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The CNA-Q Research Seminar Series and the UNESCO-UNEVOC Seminar Series connect the College community with local and global researchers and aims to encourage research ideas and projects. It also informs the community of specific research policies and practices as well as funding opportunities. The seminar series is designed to be thought-provoking and rich in dialogue. A sampling of seminars is presented below:

“QNRF funding – Undergraduate Research Experience Program”, Nuha Al-Okka, Research Grant - Program Manager, Qatar National Research Fund

Ms. Al-Okka discussed in detail this program to support our students in conducting small scale applied research projects. The Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) will promote 'Learning by Doing' and 'Hands-On' mentorship activities as effective methods for undergraduate education which fits well CNA-Q's own experiential learning model. In addition to a research-based education, students will gain experience with team-based research collaboration with such members as faculty and fellow students or even postdoctoral fellows, graduate students or other research staff in Qatar.

Details of the program are available at the QNRF website.

This program is a great opportunity to support students conducting research activities within their program (and a great tool to support capstone/tech thesis projects). 

Impact of Short Term contracts on Job Satisfaction: a Case Study of Employees at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar”, Keera Buchanan, MA, College of North Atlantic-Qatar, April 2018

Much research has been done on job satisfaction, but little research has been focused on satisfaction in a short-term contract work environment. Even less research has been conducted on this topic in the Middle East. The purpose of the research study reported on in this seminar is to identify satisfaction factors most affected by a short-term contract work environment.
The methodology included data collected using an anonymous questionnaire distributed to a group of expatriate employees at the College of the North Atlantic – Qatar. The quantitative data was then analyzed and summarized based on the various demographic factors. The results of the study show that a short-term work environment does influence the perception of satisfaction on different factors and that these perceptions vary depending on the demographics. The research discusses the implications of the findings for practice and provides suggestions to mitigate dissatisfaction and encourage increased satisfaction in the Middle East environment. This topic is particularly relevant as CNA-Q commences an evidence based transition process to CNA-Q 2.0.
Food Innovation: Functional Food and Nutraceutical Opportunities for Qatar”, Vasantha Rupasinghe, PhD, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS, Canada – December 2016

Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe spoke his research and industry outreach activities in Canada as an example of an applied research and development model for Qatar. He discussed the opportunities for producing high valued functional foods and nutraceuticals in Qatar from native and imported fruits and vegetables. Dr. Rupasinghe showed how he has worked with local and international industry to generate new ideas and products, helping them become more competitive and to enter new markets.
Food is more than simply calories, protein and fibre. Foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition are called functional foods. These foods can be used in the prevention and management of metabolic and chronic disorders. Examples may include conventional foods; fortified, enriched, or enhanced foods; and dietary supplements. Apples are known for their heart health benefits, which derive from antioxidants in the peels. Anthocyanins can be extracted from blueberries and other wild berries and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Nutracetical products can be made from the whole fruit or food processing waste of fruits.
Dr. Rupasinghe is a food biochemist in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been studying the opportunities to not only use foods and food ingredients to prevent or treat disease but also helps businesses develop new high value food products from local agricultural resources. He has worked with dozens of businesses and trained over 100 undergraduate and post-graduate students through his multi-million dollar research program in the past 13 years at Dalhousie. He is currently a Professor and Killam Chair in Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals at Dalhousie University. He received his PhD from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Education as a basic right for all: Gender equality, equal opportunities and quality education”, Hamda Hassan Al-Sulaiti, PhD, Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Doha, Qatar - October 2016

The Qatar National Vision 2030 details the importance of “transforming Qatar into an advanced country by 2030, capable of sustaining its own development and providing for a high standard of living for its entire people for generations to come”. As such, ensuring that all children, youth, and adults have equal access to quality education at all levels, and the potential to secure meaningful jobs, is vital for Qatar’s sustainable growth.
With an emphasis on equality and access, Dr. Hamda focused on three main pillars of development in areas related to human capital, environment, and economy, as well as Sustainable Development Goal 4, ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning. By focusing on key initiatives that aim to strengthen and upgrade Qatar’s education system, Dr. Hamda reviewed how many educational stakeholders are working together to make education a basic right for all.
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“Research Ethics and the Institutional Review Board – Conducting Human Subjects Research”, Kevin Jepson, Institutional Review Board Chair at CNA-Q, September 2018.

Mr. Jepson discussed the basics concepts of human subject research, research ethics and processes and procedures necessary to conduct such research at CNA-Q and in Qatar. At CNA-Q, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews and approves requests to conduct research involving human subjects. IRB’s role is ensure that ethical principles and standards respecting the personal welfare and rights of subjects have been recognized and accommodated. Kevin’s talk explain what you need to consider doing prior to any human subject research (whether it is class-based, funded research or even your own higher education research.) He explained how to go about getting approval for such research…the “what to do” and “what not to do”. 
Science Education in Qatar: A case study on how to develop a research proposal”, Ziad Said, PhD, College of North Atlantic-Qatar, March 2018

Dr. Said spoke of his experience on studying and improving science education in the Qatar school system.  He used his experiences as a case study on how the idea was generated and then developed into a series of three projects running since 2014. The seminar was part presentation and part workshop with an interactive brainstorming session on turning a certain research problem into a proposal that includes asking how to formulate research questions on the stated problem, organizing the proposal step by step, suggested methodology, expected outcome and topics.  

​Agricultural productivity and environmental performance: The role of economic analysis and considerations for Qatar” - Atakely Hailu, PhD, University of Western Australia, Perth, AUS

Dr. Atakely Hailu presented on his research activities of applying economic principles to agricultural and natural resource management problems. Given the environmental and economic uniqueness of Qatar, his applied research into the productivity and profitability of farming, the management of environmental effects related to agriculture, the design of economic incentives to manage issues at the interface between agriculture and the environment, the design of flexible auctions for water and other resources, and optimising the integration of renewable energy into energy markets have direct relevance to Qatar. He also discussed his improvements to indicators of human development (e.g. the UNDP's HDI).

Greening of skills and economies for a successful transition to environmentally friendly, low-carbon development: What are the implications for TVET?”, Margarita Pavlova, PhD, UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre (Hong Kong) and Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China – May 2016

A renewed global commitment to sustainable development is reflected in the seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The global community shares the principle of sustainable development that can reduce impact on environment and ensure long term availability of resources. Sustainable development refers to ‘sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger’. Many economies in the vast and diverse Asia and the Pacific region are moving towards a new sustainable development paradigm which can sharpen countries’ competitiveness as well as stimulate the growth of a green technology market. The transition to low-carbon climate-resilient and, at the same time, competitive economies, represents changes in employment structures and the emergence of green jobs, with the developments of new environmental products and services, including renewable energy and green technologies (UNESCO, 2015). Training of skills for sustainability, or green skills training, is becoming crucial for achieving green targets in economic development.

Dr. Margarita Pavlova’s presentation focused on some of the key results of a number of research projects conducted by the UNEVOC Centre (Hong Kong) in the Asia and the Pacific region, including a big scale ADB study on Education and Skills for Inclusive Growth and Green Jobs. In particular, it explored the ways the ‘greening of skills development for employability’ can be conceptualized and addressed in technical and vocational education (TVET), and by industry. In addition, skill requirements from greening industry were reviewed. Dr. Pavlova is Director of the UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre (Hong Kong) and an Associate Professor in the Department of International Education and Lifelong Learning at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. She has more than twenty years of international work experience in education across a variety of contexts (Europe, Asia, USA and Australia). Her research focus is concerned with policy, planning and curriculum development in vocational education at both national and international levels. She is internationally recognized for her high level of scholarship and for her concrete, action orientated policy orientated approach to research. Her current research and development projects are in the area of education for sustainability, development and green skills. Margarita works with such agencies as the Asian Development Bank; UNESCO; and the European Training Foundation (ETF) for whom she has led several research projects that have aimed at developing policies, approaches to (and resources for) vocational education, and where she has explored related issues such as capacity building and poverty alleviation. She has published widely in her fields of expertise including a sole authored book on Technology and vocational education for sustainable development: Empowering individuals for the future (Springer, 2009). She currently serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Vocational Education and Training and on the editorial advisory boards of two book series published by Springer: Technical and Vocational Education and Training, and Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects.

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