided a valuable opportunity for stakeholders who have a pivotal role in nurturing and enhancing Qatar’s human capital to share knowledge, exchange ideas and perspectives, and develop a comprehensive and holistic understanding of our capacity-building status and needs,” said Dr Khaled al-Horr, director of the Higher Education Institute, Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
Based on the workshop’s discussions and analysis of gaps in provision, participating stakeholders will review their existing capacity-building programmes, with a view to introducing new, synergetic mechanisms for supporting young people in pursuing successful and rewarding careers in research and development, and ensuring the continuing development of Qatar’s human capacity in this field.
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