Eleven new CNRS scholarships to AUB Doctoral Student Researchers

Press release
Published November 5th, 2015 - 06:54 GMT
American University of Beirut
American University of Beirut

The American University of Beirut held an awards ceremony for this year’s recipients of the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at AUB. 

Since 2012, and based on a Memorandum of Understanding between AUB and CNRS, selected PhD students at AUB have been receiving three-year scholarships on an annual basis.

The Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research (or Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – CNRS) is a governmental organization which supports research projects in the scientific disciplines according to national research priorities.  The research it supports contributes to the overall wellbeing of the country in terms of its productive sectors, the environment, public health, and socio economic development.

Since the inception of AUB’s partnership with CNRS, AUB's Graduate Council has been coordinating the application process and awards ceremony with AUB's faculties and CNRS.  This year, the number of awardees was raised from 8 to 11.  With eight new students receiving the three-year award every year from 2012 to 2014 and another 11 doctoral students awarded this year, a total of 35 students have received this scholarship at AUB to date.  With the approval of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon, CNRS also raised this year the age limit for awardees from 28 to 30 years based on a suggestion by AUB.

General Secretary of CNRS, Dr. Moueen Hamzeh, AUB President, Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, and AUB’s interim provost, Dr. Mohamed Harajli, distributed the award certificates to this year’s 11 doctoral scholarship awardees.  Attending the ceremony were also members of the CNRS Board of Directors, Deans and Department Chairs from the various AUB Faculties and Departments, as well as friends and family members of the awardees.

The following doctoral students were awarded with the CNRS Scholarship this year:

  • Nadine Abbas; Electrical & Computer Engineering.
  • Assil Abou Diab; Civil & Environmental Engineering.
  • Abdel-Karim Ajami; Electrical & Computer Engineering.
  • Zainab Awada; Pharmacology & Toxicology.
  • Oula Dagher; Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics.
  • Najwa Hani; Civil & Environmental Engineering.
  • Carine Jaafar; Cell & Molecular Biology.
  • Johnny Nakhleh ; Cell & Molecular Biology.
  • Yara Rizk; Electrical & Computer Engineering.
  • Wael Slika; Civil & Environmental Engineering.
  • Hind Zahr; Cell & Molecular Biology.

In his word of welcome at the ceremony, the Chairperson of the AUB Graduate Council, Dr. Rabih Talhouk, said that “over the past three years, CNRS has contributed to AUB’s PhD programs a total of $280,000 in student tuition/stipend support. Now it supports almost ¼ of AUB’s doctoral students, not to mention the support CNRS provides for research of many AUB faculty members.”

Dr. Moueen Hamzeh in his turn announced a commitment by the Council to 14 annual scholarships to AUB doctoral students.  “I am pleased to indicate that AUB is one of our privileged partners in research activities in Lebanon.  Indeed forming 32% of the research projects subsidized this year by the CNRS within its Grant Research Program.  As for the Associated Research Units (ARU) program, AUB took part in 4 out of 12 ARUs.  This is undoubtedly due to the high quality research implemented at AUB,” he said.

In his speech, AUB President, Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, said ‘This is the kernel of science: The opportunity to have protected time to think, to learn, to write, and to excel is the fundamental underpinning of academic pursuit of knowledge.  In maintaining a vibrant scientific research community in Lebanon we prove to ourselves that we can make an impact in some of the most competitive fields in the world in everything from archaeology and history, to molecular biology and structural engineering.” “Our goal is to increase the [scholarship for research] ‘traffic’ so that our finest students can study, can think freely, and can excel so that we can continue to add the best value to academic thought, not just in Lebanon but in the Middle East.” 

Background Information

American University of Beirut

Founded in 1866, the American University of Beirut is a teaching-centered research university based on the American liberal arts model of higher education. AUB has over 9,000 students and over 1,200 instructional faculty members. The University encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to graduate men and women committed to creative and critical thinking, lifelong learning, personal integrity, civic responsibility, and leadership.

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