Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) concluded the most recent cycle of its Secondary School Secondary Research Experience Program (SSREP) in an awards ceremony recognizing 89 outstanding student researchers.
QNRF awarded the students for their projects, which covered a wide range of research topics and achieved an average score of 80% or above. The Supreme Council of Education (SCE) collaborated with QNRF to ensure the quality and relevance of the students’ research.
The ceremony was held at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar under the patronage of Mr Faisal Alsuwaidi, President of Research and Development at Qatar Foundation. Top representatives from QNRF and SEC were present at the event.
Commenting on the success of this collaboration Dr Abdul Sattar said, “We are very pleased to see a surge in both the quantity and quality of research projects participating in the second cycle of this program.”
He added, “Through SSREP and our other student activities and programs, QNRF hopes to spread a culture of research to every home in Qatar, with the long-term goal of helping the country build a progressive, knowledge-based society.”
Sixteen schools won recognition in the Program’s second cycle, with ten research projects receiving outstanding results by passing the 90% benchmark. The winners came from (in order of ranking) Al Ressala Independent Secondary School for Girls, Qatar Academy, Al Eman Secondary School for Girls, Al Wakrah Independent Secondary School for Boys, Omar Ibn Al Khattab Independent Secondary School for Boys, Al Sailiah Independent Secondary School for Girls, and Al Doha Independent Secondary School for Boys.
Dr Khalid Al-Quradaghi, Senior Manager of Programs at QNRF also commented on the occasion, “Going forward, we look for all secondary schools in Qatar to participate in this Program. SSREP encourages students to develop an inquisitive mind and builds their critical thinking skills.” He added, “These two characteristics are vital for the cultivation of successful young minds.”
QNRF has received a total of 273 research proposals from 33 schools across the country since it first launched SSREP in 2011. Of those received, 261 proposals have been accepted after screening by experts in the SEC’s Curriculum Standards Office.
Students were given four months to complete their research projects and submit reports to QNRF. Each report was evaluated by three independent experts per project, in accordance with the standards determined by QNRF. In the second cycle of SSREP, a total of 201 reports were submitted.
QNRF and SEC awarded certificates and financial rewards to the students and teachers who had worked on the winning research projects. The two institutions will also collaborate further to nominate outstanding research conducted by Qatari students for the Annual Education Excellence Day Award.
In its second cycle, SSREP saw rising figures across a number of categories. The number of award-winning projects increased from 20 projects last year to 55 in the current cycle, representing a 175% overall rise. The number of winning schools also increased, from 11 to 16 schools this year, representing a 46% increase. Forty-eight teachers won awards this year, a 78% rise over the 27 that won in the first cycle. The number of winning students also saw a rise, from 48 student winners previously to 89 student winners currently; an 85% increase.
Forty-three percent of the student winners were Qatari nationals, with 38 Qatari students among the 89 winners.
The ceremony also marked the beginning of the third cycle of SSREP. Details on how to apply for the third cycle were also shared by the QNRF officials at the event.