Muscat: The Research Council (TRC) has recently approved funding 58 undergraduate research projects, benefiting a total of 173 undergraduates under the Faculty-mentored Undergraduate Research Award Programme (FURAP) of TRC.
FURAP received 234 research proposals from 19 academic institutions in 2017.
The approved-for-fund research projects covered the different research sectors adopted by TRC. Eighteen research projects in energy and industry sector, 11 in environment and biological resources sector, 5 in culture, basic and social sciences sector, 16 in information and communication technologies sector, 5 in health and social service sector, and 3 in education and human resources sector. A maximum of OMR 2,400 is a total budget per project.
More than 1,000 undergraduates have benefited from the FURAP that funded around 309 projects since the launch of the programme in 2013.
Abdullah Salim Al Mahruqi, Director of the Communication Department at TRC, said, “Participation in the programme brings in many benefits to both undergraduates and faculty academics.”
“The Research Council is prepared to fund the purchase of necessary equipment, such as books, computer programmes, tools, research instruments, electronics and mechanical equipment, that are required to conduct research projects, keeping in mind that the ownership of those equipment will return to the educational institution after the completion of the research project,” he added.
According to Al Mahruqi, the programme has is getting an increasing turnout from undergraduates since its launch five years ago.
“Outputs of the programme have achieved excellent results, some of them were at the international level, which clearly revealed the young research capabilities that the programme has been designed for,” Al Mahruqi added.
Faculty Mentored Undergraduate Research Award Programme (FURAP) scholarships are granted by The Research Council of Oman (TRC) through higher education institutes, colleges and universities in Oman. The FURAP scholarships are designed for undergraduate students studying at local colleges and universities who wish to conduct research either on campus or at other research sites within the Sultanate of Oman during their undergraduate education.
FURAP funded projects may or may not be part of academic credits.
The project ideas can essentially be independent student-team works developed by them under guidance from the faculty mentor. However, it is also possible that these projects form critical parts of other major projects.
In order to be considered for a FURAP scholarship, an undergraduate research team (from 2-7 students) must first approach a faculty and get her/his approval to be their faculty mentor.
The team may then apply to receive a FURAP grant using FURAP Electronic System through The Research Council website (www.trc.gov.om).
Proposal evaluation of FURAP applications will be done at the institution level by an evaluation committee called Institutional Proposal Evaluation (IPE) committee.
The main objectives of FURAP are to promote research culture in Oman, to increase creativity in research activities in Oman, to enrich undergraduates research learning experience, to encourage undergraduates to seek careers in research, to enable student to carry out research that they would not be able to carry out without then necessary funding, to elucidate the role of TRC in promoting research in the society.