Muscat: Despite having received less funding last year, The Research Council (TRC) has managed to support vital research, according to a report.
“Despite the financial challenges in various projects, programmes and initiatives of TRC in 2016, the Council has strived to find new alternatives of funding. TRC has worked on strengthening collaboration with its partners from the private sector to continue the gains made by the council’s efforts in supporting the research and innovation activities,” the council’s own report of activities in 2016 stated.
A number of initiatives succeeded last year, including Transforming Graduation Projects to start-ups in the ICT Sector, Ibtikar Development Oman (IDO), the Falling Walls Lab Competition, as well as participating in the 58th London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF). The council’s budget was slashed in 2016.
“During the last year, it has been evident that the budget reduction from The Research Council has had a negative influence on the performance of several research and supporting programmes. However, TRC has continued to receive applications for the various research programmes,” the report stated.
Various research programmes were affected and a number of programmes have been financially suspended, such as the Open Research Grants Programme (ORG), the Strategic Research Programme, the Graduates Research Support Programme (GRSP), the Researchers Incentives Programme, the National Research Award (NRA), and the Faculty Mentored Undergraduate Research Award Programme (FURAP).
“In 2016, the amount of funded research within FURAP decreased, although interest from student applicants remained. From the 206 research projects received from 18 educational institutions, FURAP approved funding for 39 undergraduate research projects with a total cost of OMR73,282,” TRC said.
A total of 122 undergraduates were involved in the 39 funded research projects under FURAP in 2016. TRC has funded 249 research projects from 2013 to 2016.