Launching the Qatar National Research Fund

Shelly Culbertson, Michael G. Mattock, Bruce R. Nardulli, Abdulrazaq Al-Kuwari, Gary Cecchine, Margaret C. Harrell, John A. Friel, Richard E. Darilek

ResearchPublished Aug 21, 2012

Cover: Launching the Qatar National Research Fund
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This report presents an overview of the launch of the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) — the first research-funding organization of its kind in the Middle East — from August 2006 through January 2008. It describes the design and implementation of QNRF's first programs, the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) and the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP), including the thinking behind the programs, policies, planning methods, and decisions, and it discuses ways of learning from the first grant cycles and improving upon them, as well as early results from the programs. By 2012, QNRF had awarded about $500 million in research grants and had achieved international recognition, with two fully operational multimillion-dollar programs and the groundwork of a domestic research infrastructure in place. Through its programs, QNRF has also laid the foundation for a domestic research infrastructure in Qatar to support the growing research communities in Qatar University and Doha's Education City, home to six branch campuses of U.S. universities.

Key Findings

In its first five years of operation, the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) grew from a small start-up to a research-funding institution that had awarded about $500 million in research grants.

  • With QNRF, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) has taken solid steps toward achieving its goal of making Qatar a center of innovative education and research.
  • QNRF has done much to expand and deepen its policies, build relationships with research institutions, and refine its programs.
  • Much remains to be done — QNRF will need to make changes in programs and policies to better meet the needs of Qatar's research community and goals.


  • In light of a new national research strategy that is being developed, QNRF will need to carefully examine its focus, governance and management infrastructure, policies, and programs, some already planned and some as yet unimagined.
  • QNRF could benefit from developing further measurements of research outcomes.

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Document Details

  • Availability: Available
  • Year: 2012
  • Print Format: Paperback
  • Paperback Pages: 104
  • Paperback Price: $25.95
  • Paperback ISBN/EAN: 978-0-8330-5241-4
  • DOI:
  • Document Number: TR-722-QF


Chicago Manual of Style
Culbertson, Shelly, Michael G. Mattock, Bruce R. Nardulli, Abdulrazaq Al-Kuwari, Gary Cecchine, Margaret C. Harrell, John A. Friel, and Richard E. Darilek, Launching the Qatar National Research Fund. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2012. Also available in print form.

This research was sponsored by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development and was conducted under the auspices of the RAND-Qatar Policy Institute and the Transportation, Space, and Technology Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment.

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