The DI was awarded 3 research grants from Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) programs during Qatar Foundation's recently held Annual Research Conference at the Qatar National Convention Center. This achievement was made with a success rate exceeding double the overall competition average.
The DI was awarded two 3 year grants through the 9th cycle of the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP). The first grant is for a project titled: "School Experience, Educational Aspirations and Scholastic Achievement." The project will be led by Dr. Nabil Khattab, Associate Professor of Sociology at the DI in collaboration with researchers from Qatar University, Bristol University (UK) and Kingston University (UK). Commenting on this achievement, Dr. Nabil Khattab said: "We are aware that there is no significant correlation between wealth and school performance of Qatari students as demonstrated by the results of the Program for International Assessment (PISA). We will examine some important questions, such as: Why do students in Qatar not perform well in these international tests? What explains the general underperformance of students in Qatar? Moreover, our study will examine the impact of family backgrounds, parents' expectations and involvement, out-of-school and ex-curricular activities on the way students develop their aspirations and their future orientations including career aspirations and beyond."
Another NPRP grant that was awarded to the DI is by Dr. Eid Mohammad, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature in collaboration with DI researchers: Dr. Hamid Dabashi, Dr. Aziz Douai Dr. Ayman El-Douskey, in addition to support from Columbia University (US) and George Mason University (US). The project titled: "Transcultural Identities: Solidaristic Action and Contemporary Arab Social Movements," will explore the development of socio-cultural structures amidst political transformations taking place in the Arab world. Commenting on the project, Dr. Eid Mohamed added "We will examine the interaction of political, religious and cultural factors in the development of an Arab identity at a challenging historical juncture facing the region. To accomplish this, our research will analyze contemporary works by Arab artists. Ultimately, we will produce our research outcomes in a book and academic journal entries as well as an online database that will document social movements resulting from the Arab Spring, which continue to influence contemporary Arab culture."
In addition, the DI earned a third research grant from OSRA, a joint research fund between Doha International Family Institute and QNRF in its first cycle. The project, led by Dr. Yousef Daoud, Head of Development Economics Program, is titled: "Parenting, Social Preferences and Forward-looking Behaviour in Arab Societies- an Experimental Study." Research will be conducted in association with Kings College in London. Speaking about his project, Dr. Yousef Daoud stated: "This experimental study will look into the impact of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the ambitions and behavior of parents and their children. We will examine how current Palestinian circumstances impact decision making for both parents and children."
On the importance of this achievement for the DI, Raed Habayeb, Director of the Research and Grant Office said: "This is a great accomplishment for the DI in its inaugural year of operation. With the selection of 3 of our proposals, we have gained the recognition of the leading research funding organization in Qatar. This is a strong testament to the academic caliber of our faculty and the relevancy of the proposed projects to Qatar, the region and beyond. We look forward to continued success in building the research capacity within Qatar and a fruitful relationship with QNRF."
The DI is now preparing to accept its second batch of students to commence study in Fall 2016. It offers Master degrees in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities and the School of Public Administration and Development Economics and the Center for Conflict Management and Humanitarian Studies.