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AN ABRIDGED REPORT ON THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS RECORDED BY RESEARCH CHAIRS' PROGRAM FROM 2011-2014

INTRODUCTION

King Saud University has witnessed an unprecedented developments in the area of scientific research, one of  the most prominent  being  the establishment of scientific research chairs. The move has raised the prestige of the university  locally, regionally and internationally. The  success of research chairs program   has indeed  surpassed the modest expectation of the university and has become a model  for  other institutions that  crave to institute similar programs. 

At present, the total number of active and operational chairs  has reached up to 112 chairs. The  fundamental aim of establishing  research chairs at King Saud University  is  to produce  distinct research  outputs that  could greatly contribute to the creation of  national wealth , assist with solutions for developmental problems, contributing to the development of knowledge and thought. Through the program, the university hopes to initiate and advance technological and scientific development. By that it will partner with  industrial sector  and stimulate opportunities for innovation.

By engaging with industrial sector, the university aspires  to contribute indirectly to the cultivation of teamwork culture in scientific research,  thus linking the university to the  larger community. Furthermore,  the university aims to invest  in  talented local  staff and also take advantage of global expertise in  useful  areas to achieve scientific partnerships with broader  community. We need to note that by being innovative and creative, the national income will be diversified. 

 

One of the main objectives of setting up of the research chairs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is  to  develop  scientific research; thus contributing to the achievement of the strategic national goals (sustainable development based on the knowledge economy, etc.); establishing  strategic partnership with the community;  achieving  regional and international leadership; as well as facilitating the diffusion of innovation, creativity and knowledge generation culture .  The goal also includes  nurturing  a generation of researchers and graduate students, attracting distinguished minds  in the field of global scientific competition so as to ensure  that  the nation actively participates in research and global knowledge production. Through that, the nation can  attain leading  position in the fields of R & D, and innovation.

Main Fields of Research

During the period under review, the overall 112 chairs are categorized in accordance to specialty contiguity.

There are 42 Research Chairs in the  fields health which constitute 38% of the overall chairs in the program.

The Research Chairs in the field of Scientific studies are 27,  thus  24% of the available chairs.

Research Chairs in the field of engineering are 17, which is  15%.of the overall chairs.

In the field of humanities, there are 26 Research Chairs which is 23% of the chairs available in the program.

Achievements so Far:

Since the inception of the chair programs in 2008, a lot has been  achieved. Indeed, the achievements are spectacular by any standard. As a result of state, community and private sector's support, the program recorded outstanding results in various fields of research and innovation. Below is the summary of the areas  of research output of university research chairs during the period under review:

-Published research paper in reputable journals allied to ISI.

-Authored and translated  books

-Patents.

-Media posts: news, articles, reports, radio and television programs, etc.

-Events: lectures, seminars, workshops, awareness campaigns, courses,  etc.

-Continuous support to post- graduate  students in terms of mentoring, financing and accessibility to research facilities.

-Greatly assisting in raising the rank of the university in major global ranking of the universities.

Figure 1: Published Journal Articles.

 

Figure 2: Published / Translated Books and patents.

 

Funding Sources of the Chairs:

Generally speaking, the sources of funding for the chairs can be classified into three:

State Funding: Just like what is obtainable with Canada Research Chairs,  substantial part of the funding for the activities of the chairs program  comes from the state.

Private Sector Partnership: Another source of funding is partnership that king Saud University has with private sector to stimulate  applied research and innovation.

Revenue From Consultancy Services: The program  engages in carrying out consultancy services given the presence of highly qualified staff and facilities in the program. The services generates income for the program.