Six young Arab researchers from different universities and colleges in Qatar are already demonstrating their potential to change the world. They are the top scoring finalists in the second Undergraduate Research Experiences Programme (UREP) Competition, organised by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation.
The six student finalists are set to present their research work to a panel of judges to compete for first, second and third place, tomorrow. In all, 101 UREP student research projects underwent rigorous review and evaluation by a team of experts in the first round of the annual competition, which is now in its second year. The six finalists emerged as top place winners and are moving forward to the second round.
UREP engages students in projects under the auspices of faculty members or professional researchers and funds researches, which go above and beyond ordinary coursework during the students’ academic year. UREP’s aim is to promote learning by doing through hands-on mentorship activities as part of an undergraduate education.
All the QNRF programmes support the Qatar National Vision 2030 by helping to create a knowledge-based economy. They contribute to skills training and encourage participation of women in the workforce. QNRF efforts also enhance Qatar Foundation’s reputation for research and support Qatar’s drive to become a global science and research hub.
The students benefit, through these programmes, by being introduced to a graduate-school style education and acquiring specialist skills that will benefit them in their future careers. UREP is so popular that some students participate in their summer or semester breaks.
Some of the young researchers have already graduated. Others are completing their studies. All enthusiastically endorse UREP. “It showed me what work would be like in the future and how to be independent and self reliant,” said Hussein Jichi, who is pursuing a degree at Texas A&M University Qatar.
Asma El Emadi, a computer engineering graduate, said that it gave her a place to apply her knowledge. “It’s so valuable,” she said. “It makes students feel that someone cares about them.” Noura Al Hashmi said it was one of the best things that she had done in her life. “UREP improves your scientific skills and shows you how different minds and strategies can work together,” she explained.
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