Posted on July 21, 2014

Almost 240 fresh applications have been received by Qatar Science Leadership Programme (QSLP) for the eight and next cycle of its innovative course.

Following on the success of the seventh cycle, which attracted 243 leadership participants, the QSLP – a constituent programme of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) – has attracted an impressive number of executives keen to take part in its four programme tracks. QSLP supports and encourages scientific research in health, biomedicine, energy, environment, computer science, information technology, behavioural science and humanities through its various tracks.

The Research Undergraduate Track received 59 applications from Qatari nationals while the second of the programmes the Research Management Track received 25 applications from Qatari nationals. The Research Scientist Track received 148 applications. The Research Postdoctoral Track, received seven applications. In total, there are 239 applications.

Commenting on the growing popularity and success of QSLP, Dr Wyatt Hume, Executive Director of Education, Training and Development at QF R&D, said: “QSLP is already a very successful programme, enriching the human capacity of Qatar in research through focused support of some of the most capable young people in the country.  The programme will continue to grow in numbers and strength in the coming years, maintaining what has been a most impressive growth trajectory.

“Most young people in the programme will undertake activities that are closely aligned with the Qatar National Research Strategy, focusing on defined priorities such as sustainable energy development, water and food security, improved health in areas of identified need and cyber-security,” he added.

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“Others will develop their personal abilities, and therefore future capabilities for Qatar, in other areas of research that are broader in their future application such as social development and sustainability, economics and finance, and international relations. Therefore, the programme will play an increasingly important role in Qatar’s future through the contributions that all of its members will make to the society in future years.”

During the seventh cycle, QSLP hosted a variety of successful initiatives to support its members, including its first workshops for participants studying outside of Qatar. The first workshop held in San Francisco saw 30 students enrolled in American institutions and the second workshop held in London saw another 17 students enrolled in UK institutions. The workshops were created to support QSLP students in their scientific pursuits by helping them develop effective scientific communication skills crucial to their professional relationships and future careers.

QSLP also participated in the seventh Annual Career Fair for Qatari Nationals Studying in the United Kingdom. Organised by the Qatari Embassy in London earlier this year, the career fair supported hundreds of Qatari students enrolled in higher education in the UK by connecting them with various public and private organisations for potential employment and sponsorship upon graduation.

Notably, QSLP celebrated the graduation of its first PhD scholar during the seventh cycle of the programme. Dr. Ahmad Abushaikha was awarded a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from Imperial College London, having joined QSLP when it was first launched in 2008.

To date, 15 students have graduated from QSLP. More than 100 current Members continue to pursue their studies in various fields. Eighty-three per cent of programme Members are Qatari. The remaining researchers enrolled on the QSLP Research Scientist track are young scholars who are based in Qatar as long-term residents and have graduated from Qatari universities.