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14th Annual Undergraduate Research Experience Program Competition (UREP) Celebrates Student Researchers, Announces Winning Projects

The annual competition promotes hands on research initiatives and celebrates thriving researchers in Qatar

Press Release October 18, 2022

Doha, Qatar, October 18, 2022: Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a division of the Qatar Research, Development and Innovation (QRDI) Council, held the 14th Annual Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) Competition on 18 October 2022, at Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar. The annual competition aimed to encourage undergraduate students in Qatar to strengthen the country’s research infrastructure through participation in research projects led by their academic supervisors.

Students from Qatar University, Community College of Qatar, University of Doha for Science and Technology, Northwestern University in Qatar, University of Calgary in Qatar, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Carnegie Mellon University – Qatar, and Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar showcased their research projects on topics ranging from Environment and Energy, Social Arts and Humanities, Biomedical and Health, and Information and Communication Technology. This year’s UREP competition saw 43 poster presentations from eight academic institutes and five oral presentations from four universities.

Winning poster presentations were created by Yahia Boray, Hesham Zaky, and Omar Osman from Qatar University, followed by Maryam Al-Quradaghi, Tala Abu Samaan, Shamin Mahmud, and Asmaa Farah from Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar. Qatar University’s teams of Safa Kilani, Nuha Mohammed, Ebtihal Sharif, Aycha Dalloul, Mirna Abdelnabi, and Hafsa Alabdulhamed, and Yousef Mohamed, Omar Ghonim, Ahmad Madkour, and Eisa Al Mohannadi tied for the third place.

Almayassa Al-Naimi, Amal Alkorbi, Reem Al-Haddad, and Sara AlHemaidi from Carnegie Mellon University – Qatar won first place for their research project in the oral presentation category, while Fatima Al-Khuzaei, Dana AlYafei, and Leen Al Homoud from Texas A&M University at Qatar, and Shaikha Al-Thani, Hissa Al-Mahmoud, Yasmin Meqdad, Aysha AlKhalaqi, Fatima Al-Naimi, and Rouda Qasmi from Qatar University were awarded second and third places respectively.

Contending projects were evaluated on project significance, research outcomes, student learning experience, and presentation quality. The winning projects will receive funding from the UREP program to facilitate the supplies and equipment required by the students to continue and publish their research.

Poster presentations were evaluated by a panel of 17 industry experts, while the judging panel for oral presentations was composed of leaders from Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar, TotalEnergies, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and the Middle East Council on Global Affairs. The competition also held a contest for the Best Representative Image of an Outcome (BRIO), which endorses visual communication of scientific concepts and research in Qatar through art.

The BRIO contest received 20 entries and received more than 1,500 votes from members of the public and Qatar’s scientific and academic sector. From the shortlisted submissions, the contest was won by Abdulrahman Abushannab from Qatar University for “Microstructure of Sustainable Concrete”, followed by Dr. Mohamed Emara from Qatar University for “Stress Granules in Pluripotent Stem Cells”, and Dr. Yasser Majeed from Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar for “Aging Under the Microscope”.

Since its introduction in 2006, UREP has awarded more than 4,970 undergraduate students from universities across Qatar for 1,208 projects during the 28 UREP cycles held to date. A significant 1,105 UREP projects have been completed in the past 16 years.

Scientific research is one of the core transformation components of Qatar’s RDI ecosystem. The country is witnessing a steady increase in research projects and outcomes being developed in Qatar. Competitions such as the UREP, and the recently held National Scientific Research and Innovation Week, aspire to encourage and support promising young minds to realize their pivotal role as catalysts for furthering innovation and scientific research in Qatar, and ensure the robust longevity of Qatar’s RDI ecosystem.

These research-oriented programs further assist in fostering talent for the national research infrastructure and increasing collaboration between faculty and students to produce relevant research for innovative solutions development that address national challenges. To learn more about QRDI programs, visit the QRDI Council.


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