In the fields of engineering and technology, physical and life sciences, medicine, humanities, and arts and social sciences, QNRF applies a competitive and holistic selection approach in its support of original research. Programs and projects funded by QNRF are submitted by researchers of all levels of experience, and across the academic, public, and private sectors.

Research projects that succeed in being awarded funding will have the potential to benefit Qatar, through their capacity to:

  • Enhance education and improve health
  • Stimulate innovation
  • Conserve valuable natural assets
  • Create intellectual property

QNRF's competitive research funding programs take two forms:

  • Unsolicited (or investigator-driven), such as the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP), NPRP- Exceptional Proposal (NPRP-EP) and the Junior Scientists Research Experience Program (JSREP).
  • Solicited (or top-down calls), under the Thematic and Grand Challenges Research Program (TGRP).


The National Priorities Research Program (NPRP)

As the flagship funding program of QNRF and the main extramural research funding activity in Qatar, the NPRP has funded more than 900 research projects since its launch in 2007 and the number of Qatar-based institutions benefiting from NPRP awards has now reached 65. The interest in QNRF funding opportunities has also been increasing continuously and reached 869 proposals submitted in the 8th cycle of the NPRP.

Junior Scientists Research Experience Program (JSREP)

JSREP will help to build human capital in Qatar by supporting younger scientists to initiate or lead their own research.

Thematic and Grand Challenges Research Program (TGRP)

This program offers calls that are designed to be outcome-focused in order to address the research priorities of the country. The calls have well defined research topics and each will have its own budget conditions and steering committee represented by relevant stakeholders. Some of these calls might also be jointly funded, either with the relevant stakeholders as with the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) in the Osra (an Arabic word meaning “family”) call, or with an international funding agency under an area of common research interest, as with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the field of infectious diseases.

NPRP- Exceptional Proposal (NPRP-EP)

Launched in 2011, the NPRP-EP is a funding opportunity for proposals that are considered
exceptional in terms of one or more of the following characteristics:

  • World-class excellence
  • High-risk, high-impact (societal, environmental, economic, or health)
  • Larger scale, multidisciplinary, with increasing complexity
  • Multi-institution collaboration, especially with stakeholders (public and private sectors)
  • Ambitious research and technological developments that require substantial funding and an extended timeframe.

The NPRP-EP is expected to contain these goals in a mixture that depends on the nature and the domain of the research. The application process starts by submitting an Initial Research Proposal (IRP), followed by a presentation for the idea of the project by the LPI to a panel of experts. IRPs that are approved will proceed to the next stage of full proposal submission and will then go through the extended review process for the final funding decision. So far, QNRF has received 44 IRPs in eight batches of submissions, of which 25 went on to be submitted as full proposals and eight awarded.

Path towards Personalized Medicine

A recent call addressing a Grand Challenge in the field has been launched in collaboration with Qatar Bio-Bank and the Qatar Genome Project (QGP), and is known as the PPM or Path towards Personalized Medicine.
The PPM call initiative is designed to support and benefit from the pilot phase of QGP and to train the next generation of young scientists in “-omics” technologies. It will support experts in genomic and genetics, working at research facilities inside Qatar and represent fundamental components within integrated healthcare programs to pave the path towards personalized medicine in Qatar.