UREP

Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP)

Student research at SFS-Qatar is funded through the Qatar National Research Fund's (QNRF) dedicated student research fund - the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP). The UREP promotes “Learning by Doing” and “Hands-On” mentorship activities as effective methods for undergraduate education. In addition to a research-based education, students gain experience with team-based research collaboration with faculty and other undergraduates or research staff in Qatar.

The UREP maximizes faculty-student interaction, and enhances the learning experiences of undergraduate students by encouraging faculty members to integrate students into their ongoing scholarly and professional activities.

SFS-Qatar UREP Awards

Students at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service in Qatar have received a number of UREP awards to study topics of importance to Qatar's national development or national interests.Use the list below to learn about projects that were awarded by UREP.

 


Do U.S. Banks Discriminate in Lending?

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 17-179-5-053

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Alexis Antoniades
  • Fatma Marafi (SFS-Q '15)

Description

This project uses advanced econometric techniques, big data, and visualization software (ArcGIS) to address lending discrimination. Using data on more than 90% of the loan applications in the United States between the years 2004 and 2012, the researchers study the lending practices of U.S. banks, and in particular, examine whether they discriminate against race, gender, and ethnicity.


The Doha Paradox: Reasons for Disparity Between Educated and Working Qatari Women

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 16-120-5-032

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Amira Sonbol
  • Mariam Bengali (SFS-Q '15)
  • Rumsha Shahzad (SFS-Q '16)
  • Tehreem Asghar (SFS-Q '16)

Description

The objective of this project is to discover the reasons for the discrepancy between the number of Qatari women who receive higher level, tertiary education, and those who are part of the workforce. The project will take into account social, economic, cultural, and religious factors in order to understand why less than half of the women who get an education actually go on to pursue a career in their respective fields. By identifying this gap, recommendations can be made to increase the participation of women in Qatar’s workforce.


A Dynamic Pricing Model for Emissions Taxes

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 16-124-5-036

Principal Investigator(s):

Alexis Antoniades

Carl Mattias Nordfeldt (SFS-Q '15)

Description

This project aims to develop a model for dynamic pricing of emissions, using real-time pollution and weather data, coupled with topography and population data. This dynamic pricing model will be superior to the cap-and-trade model by incorporating the correct externality costs, thus providing more accurate incentives to producers. Additionally, it will be less complex than the cap-and-trade system, and will result in lower transaction costs, thus resulting in faster emission reduction at a lower social cost.


Advancing Financial Education for Transnational Families

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 14-073-5-017

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Ganesh Seshan
  • Suzi Mirgani
  • Ahwaz Akhtar (SFS-Q '16)
  • Hisham Hassan (SFS-Q '15)
  • Fatema Hubail (SFS-Q '16)
  • Salar Khan (SFS-Q '15)
  • Atul Menon (SFS-Q '15)
  • Salman Ahad Khan (SFS-Q '16)
  • Sherif Elgindi (SFS-Q '16)

Description

This project was made possible by a UREP award (UREP 14-073-5-017) from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of The Qatar Foundation). The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

The purpose of this project is to design and pilot a financial literacy curriculum aimed at migrant households, and to produce a set of instructional videos on financial education using the contents of the curriculum. This initiative aims to contribute to the education of the wider community in Qatar and elsewhere through a series of educational videos disseminated to migrants and their families. The film component of the project is a simple and effective way to deliver a powerful message on financial planning to migrants who perhaps have limited education and who have no history of long-term financial planning or ever receiving such advice. Thus, the project can help migrants and their families make informed decisions on issues related to saving and investments, planning, and avoiding high levels of indebtedness.


Doha by Design: Urban Planning and Social Spaces in Doha, Qatar

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 14-119-5-027

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Patricia O'Connor
  • Mark Farha
  • Nadia Al-Khater (SFS-Q '16)
  • Sana Jamal (SFS-Q '15)
  • Catherine Lechicki (SFS-Q '16)
  • Khadija Mahsud (SFS-Q '14)

Description

The project addresses the question of how urban space affects social interaction in Doha, Qatar. It evaluates the urban design of Doha, and determines whether or not this design is conducive to Qatar’s National Vision. The research will begin by evaluating the physical and social composition of public venues and by examining the types of social regulation which occur in these spaces.


Fostering Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Development in Qatar

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 14-127-5-032

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Mark Farha
  • Thomas E. Emerson (CMU-Q)
  • Sammy Hassan (SFS-Q '15)
  • Matea Malikanovic (SFS-Q '15)

Description

This project critically assesses the scope of financial accessibility, and the larger business environment, for SMEs in Qatar. It gauges the effectiveness of current policies through the interpretation of quantitative research data, and examines whether financial policies in comparable GCC countries can provide insight, examples, and lessons learned for Qatar.


Social Chatter and Asset Bubbles: The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 14-131-5-033

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Alexis Antoniades
  • Mohammed Al-Hinai (SFS-Q '15)
  • Touhami Abi (SFS-Q '14)

Description

This project examines how social media and social chatter have contributed to the rise and fall of bitcoin. The researchers will analyze relevant tweets from 2010 onwards to understand how social chatter about bitcoin is related to changes in its value, to identify the bloggers who have been the most influential in affecting the price of bitcoin and to assess how the chatter about bitcoin has changed over time. The researchers will also examine if the most influential bloggers are now promoting a different virtual asset and if so, whether the project's analysis can predict the next bubble to be formed.


Qatari Cuisine - A Source for Writing History

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 14-049-6-001

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Rogaia Abusharaf
  • Sherine El-Menshawy (Qatar University)

Understanding the Construction of Qatari Society - Subjectivity in the 21st Century

Funding source:
Undergraduate Research Experience Program
UREP ID 13-072-6-004

Principal Investigator(s): 

  • Rogaia Abusharaf
  • Emilio Ocampo Eibenschutz (SFS-Q '13)
  • Fahad Alkhater (SFS-Q '15)

Description
This project investigates Qatar’s residents’ sense of identity and how social circumstances affect the social development of Qatar. The project looks at both historical and contemporary constructions of identity, particularly those embodied in the modern State of Qatar, its national policies, its economic openness, its regional branding and more. The students used the Qatar Heritage Library, theoretical literature, ethnographic data, anthropological tools, and interviews.


Using Social Media to Assess Qatar as a Brand

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 13-100-5-026

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Alexis Antoniades
  • Danah Dehdary (SFS-Q '13)

Description

Social media plays an increasingly important role in brand recognition and perception. This study aims to critically examine how Qatar is perceived in the social media and to evaluate it as a brand. The research will utilize a dataset of all Twitter tweets over a period of 365 days that carries specific code words relating to Qatar. The tweets will be coded based on their depiction of Qatar and analyzed for the image of Qatar they present. The results of the analysis will be used to evaluate Qatar as a brand.


Collection and Coding of the Popular Myths and Folktales in the Qatari Popular Culture

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 13-066-5-016

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Rogaia Abusharaf
  • Kaltham Al Ghanim (Qatar University)

Description

This project, based at Qatar University, is a pioneering effort to observe the popular myths and folktales related to animals, birds, fish, and mythical creatures found in Qatari heritage. It will be the first study of its kind in Qatar and the region, and will involve nine Qatar University students.


Environmental Sustainability in Education City: Green Beacon or Green Island?

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 12-141-5-043

Principal Investigator(s):

  • John Crist
  • Mari Luomi
  • Muhammad Bilal Shakir (SFS-Q '15)
  • Bushra Alem (SFS-Q '13)

Description

This study explored the origins and dimensions of environmental sustainability initiatives in Education City (EC) and examined their relationship to attitudes and behaviors related to sustainability among students in Education City. The students conducted interviews with EC officials and students as well as devised, administered and analyzed a survey of EC students.


Understanding Qatar's Interfaith Dialogue Culture: Motivations, Trends, and Challenges

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 11-108-6-012

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Patrick Laude
  • Asim Koldzo (SFS-Q '12)

Description

This project examined and contextualized Qatar’s interfaith dialogue initiatives, and from this developed a framework to analyze the long-term and potentially transformative effects of interfaith policies inside Qatar and abroad. The project produced actionable recommendations that compared Qatar’s interfaith dialogue initiatives to those of other countries, extracted practical lessons that could be applied to the Qatari context and highlighted those whose application in the Qatari context would be problematic. The project also included an assessment of the real-world effects of interfaith policies on Qatar’s growing cosmopolitan society and its social cohesion.


Qatar Study of Kenyan Transnational Families

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 04-004-7-011

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Ganesh Seshan
  • Ahmed Warfa (SFS-Q '12)

Description

This research will explore the impact of migration among workers from Kenya to Qatar.


Contending Lebanese Perspectives on the Role of Hezbollah

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Mark Farha
  • Karim Badra (SFS-Q '12)

Qatar as a Crossroads: Students Writing their own History

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID not available

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Rogaia Abusharaf
  • Patricia O'Conner (GU)
  • Malik Habayeb (SFS-Q '13)
  • Islam Hassan (SFS-Q '13)
  • Fatimatuz Muneer (SFS-Q '12)
  • Intidhar Amri (SFS-Q '13)
  • Reine Atrach (SFS-Q '11)
  • Shaily Agrawal (SFS-Q '11)

The Distribution and Economic Implications of Health Outcomes in Qatar

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 10-096-5-029

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Daniel Westbrook
  • Ahmed Warfa (SFS-Q '12)
  • Miodrag Stamboldziev (SFS-Q '12)

Description

This project produced a report describing the health, expenditures and utilization of health care services in Qatar. The report described a simple model of insurance pricing and analyzed its impacts using information from the World Health Survey.


Qatar Longitudinal Study of Transnational Families

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 09-072-5-015

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Ganesh Seshan
  • Eilin Francis (SFS-Q '13)
  • Aminah Kandar (SFS-Q '13)
  • Aakash Jayaprakash (SFS-Q '11)
  • Qazi Rashid (SFS-Q '12)
  • Jibin Koshy (SFS-Q '13)
  • Kham Nang (SFS-Q '13)

Description

The project produced a report describing the impact of financial education on the ability of migrants to better manage their financial resources for long-term objectives. It found that migrant workers can learn to save a greater amount of money after attending a short financial literacy workshop, and that attending such workshops can lead more joint financial decision-making between migrants and their wives. The study focused on married, male Indian migrant workers in Doha, Qatar, and their wives who remained back in India. The project’s financial literacy curriculum has been adopted by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, a nonprofit organization that promotes self-reliant and sustainable development in 30 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. For full story, see Georgetown Students' Migrant Research Tapped by International NGO

 


The Impact of Global Communications on Family Values in Qatar

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 08-089-5-019

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Mark Farha
  • Miodrag Stamboldzlev (SFS-Q '12)
  • Dalal Al-Thani (SFS-Q '11)

Description

This project studied the impact of the sudden profusion of internet media and other forms of global communications on family values in Qatar. The research examined the repercussions of the sudden exposure of Qatar to global communication networks and new technologies for the core ethical orientations underpinning family values and kinship ties in Qatar. A sample of Qatari nationals was surveyed for the project, stratified by sex (male/female), age (youths/adults/elders) and class (upper/middle/working class). The research concluded that Qatar finds itself very much in the twilight zone of modernity, witnessing a bewildering pace of expanding realms of knowledge through ICT and educational institutions, yet still evincing a deep desire to hold on to traditional values and identity references.

 


An Analysis of Global Public Private Partnerships: How Can Qatar Benefit from Them?

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 08-135-5-027

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Alexis Antoniades
  • Jumana Al-Aref (SFS-Q '11)
  • Mohamed Al-Thani (SFS-Q '11)

Description

This study researched and analyzed the main structures of Public–Private Partnership (PPP) projects completed across the world and compared these against each other. The study articulated the advantages and disadvantages of PPPs and identified trends in PPP structures over the past few years. The researcher conducted detailed case studies on those PPPs identified as being relevant to Qatar, to ascertain the reasons for the selection of a particular PPP structure (BOT vs. Management Contract vs. Concession etc.), the impact that selection of a particular structure had on the success of the project, and factors that influenced the successful facilitation of a particular PPP structure. The research concluded with a commentary of the critical success factors needed in a PPP and presented recommendations on which PPP structures would best complement Qatar’s business environment.


Media Branding and Viewer Perception in Qatar

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 06-082-5-019

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Alexis Antoniades
  • Tarah Makarem (SFS-Q '11)

Description

This project examined the connections between viewer backgrounds, their perceptions of news, and the prejudices they develop against global media brands, through examination of relevant literature and analysis of survey results.


The Pearl of the Arabian Gulf - A Research of Qatari History and Heritage

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID not available

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Amira Sonbol
  • Al Anood Al-Thani (SFS-Q '09)
  • Hanouf Al-Buainain (SFS-Q '09)

Motifs and Symbols in Mauritanian Leather Crafts

Funding source:

Undergraduate Research Experience Program

UREP ID 01-001-1-016

Principal Investigator(s):

  • Patrick Laude
  • Fatima Mokhtar (SFS-Q '10)

 

UREP Logo

UREP Funding

The UREP funding cycle occurs once yearly, and opens for submission in the Spring and Fall of each year. The application is through the online system, and involves registering on the QNRF website as a UREP participant.