Muscat: After the initial screening and clearing of ineligible, incomplete and duplicate applications, The Research Council (TRC) has announced that it received 442 research pre-proposals within TRC’s COVID-19 Research Programme, which is a new commissioned programme launched in March 2020.
The total 442 research pre-proposals include 103 pre-proposals within the Clinical category and 339 received within the non-clinical category. For each category, a panel of five to seven reviewers evaluated the submitted pre-proposals.
These two sub-committees have members with multidisciplinary background, and they represent various research and academic institutes in Oman.
The evaluation process lasted for two weeks. This resulted in a list of the top 20 - 22 applications in each category. Then, these applicants were invited to submit full proposals within a week time (the deadline was 25th of April 2020), with the full proposals being evaluated last week. Over this week, TRC is going to finalise the list of projects that are going to be approved for funding.
The money will be transferred to research organisations within a maximum of two weeks from now, so that these projects can start immediately. It is worth mentioning that all the funded projects are planned to be executed over three to twelve months and hopefully they will come up with applied and practical results.
The Steering Committee of COVID-19 Research Programme is chaired by TRC and made up of experts from various research institutes in Oman. With a focus on COVID-19 pandemic, this programme strives to achieve many objectives.
First, it provides researchers with technical and financial support in order to enable them to conduct high quality research in Oman and to find out evidence-based solutions for the current global challenge.
The programme also aims to foster multisectoral collaboration. Besides opening applications for researchers from organisations that are affiliated with TRC to apply within the COVID-19 Research Programme, where applicants had to submit applications though TRC’s electronic portal and the Research Information Management System (RIMS), TRC also welcomed applications from ‘independent’ researchers, those who work in unaffiliated organisations, companies, run their own business or are even retired.