Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), has announced the launch of a new award – the Early Career Research Award (ECRA), an intensive research and research leadership development award for faculty members and researchers at an early stage in their careers.

The aim of the award is to support eligible applicants in the development of their skills in order to conduct and lead research independently, with the ultimate aim of contributing to Qatar’s overarching research and development goals. The award will also help recently graduated PhD holders and medical doctors to establish their labs and develop their research.

The award is designed to help bridge the gap between QNRF’s portfolio of capacity-building programmes and the National Priorities Research Programme (NPRP) - its flagship funding program through which QNRF seeks to support research projects that address the main challenges facing Qatar and contribute towards the country’s development. Awardees of QNRF’s various capacity building programmes are encouraged to apply for ECRA by the end of their award and further their research to play an active role in helping Qatar address its national priorities.

Dr Aisha al-Obaidly, director of Capacity Building at QNRF, said: “The Early Career Research Award extends support and guidance to researchers after they have completed their studies to help them build further on their projects and prepare them to apply and receive grant funding to advance their research.

“Building local human capacity and encouraging our local talent is crucial to build and ensure the transfer of knowledge as we help Qatar fulfill its technological, scientific, industrial, and economic development aims. Along with helping Qatar address its needs, this award will also encourage local institutions to employ homegrown talent.”

ECRA is open to individuals who are faculty members, researchers, scientists, and clinicians early in their careers and hold terminal degrees with two-to-seven years of experience and are determined to build their career in research. Applicants in the early stages of their professional research careers will work closely with one active and senior mentor in the areas of the proposed research to become independent researchers and build new, and enhance existing research in Qatar with a focus on Energy and Environment, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Computer Science and ICT, and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

Since its inception, QNRF has advanced knowledge and education by providing funding opportunities for original, competitively-selected research and development at all levels and across all disciplines. The ECRA signifies QNRF’s support for research available through and beyond all levels of education, with a range of programs offered for everyone including school students, PhD researchers and early career professionals. Through this program, QNRF aims to ensure a steady supply of skilled scientific and clinical researchers for Qatar.

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