Qatar University (QU) and Qatar Foundation Research & Development (QF R&D) yesterday signed an agreement to establish an interdisciplinary PhD programme in all fields of research.

The agreement was signed by QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad and QF R&D President Faisal Alsuwaidi, in the presence of Dr Mazen Hasna, QU vice-president and chief academic officer and Dr Wyatt Hume, QF R&D executive director of Education, Training, and Development.

The aim of the programme is to provide first-class training and education for outstanding graduate students from Qatar and elsewhere in the world. With QU overseeing academic quality and QF R&D facilitating a stimulating research environment through its institutes — Qatar Energy and Environment Institute, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute and Qatar Computing Research Institute — the programme will serve as a platform from which graduates can launch globally-successful research careers in Qatar.

Prof al-Misnad said: “This agreement highlights the spirit of collaboration that will optimally serve students at the most advanced levels of their academic journey. It also serves towards the realisation of the values and objectives outlined in Qatar National Vision 2030, the development strategies and the Qatarisation initiatives.”

Alsuwaidi said: “Formalising this programme agreement with our colleagues at Qatar University is a very important milestone in building the much-required human capacity for research in Qatar.  We value their expertise highly and look forward to collaborative engagement with their students and faculty, as we work together to address Qatar’s most pressing needs and research challenges in the area of energy and environment, health, computing and information technology as well as social sciences.”             

Structured on the Max Planck model, the programme will employ and support students and facilitate their research in collaboration with a QF R&D research institute.

The students enrolled in the programme will first be employed as research associates by Qatar Foundation in the research development category of employment and will then go on to be enrolled at an academically-accredited partner university. 

All scientific work will be conducted in collaboration with QF R&D institutes or their affiliated institutions and will conform to their standards of good scientific practice. Students will complete a PhD dissertation and follow a curriculum that provides additional personal training, outreach and research skills in addition to other activities relevant to a career in scientific research.

On completion of the programme in three or no more than four years, students will be awarded a PhD degree by a formally-affiliated and academically-accredited university partner.