This program started in 1985, to regulate funding support to Faculty members through the award of grants, to facilitate pursuit of basic, applied and humanities research. The program oversees allocation of funds, project processing, refereeing, implementation, and submission of progress/final reports according to established procedures, including research publications. In 2002/03, sponsored program was expanded to include funding of Master’s and Ph.D. students research initiatives, with the awarding of Graduate Students research projects.
In explicit terms, Sponsored Research aims at nurturing faculties/graduate student’s creative interests in diverse disciplines and scientific fields. The award of grants is governed by standard rules and regulations, and all proposals must qualify for grant support through the standard process of research review, evaluation and clearance. The program sustains two channels of support:
• Faculty research – where funding support is granted to faculty members for scientific innovation and creativity by submitting projects that could be sponsored under any of the existing ten categories of grant award.
• Graduate students research – where funding support is provided to Master’s and Ph.D students to facilitate their research initiatives in meeting the requirements of thesis/dissertation, as part of their graduate program.
This program started in 1986, in response to OVPR's critical needs to establish a fundamental nucleus of research information & publications reference resource at RS through the aggregation and analysis of scientific information and its transformation into documents, publications and reports.
The program is functionally responsible for:
• Sustenance, analysis and documentation of research information
• Preparation of RS's source publications
• Authoring, editing and designing of documents/manuals/reports.
• Overseeing technical production in print, visual and e-formats, including mini CDs.
• Utilizing state-of-the-art technology and graphic designing software and applications in generating pre-press documents for printing, delivery and release.
• Disseminating information, and organizing web-display.
The program critically involves preparation of RS's policy documents, research manuals, guidelines, guides, annual reports, OVPR's newsletter, etc., overseeing content management, authorship, editing, translation, designing and technical production of a wide array of publications, and ensuring wide exposure of RS accomplishments. RS's long-term strategy of disseminating institutional scientific information, creating awareness, and sensitizing research communities as regards RS's policy, programs, procedures and accomplishments crucially hinges on this program, keeping it in full momentum throughout to generate critical serial, strategic and new publications. The value and virtue of Publications Program are thus crucial imperatives in facilitating wider dispersal of RS's research-related information and news on institutional research sector.
External Research Collaboration
This program started in 2007 to accomplish the goals of developing alliances with external institutions, public/private bodies and industrial sector to transfer the results of applied research into marketable products for benefiting mankind. The program lays procedural, administrative and legal framework, for developing alliances and agreements with external institutions, forms collaborative partnerships for advancing research, raises funds, and evolves mechanism for marketing research through feasible investment/commercial ventures. The program also oversees technology transfer, patents registration, intellectual property rights, consultancy and awareness, and constitutes core groups for technology transfer, commercialization, product testing, analysis, technology promotion and public awareness, etc. More explicitly, critical elements of the program involve:
• Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property Rights, Patents Registration.
• External Collaboration/Partnerships
• Research Investment/Marketing
• Consultation & Development
• Public Awareness/Visibility
These functions define the broad sphere of external research collaboration program and associated activities, to accomplish the prime objective of ascertaining investment potential of applied research, and identifying investing partners for their commercialization into products that serve mankind, society and wider public.
The research awards primarily aim at recognizing research excellence, and honoring faculty researchers for their outstanding research contributions to scientific advancement. This purpose is achieved through instituting awards for distinguished research in the broad streams of Basic and Applied Sciences and Arts & Humanities in the context of faculty research, and for innovative and meritorious endeavors of postgraduate students pursuing Master's and Ph.D. programs. Essentially, the awards symbolize RS’s commitments to honor KU’s distinguished faculty researchers and graduate students community. In all, a total of 10 awards are earmarked for faculty researchers, and six for graduate student’s projects prize, offered under the following categories:
For Faculty Researchers:
a. Distinguished Researchers Awards: RS offers a total of six awards under the Distinguished Researchers category, 3 in Basic and Applied Sciences and 3 in Arts & Humanities fields, earmarked for seasoned faculty researchers with distinguished publications record and landmark research. The awards are based on competitive assessment and expert’s evaluation of nominees' research performance and productivity. A standard criterion, evolved by the RS, is uniformly applied in the assessment process to select the winning entries.
b. Best Young Researchers Awards: A total of 4 awards are earmarked for Best Young Researchers, in recognition of outstanding research efforts of faculty members at the Assistant Professor's level, and evenly distributed over applied sciences and arts & humanities streams. The winning entries are selected through the standard process of evaluation and assessment of researchers’ accomplishments, with merit being the sole determining criteria for award winners.
RS is currently in the process of reforming and establishing new criteria for evaluation of faculty nominations under the two awards categories for distinguished research in Applied Sciences and Arts & Humanities fields. The purpose is to generate a more refined evaluation yardstick for an explicitly measurable rating scale that could facilitate competitive review of nominations, and selection of winning entries. The new criteria, centered on point-based system, is intended to serve as a dependable instrument for competitive assessment of a nominee's scientific publications and professional activities, qualifying him/her for Distinguished & Best Young Researchers Awards. The point-based system is earmarked for presidential endorsement, prior to its adoption/implementation.
For Graduate Students:
a. Master's Thesis: A total of four prizes are offered to graduate students in recognition of their meritorious research at Master's level. The winners are selected on the basis of evaluation of thesis work that achieves distinction.
b. Ph.D. Thesis: RS offers 2 awards for meritorious research at doctoral level, leading to the award of Ph.D. degree. The winning entries are selected by applying standard evaluation criteria for the assessment of the Ph.D. work, resulting in selecting the prize winners.
Graduate Students Projects prize are categorically based on evaluation of students thesis work, with excellence being the criteria for prize winning students entries.
Overall, RS's awards activity at the faculty and graduate levels is integral to institutional endeavors in promoting the culture of scientific distinction in institutional research at Kuwait University. Awards activity, therefore, constitutes an essential element of RS's strategy for encouraging research excellence in faculty scientific endeavors, and innovative and meritorious efforts at the graduate level.
Workshops, Seminars & Conferences
Research-related workshops figure high on RS's activity sphere, providing opportunity for bringing together diverse expertise, institutions and researchers on a common platform to provide new information, share experiences, and encourage discussions on critical research matters, through presentations, lectures and orientation/training sessions. The purpose is to facilitate exposure, stimulate interaction/dialogue and promote awareness. RS's workshops precisely serve this purpose, creating an environment of direct communication with faculty members, researchers, external experts and participants. The workshops are organized on focused subjects/themes to present latest information, explore avenues for scientific exchange and knowledge sharing, with such events invariably transpiring new ideas and understandings, and merging of interests for innovation or collaborative research.
Seminars and conferences are equally strategic to RS's activities, and aim at providing researchers opportunities for broadening their scientific and intellectual horizons through exposures to critical knowledge generated through research. Such events are valued platforms for national/international meeting grounds for experts, scientists and researchers to keep pace with latest scientific discoveries and updates through presentations, transmission of new findings and information on wide-ranging research themes, involving participants in open discussions and dialogue, merging of interests, evolution of new ideas and spreading awareness. Seminars and conferences thus configure high on RS's activity schedule, centered on diverse dimensions of research through presentations/lectures, addressing vital scientific and strategic concerns for researchers to advance their knowledge through requisite scientific exposures.