The American University of Beirut was recently awarded eight research grants in collaboration with universities and institutions in Lebanon and Qatar through the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The Qatar Foundation was established by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of Qatar, and is chaired by Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned. In its aim to advance knowledge, QNRF provides funding for original research and fosters collaborations between academic institutions and the private and public sectors through its annual program, the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP).
In September 2009, the Office of Grants and Contracts at AUB served as a QNRF focal point for universities in Lebanon and hosted a presentation on NPRP by QNRF representatives: Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, executive director; Dr. Nabeel Al-Salem, deputy director; and Dr. Khalid Al-Quradaghi. QNRF representatives also had the chance to meet faculty members and officials from AUB and other universities in Lebanon.
In the NPRP 3rd cycle, a total of 536 proposals were submitted for funding, however, only 126 proposals received awards. The submitted proposals were independently peer reviewed by up to five international reviewers.
Thirteen of the projects receiving awards were from Arab countries (other than Qatar); eight of the thirteen were awarded to AUB in the following disciplines: natural science; engineering and technology; medical and health sciences; and social sciences. The projects, which range from one to three years in duration, will begin in October 2010 with average annual budgets of $122,500.
The winning projects at AUB are:
1. “Controlling Use of Narghile Smoking: Testing the Impact of an RCT of a School-Based Prevention Program”; Dr.Dr. Rima Afifi as principal investigator, and Dr.Drs. Rima Nakkash and Ziyad Mahfoud as co-principal investigators. Faculty of Health Sciences at AUB in collaboration with the Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar;
2. “A Distributed Reconfigurable Active Storage Platform for Data-Intensive Applications”; Dr.Dr. Hassan Artail as principal investigator, and Dr.s Haitham Akkary, Hazem Hajj and Mariette Awad from the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture as co-principal investigators, in collaboration with Texas A&M University in Qatar;
3. “Optimized Energy Efficient Video Streaming Strategies for Wireless Networks with Mobile to Mobile Cooperation” Dr. Zaher Dawy, as principal investigator (Faculty of Engineering and Architecture) and Dr. George Turkiyyeh (Faculty of Arts and Sciences) as co-principal investigator in collaboration with Qatar University;
4. “From Fundamental Understanding to Predictive Design of Layered Nanomaterials”; Dr. Mazen El Ghoul from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with Qatar University;
5. “Zinc-Dependent Regulation of the Cell Cycle Regulator CD25 as Potential Anti-Cancer Target”; Dr. Hala Muhtasib from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with Weil Cornell Medical College;
6. “Targeting Leukemia Initiating Cells by Arsenic and Interferon Alpha in CML and ATL”; Dr. Rihab Nasr as principal investigator, and Dr. Ali Bazarbachi and Dr. Marwan El-Sabban as co-principal investigators, from the Faculty of Medicine in collaboration with the Hamad Medical Corporation;
7. “An Integrated Model for Evaluating E-Government Services Transformation”; Dr. Ibrahim Osman as principal investigator, and Bijan Azad as co-principal investigator from the Olayan School of Business in collaboration with Qatar University;
8. “Consanguinity Factor in the Genetics of Pre-Maturity”; Dr. Khaled Yunis from the Faculty of Medicine in collaboration with Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs.
AUB Provost Ahmad Dallal said: “This achievement illustrates the excellence of our faculty members and their ability to produce knowledge that conforms to the highest scientific standards, but is also relevant to their societies. It also underscores the value and great potential of collaborative research, which AUB aspires to cultivate in partnership with local and regional scholars and institutions.”
The American University of Beirut thanks the Qatar Foundation and QNRF for their support and looks forward to further partnerships and collaborations.