A team from Qatar University (QU) has won first place in Qatar National Research Fund’s (QNRF) 9th Annual Undergraduate Research Experience Programme (UREP) competition.
The top 25% of projects completed in 2016 under the UREP – a key capacity-building programme of QNRF, which is part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development were selected to participate in the competition, from which 13 projects were shortlisted.  
The four top-scoring projects, all from QU and covering a range of areas including biomedicine and health, engineering, and information and communication technology (ICT), were chosen to produce oral presentations, where each team gave a public presentation in front of a panel of judges.
The remaining nine teams presented their work in the form of posters, displayed and judged on the day of the competition.
Launched in 2006, UREP is QNRF’s longest-running programme. To date, more than 3,200 students have benefited from taking part in UREP, which gives them hands-on research experience under the guidance of university faculty and research mentors.
Noor al-Merekhi, programmes director, QNRF, expressed her pride in the teams, saying: “The winning projects are truly exceptional - they push the boundaries on all levels, and demonstrate the research talent emerging among Qatar’s youth.”
First place in the competition was awarded to an ICT-themed project from Qatar University. The project, entitled ‘Scalable Real-time Monitoring System for Medical and Brain Computer Interface Applications’, aimed to develop a scalable health system for effective, remote, and real-time patient monitoring.
Second place went to a project titled ‘Role of Adiponectin on Diabetic Retinopathy’. The team found that adiponectin, a protein involved in the regulation of glucose and fats, can significantly counteract the effects of hyperglycemia.
A project titled ‘Involvement of Qatari Undergraduates towards Conversion of CO2 into Solar Fuels’ won third place, while the fourth team of finalists investigated how to help Qatar find suitable water resources in a project titled ‘Enhancing the Quality of Produced-water by Activated Carbon and Phytoremediation for Irrigation’.
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