(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Muscat- Despite the economic crisis that was at its peak during the start of the academic year 2016-17, the office of the deputy vice chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) could achieve a lot in terms of making a positive difference and finding ways to lessen its effect on research, postgraduate studies and innovation.
Addressing her staff on the occasion of the DVC PSR Staff Orientation Day, Dr Rahma bint Ibrahim al Mahrooqi, DVC for Postgraduate Studies and Research, said that two new research centres (The Nanotechnology Research Centre and the Sustainable Energy Research Centre) have been established at SQU during the previous academic year.
She also reminded the audience that the forthcoming Chamber of Commerce Research Chair in Economic Studies would function under the Humanities Research Centre and two other chairs have been approved and will be officially signed this year.
The efforts of SQU to strengthen industry-academia linkage have resulted in a number of consultancies, and in securing funding from BP (for renewable energy) and Omantel (for research in communication and information and nanotechnology). Researchers from the colleges can apply for these funding opportunities according to the rules and regulations set by the joint committees from SQU and the funding bodies.
Dr Rahma said, 'The Deanship of Research at the University is starting a new seed funding for small projects whose funding requires up to RO3,000 only.This is called The Deanship of Research Fund. Applications for it are starting this semester.'
The DVC also mentioned the launch of two new postgraduate programmes (a PhD in Educational Administration started and three Master level programmes (architecture, physical education and tourism) that were approved by the Academic Council in 2017 and will be submitted to theUniversity Council soon for approval.
She revealed that all SQU scientific journals are now indexed in EBSCO (only two were indexed in EBSCO prior to 2016), Dar al Mandhuma, and lately have been approved for indexation at JGate.
Dr Yahya al Wahibi, dean of Research at SQU, said that the Deanship's proposal for establishing research groups at SQU was approved by the Research Board and the vice chancellor. An annual award of RO3,000 will be instituted for the most active research group at the university.
Prof Abdulla Ambusaidi, dean of Postgraduate Studies, presented a number of achievements of the Deanship, which included the approval of the academic postgraduate regulations by the University Council and approval of various policies for postgraduate studies.