Research Funding in Arab Countries

Research funding is the cornerstone of sustained and productive biomedical research. While the previous achievement of researchers involved in fund-pursuing projects remains a major determinant of funding, other factors e.g. networking and collaboration may have significant role (Ebadi and Schiffauerova, 2015).
There is no argument that adequate research funding is one of the most influential obstacles that hinder biomedical research development in the Arab Word. Unlike developed countries where numerous private and public sectors funding agencies exist (Smits and Denis, 2014), there is a scarcity of similar organizations in the Arab Word. One of these is the research funding project of King Abdul-Aziz City for Science and Technology. As of 2004, projects funded by the city resulted in an output 243 medical research papers over a period of 25 years (Alabdula’aly, 2004).
Considering the economic and political factors affecting research funding in the Arab World, there is an urgent need for creative solutions. For example, in Germany, the pension insurance scheme contributed to program for research in rehabilitation (Zwingmann et al., 2005). In France, patients organization share funding of relevant research programs (Esterle and Picard, 2010).
References
Alabdula’aly AI. Experience of King Abdul-Aziz City for science and technology in funding medical research in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J. 2004 Jan;25(1 Suppl):S8-12. PMID: 14968184.
Ebadi A, Schiffauerova A. How to Receive More Funding for Your Research? Get Connected to the Right People! PLoS One. 2015 Jul 29;10(7):e0133061. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133061. PMID: 26222598; PMCID: PMC4519253.
Esterle L, Picard JF. Between clinical medicine and the laboratory: medical research funding in France from 1945 to the present. J Hist Med Allied Sci. 2011 Oct;66(4):546-70. doi: 10.1093/jhmas/jrq065. Epub 2010 Oct 30. PMID: 21037320.
Smits PA, Denis JL. How research funding agencies support science integration into policy and practice: an international overview. Implement Sci. 2014 Feb 24;9:28. doi: 10.1186/1748-5908-9-28. PMID: 24565209; PMCID: PMC3939639.
Zwingmann C, Moock J, Kohlmann T. [Instruments for patient-reported outcomes and predictors in German-speaking rehabilitation research–current developments within the “Rehabilitation Sciences” research funding programme]. Rehabilitation (Stuttg). 2005 Oct;44(5):307-15. German. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-867004. PMID: 16208594.

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