Muscat: Dr. Saif bin Abdullah Al Hiddabi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation for Research and Innovation, said that the preparations for the holding of the seventh cycle of the Annual Research Forum have been completed and the winners of the National Research Award will be announced on January 18, 2021.
The forum will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham bin Tarik Al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, in the presence of Prof. Rahma bint Ibrahim Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and a number of ministers, researchers, academics and National Research Award winners.
Dr. Saif stated that the seventh cycle of the Annual Research Forum coincides this year with the Sultanate’s celebrations of the first anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s, who emphasised in his February 23, 2020 speech the importance of research and innovation in the Sultanate. The ministry has been working to prepare its national strategies in line with Oman Vision 2040 under the leadership of His Majesty.
He emphasised that the current seventh edition of the National Research Award has witnessed great competition from researchers to participate in it, and this was evident in the high number of competitors in various fields of the award.
The award also witnessed the participation of researchers from outside the Sultanate. Moreover, the fact that the award winners are from various academic and scientific institutions is a clear indication that the mission of scientific research, innovation and development has reached different sectors of the county in line with Oman Vision 2040, which focuses on education, learning, research and innovation as its first strategic goal.
With regards to the importance of the National Research Award, he maintained that the award aims to motivate researchers to conduct research of high quality and of national importance, and to train national cadres capable of competition.
He stated that the award is divided into two categories; best published research led by a PhD holder or equivalent (senior specialist or higher in the medical field) and best published research led by a young researcher (a non-PhD holder), while the research fields include Education and Human Resources, Information and Communication Technologies, Health and Social Services, Cultural, Social, and Basic Sciences, Energy and Industry, and Environmental and Biological Resources.
It is worth noting that the statistics of the applications submitted in the various rounds of the award until the 2020 edition indicate a gradual and continuous increase in the number of applicants in the various categories of the award,as 218 scientific publications were received, an increase of 34.6 percent over the previous edition.
For 2020, there has been 152 competitors in the PhD category, an increase of 44 competitors from the last edition, while the number of competitors in the Young Researcher’s category has also increased, reaching 66, which is 12 more from the last edition.
The total number of competitors in this edition exceeded the 200 competitors for the first time in the history of the National Research Award, reaching 218, which reflects the stability of the foundations on which the award was based, and its great importance to researchers.
The number of competitors in the National Research Award has been divided into six fields, with the number of competing research in the Cultural, Social, and Basic Sciences field reaching 31, in the Education and Human Resources field reaching 49, in the Energy and Industry field reaching 30, the Environmental and Biological Resources field reaching 31, the Health and Social Services field reaching 44, and lastly in the Information and Communication Technologies field reaching 33.