This process concerns submission of a well-planned and complete proposal for grant allocation. RS services concerning this process are aimed at ascertaining a proposal's scientific aspects, as well as resource requirements, being pre-requisites for project acceptance for initiating the processing procedures.
The scientific aspects concern a project's originality, relevancy and merit. A grant application needs to be complete, and must include such vital information as project's abstract, introduction/state-of the-art, clear objectives, methodology, implementation phases, project's importance and relevance of intended findings, expected output, and references cited, etc. The grant process also requires information on research team, researchers' tasks and responsibilities and credentials to ascertain their expertise in accomplishing the project's objectives, which could logically be achievable through explicit planning concerning budgetary and resource needs. Hence, both scientific aspects, resource requirements, together constitute essential elements of the Research Grant Process, qualifying a project's progress to the next stage, the funding process.
RS has in place procedures to ascertain whether a grant application includes information on all scientific aspects, as well as budgetary requirements for proceeding with routine processing. These are the services that cross-check the supplied information against RS's check-list to ensure an application’s completion in its entirety, and acceptance for the funding process. An incomplete application, whether in terms of scientific aspects or unspecified budgetary and resource requirements, is sent back to researchers for clarity, completion and re-submission. The funding process cannot start without the research support application clearing the Grant process phase.
The actual processing of grants begin with the funding process, which involves provision of integrated services to oversee a project's review, refereeing, and funding approval, leading to the signing of contract with the principal researcher, which opens the way for a project's implementation. RS's research support services ensure budgetary allocations, facilitate purchase of equipment, kits and consumables, hiring of manpower to meet the project's implementation requirements. In addition, services are also provided to facilitate mission accomplishment and inviting visiting expert.
Since all these services crucially hinge on budgetary allocation and expenditure, RS's services include settlement of expenditure, release of salaries to project manpower, and mission/visiting experts expenses/report submissions, etc. Services for project's progress/final reports, their evaluation, and ascertaining a project's overall performance are also a part of wide-ranging services associated with the funding process, which keeps the RS's administrative process in full swing.
RS's current focus is on upgrading and improving the quality of its services and existing facilities to achieve a researcher-friendly environment to facilitate research grant and funding processes. Research procedures and regulations are also being simplified to expedite project implementation work, while research refereeing procedures are being enhanced to incorporate e-refereeing facility in the research grant process.
These include patents registration facility, research portal facility, database services, research-related communication, and sharing of information.
Patents Procedures – RS provides facilities for procedural requirements concerning patent registration to researchers who achieve distinguished research and patentable discoveries based on their research results, through the services rendered by its Patents Office. Standard policy, procedures, legal framework and regulations guide Patents Registration and intellectual property rights. The office also facilitates researchers in ascertaining feasibility of patenting their research results, through preliminary information checks done by WIPO, either directly, or through services provided by RS's Office of External Research Collaboration. In addition, services are also provided for filing applications for Patents from Kuwait University to Litman Law Offices Ltd, US, and Jeffrey Furr Esq. Ohio, US, with requisite follow-ups.
Research Portal – The research portal is an online service provided by RS to facilitate researchers in viewing the progress of their projects electronically, monitoring project’s status, and keeps track of a project's processing stage, refereeing, budget, manpower salaries, periodical reports, and research productivity. The facility is intended to induce transparency in research awards system, and is accessible to researchers through the centralized Kuwait University Portal facility, with access provided to researchers through his/her University ID.
Database Service – RS maintains a centralized nucleus of research projects database, KURA, the fundamental backbone of faculty research activity, to service RS management’s needs for monitoring growth in faculty research, generating fundamental reports, and utilizing specific data to facilitate decision-making process. The database service is also extended to researchers through the research portal facility, for monitoring the progress of their projects online. KURA database provides latest information on all projects awarded, ongoing, completed and under-process, by faculties, and by funding sources, and includes critical information on budgeting, mission, manpower, expenditure, research reporting, publications and approvals, with daily updates.
Communication – RS maintains an interactive communication channel with faculties and researchers through emailing and web-based services, for rapid transmission of research-related information, relaying announcements, and issuing alerts for approaching deadlines for completing procedural transactions, and displaying latest news on conferences, events and visitors to keep the faculty research community informed about latest happenings in the sphere of research activity. Communication service is regularly being maintained and updated by RS for the benefit of researchers as well as web-users/browsers to keep track of R & D activity at Kuwait University.
GESR – The Gulf Electronic Scientific Research Database (GESR) is essentially a service-oriented database that links and sustains vital information on GCC universities, higher-education institutions, and national research centers, concerning research activities, records and publications, for wider access and visibility. The Research Sector has linked over 2500 completed research projects in GESR database, opening a vital window to serve broader exposure and data connectivity for the benefit of national, Gulf and regional researchers, institutions and universities. GESR, an expanding resource hosted by KISR's National Scientific & Technical Information Center (NSTIC) has inflow of information from Sultan Qaboos University, Islamic University of Madinah, and King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Public Authority for Applied Education & Training (PAAET), in addition to KISR's records. And now Kuwait University has contributed to this information pool with the listing of its completed projects information, as a start-off, with additional data elements being identified for enhancing the sphere of this linkage with GESR.