​Qatar National Research Fund- NPRP 

Project Title: School Experience, Educational Aspirations and Scholastic Achievement 
Lead Principal Investigator: Nabil Khattab 
Project Start Date: January 2017
Collaborations: University of Bristol, Kingston University, Qatar University 

This 3-year study will employ a longitudinal and comparative approach to study the relationship between school experiences, students’ aspirations and educational achievement in Qatar. The study will investigate the development of aspirations over time and their relationship to school experience on the one hand and students’ educational performance on the other hand. Moreover, the 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. The study will utilize the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) for comparison purposes and in order to provide a broad context for the study of aspirations and achievement. The study will inform educationalists, policy makers, families and schools of suitable interventions to improve school achievement amongst students in Qatar. 

Project Title: Transcultural Identities: Solidaristic Action and Contemporary Arab Social Movements 
Lead Principal Investigator: Eid Mohamed 
Project Start Date: October 2016

Collaborations: Columbia University, University of Oklahoma , Jordan University 

The central research questions for this project are: How do new media, film and literary or artistic forms of expression inform and echo currents of transformation in the Arab world? Moreover, how do such forms theorize “transcultural identity” as a form of citizen engagement at the center of transformation politics in the Arab world? This 3-year project presents a unique attempt to investigate these forms of cultural productions as new modes of knowledge that shed light on the nature of social movements with the aim of expanding the critical reach of the disciplinary methods of political discourse and social theory. The project will seek to articulate systemically the ways in which the Arab scene can contribute to the understanding of the rise of new social movements worldwide by exploring the methodological gaps in the dominant Western discourse and theories. As theorists such as Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, Jacques Rancière and Slavoj Žižek have confirmed, such methodological gaps became very clear in the failure to understand the irreducible heterogeneity of the crowds, the subsequent transformations in the public sphere and the modes of social mobilization. The research employs multi-methods including narrative interviews, participant observations, archival work and content analysis (including text and visual materials). 

For more information, please visit the project's website.

​Qatar National Research Fund- OSRA 

Project Title: Parenting, Social preferences and Forward-looking Behavior in Arab Societies – An Experimental Study 
Lead Principal Investigator: Yousef Daoud  
Project Start Date: January 2017

Collaborations: Kings College London 

Children’s social preferences (such as their ability to cooperate, solving social dilemmas and reciprocate others) and forward-looking behavior (such as their aspirations, expectations about the future and their ability to make trade-offs over time) are key determinants of their investments in education, career-enhancing choices, entrepreneurial activities, which eventually drive economic and social development. Yet, there is very little evidence on how these preferences form and are influenced by parental practices and by severe life experiences, such as conflict. This project empirically analyses the inter-generational transmission of social preferences and forward-looking behavior from parents to children, the mechanisms of this transmission, how children and parents preferences are influenced by conflict experience and how these preferences help explain economic choices, such as children schooling decisions. It uses field experiments and primary survey data from the West Bank region of Palestine, a country that offers a unique ‘natural experiment’ to study the causal impact of conflict on parents and children preferences. Using a mix of state-of-the-art experimental games and survey questionnaires on expectations, aspirations and parental practices in pairs of parents and children, the project develops a novel dataset to fill significant gaps in the current literature and it contributes to inform family and educational policies in the Arab region.