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QRLP STUDENTS AT US UNIVERSITIES DISCUSS THEIR PROGRESS AND FOCUS ON THE FUTURE AT FOURTH ANNUAL GATHERING
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QRLP STUDENTS AT US UNIVERSITIES DISCUSS THEIR PROGRESS AND FOCUS ON THE FUTURE AT FOURTH ANNUAL GATHERING

US-based students enrolled in a Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) program that is nurturing a new generation of Qatari scientific talent have discussed their future plans, and learned about how they can align their goals with the nation’s research focus, at the initiative’s fourth annual gathering.

The three-day event in Miami saw 34 students who, through the Qatar Research Leadership Program (QRLP), are pursuing studies from undergraduate to postdoctoral level at top US universities meet representatives of Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), part of QF R&D; and the three research institutes of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation.

The gathering allowed students to learn about current research and development activities in Qatar and the nation’s strategic objectives for research, and to discuss their academic progress and aspirations for the future. It also provided an opportunity for them to network with their peers, sharing their QRLP experiences and stories from their time in the US.

Students attended presentations from QF R&D’s Office of Education, Training and Development (OETD), Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, and Dr Michael Reksulak, Director, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, QNRF, who also held a workshop for students on QRLP’s Research Undergraduate track on how to maximize opportunities while studying abroad. In a further workshop for students on QRLP’s Research Scientist track, John McEntire, Director of IP Commercialization, Office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, QF R&D, outlined the background to, and importance of, intellectual property (IP) in today’s R&D ecosystem.

The event also enabled students to hold presentations on their own work and have individual meetings with representatives from QNRF and HBKU’s research institutes, with the aim of supporting them in defining their future path in science and research and making the greatest possible contribution to Qatar’s R&D enterprise.

Speaking to the QRLP students attending the gathering, Dr Aisha Al Obaidly, Education Director, QF R&D, explained how QF R&D’s capacity-building programs, including those of QNRF, are increasingly focusing on Qatar’s national research agenda, innovation, IP, and entrepreneurship.

“We’re transforming the way we operate to continuously improve our ability to develop the capabilities of Qatar’s people and institutions, in order build and maintain a competitive and diversified economy that establishes Qatar as a knowledge-based economy,” she said.

“Our employees and partners have continued to meet the challenges of our field, and to excel. We should all be very proud of where we are today, and excited about where we are headed. We will continue to meet inspired people, and bring them together in forums like this, to ensure our organization remains at the cutting-edge.”

“To our students, we provide you with every aspect of support that you will need throughout your studies, in the hope that you will ultimately contribute to expanding Qatar’s pool of homegrown scientific talent and positioning Qatar as a leading center for research and development excellence and innovation.”

A unique program, held in collaboration with the world’s most prestigious and established universities and institutions, QRLP is designed to support Qatari nationals who are dedicated to pursuing careers in science and research across a wide range of areas. Comprising four tracks – Research Undergraduate, Research Scientist, Research Postdoctoral, and Research Management - it aims to produce a pool of homegrown talent in this field capable of steering Qatar’s research agenda and enhancing its human capacity.

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