Qatar University Young Scientists Center (QUYSC), in collaboration with the office of Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (VPRGS), has instigated the opening ceremony of the first cycle of a research program called “National Science Promotion Program (NSPP)” on Thursday 9th Sept 2021.

The main objective of the program is to build and consolidate the research culture among the national youth. It is a promising initiation from Qatar University, aligning to the goals set under the pillar 'Human Development' that supports the Qatar National Vision 2030. Thereby, the program promotes youth empowerment in STEM fields & careers, through applied research.

To commence the NSP program, an opening ceremony has been conducted at Qatar University in the presence of Prof. Noora Al-Thani the Director of Qatar University Young Scientists Center, and Dr. Abdelaziz Bouras, Research Pre-Award Department Manager, ORS, Office of VP for Research & Graduate Studies, Members of the Qatar University Young Scientists center, researchers participating in the program, and students affiliated with the program. The participating researchers (NSPP awardees) presented their research projects to the high school students, so that they could understand them and choose the research that suits their inclinations. The number of students participating in the first cycle of the National Scientific Research Program are 12 students from 5 different public and private schools: Jassim bin Hamad Boys High School, Al Jazeera Academy, Qatar School of Banking and Business Administration for Boys, Zubaida High School for Girls, and Al-Araqm Academy for Girls. The participants were divided into groups to enhance their competitiveness so that each group works on different scientific research to solve a particular problem, and the names of Qatar 2022 stadiums were selected to be names of the participants groups in this cycle.

The program will give high school students the opportunity to work with 6 undergraduate students to enrich the research environment and enhance the learning experience. Therefore, such initiation would them to conduct scientific research under the supervision of STEM experts, researchers, and faculty members from the Qatar University, and equip them with hands-on training in laboratories using high-quality equipment and machinery. All these will eventually provide the students with a unique experience that will help them refine their research, analytical & critical skills, and help them to pursue their careers in research. The students' scientific journey will commence on 12 Sept 2021, in colleges and research centers at Qatar University, under the supervision of professors/researchers. Participating students will acquire many research skills such as writing, conducting research, critical thinking, problem solving, performing experiments in university laboratories equipped with the latest devices, and mastering the skills of making documentary movies and presentation skills. The students will conclude their journey on a final day to review their research and their most important findings and will compete among themselves to win the first places of the first cycle of the program.

The program had been initially launched in December 2020. And the winning projects of the research grants were announced on 2nd June 2021. Wherein, all the winning research projects have gone through an audit & review process by a specialized committee of researchers to select the innovative projects that confer great scientific benefit. The winning project proposals for the NSPP grant were “Toxicity evaluation of two surfactants with anti-corrosion properties on the embryonic development of zebrafish” by Dr. Gheyath K. Nasrallah, Collage of Health sciences; “The Effect of the Aryl hydrocarbon receptor Inhibition on the CTLA-4 Immune System in Colon Cancer Stem Cells” by Dr. Hesham M. Korashy, Collage of Pharmacy; “Application of Carbon Quantum Dots (CQDs) and Ni-Co-S (NCS) – decorated Nano sorbents for Wastewater Treatment” by Dr. Marwa El-Azazy, Collage of Arts and Sciences; “SIRT1, a novel potential target that underpin CD44-promoted breast tumor cell invasion” by Prof. Allal Ouhtit, Collage of Arts and Sciences; “Bio-sludge Atlas for Qatar: Characterization of bio-sludge from municipal and industrial sources” by Fares Almomani, Collage of Engineering; and “Silver grafted Ti3C2-MXene Nanocomposite as Novel Anode Materials for Lithium-Ion-Batteries” by Abdul Shakoor, Center for Advanced Materials (CAM).

Professor Noora Jabor Al-Thani, Director of the Qatar University Young Scientists center, expresses her pride, by saying, "The National Science Promotion Program, has been launched to provide a valuable opportunity to the Qatari youths to discover the research field and learn from specialist scientists and researchers at Qatar University, this aids Qatari youth to open new horizons of knowledge, to improve their scientific, intellectual and cultural skills. To experience scientific developments and contributing to the progress of the country." She added "The program is designed and on the basis of high-level standards in which the Center applied its long experience in designing and developing research programs, and the NSP program will pave the way for high school students to enroll in Qatar University and discover their scientific inclinations." Finally, Prof. Noora thanks the program partners, UNESCO Doha Office and the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science.

Source: Qatar University