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“Science & Technology” reveals its research priorities
 

“Science & Technology” reveals its research priorities


King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (KACST) has announced the research priorities of its Research Grants Program, calling researchers in various government and university research centers and institutes in the Kingdom to submit their research proposals according to the terms and conditions of each specific KACST research program.

Dr. Abdurrahman bin Ibrahim Al-Abdulali, KACST Supervisor of the General Directorate for Research Grants, said that KACST listed a number of requirements to be met by applicants to the Research Grants Program. He explained that the Twelfth Humanities Research Grants Program requires the applicant research team to be specialized in the research topic, with a minimum requirement of research experience. The applicant team must use the specific research proposal forms developed by KACST (instructions/list of supporting research).

Furthermore, the applicant research team is required to submit a list of ten research experts names and addresses, provided they are neither members of the research team, nor employees of the same organization as the research team. A checklist and declaration of authenticity of materials form must also be submitted to KACST, including a declaration that none of the materials have been submitted to any other party. The original copy must be submitted in addition to five paper copies and one CD digital copy to the relevant body (university provost for graduate studies and scientific research) in the research team leader employer, by the set application deadline.

Dr. Al-Abdulali stressed that research proposals must be submitted to KACST by 12/30/2009 (13/1/1431H), and that neither proposals submitted past the deadline, nor proposals outside the context of the two grants programs will be considered.

Dr. Al-Abdulali also announced the three categories of research priorities for the Thirtieth Annual Grants Program. In engineering and industrial fields, research priorities include development of  in-depth oil fields measurement, exploration and control devices and sensors, studies on new petroleum applications,  as well as development of preparations of hot mix asphalt for maintenance applications (Superior Performing Asphalt Pavement system).
Research priorities also include computer science applications in bioinformatics, such as development of bioinformatics processing computer language logarithms, development of bioinformatics databases, bioinformatics applications in the study of genes and the secondary structure in proteins, in addition to disease bioinformatics applications (diabetes, cancer, etc…) and bioinformatics applications in genomes of various organisms.

Research priorities also include artificial intelligence and smart computer applications, MEMS development of modern programmed communication systems, and industrial cities industrial waste recycling.

KACST also identified a number of health priority research issues, including handicapped rehabilitation stem cell research, advanced psychological services for children suffering from behavioral and psychological disorders, epidemiological arterial hypertension in children, osteoporosis and osteomalacia among men and children in the Kingdom, epidemiological gestational diabetes in the Kingdom, children congenital hip dysplasia, infantile malnutrition and sports injury research.

In agricultural and environmental fields, KACST listed among its research priorities: soil salinity in the Kingdom’s main agricultural regions, genetic origins of endangered and resident plan crops, adverse impact of intensive fertilization of farming crops on the environment, new salinity or drought resistant crops, and organic agriculture applications in the Kingdom.

It also listed the following priorities: TB among cattle in KSA livestock areas, causes and prevention of mortality in newborn animals, biotechnology and micro-organism based control methods for coastal areas oil pollution, Red Tide and fish loss phenomenon in the Arab Gulf using remote sensing techniques and modern technologies for the evaluation of biological pollutants in food sources and the environment (viral, bacterial and fungal pollutants).

Dr. Al-Abdulali also announced the research priorities of the Twelfth Humanities Research Grants Program, including a number of  key issues  such as: divorce in the Saudi society (causes, impact and solutions), individuals with special needs and handicap in the Saudi Labor market, evaluative study of philantrophic organization programs, social, educational, health, economic and psychological properties of beneficiaries of social security, radio and TV coverage of the Kingdom’s various regions, and media message evaluation.

Research topics also include assessment of social development programs carried out by public social development committees, policies and programs to optimize the collection of agricultural loans, survey study of cosmetics, fragrances and cleaning products in Saudi markets, world oil prices fluctuations and the impact of imported inflation on domestic prices, home safety: current and prospective, alcohol and psychotropic substances: types, effects and treatment, and cafes in the Saudi society: reality, spread, and ways to limit their negative influence.

The KACST Supervisor of the General Directorate for Research Grants also announced that research priorities of KACST Fifteenth Small Grants Program would be limited to a single topic, provided the topic is related to one of the applied scientific topics with a budget not exceeding one hundred and fifty thousand SAR. The researcher is required to submit an original copy with three additional copies in addition to a digital copy to the provost offices for post-graduate studies and scientific research in universities, using the standard forms developed by KACST. If the applicant is not affiliated with any of the previously mentioned bodies, he may submit his proposal through the president of the organization he’s employed with. The submittal deadline is Wednesday 11/18/2009 (end of the business day) (1/12/1430H).

As to the Eighteenth Post-Graduate Student Research Program, the research proposal must fall within one of the applied science fields, approved by the university or college, and of a budget not exceeding 70,000 SAR for Master’s students, and 100,000 SAR for PHD students. The original copy must be submitted along with a digital copy of the proposal. The submittal deadline is Wednesday 11/18/2009 (end of the business day) (1/12/1430H).

Dr. Al-Abdulali also announced that the Fifth Development Research Grant welcomes any research proposal aimed at the development or upgrading of an instrument or device or products in advanced technologies and vital fields, such as water, oil, petrochemical, electronics, genetic engineering, biotechnology, advanced technologies and others. The original copy must be submitted along with five digital copy of the proposal. The submittal deadline is Wednesday 12/30/2009 (end of the business day) (13/1/1431H).
Dr. Al-Abdulali also referred to the new program KACST created last year to support science and technology innovative ideas, which will continue this year to help develop ideas and solutions addressing improvement, development or production issues. This program supports two types of initiatives: initiatives leading to original breakthrough innovation, and possibly, inventions, and creative ideas leading to news application trends.

He also added that the proposal must include an idea with clear application outputs. The idea must be implemented at Saudi research centers or institutes, provided the implementation phase does not exceed one year, with a budget not exceeding 200,000 SAR. The final submittal deadline is Wednesday 12/30/2009 (end of the business day) (13/1/1431H)

Dr. Al-Abdulali reiterated KACST’s policy to support any additional research proposals, declaring that all incoming research proposals would be considered based on their scientific and applied significance. He mentioned that all needed forms (submittal, research proposals and supporting research lists) can either be obtained at offices of provosts for graduate studies and scientific research, or downloaded directly from the KACST website: http://grants.kacst.edu.sa.