QF Member Aims to Connect Science and Society Through the Power of Art

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation, has announced the winners of the second cycle of its ‘Best Representative Image of an Outcome’ (BRIO) competition, an initiative that provides a bridge between art and science.



The competition is a platform for raising public engagement with science, while incentivizing scientists to consider the visual aspects of their projects and provide an opportunity for them to display their work to the public. The latest BRIO awards were announced during a QNRF Research Outcome Seminar (ROS) that focused on role the media plays in society.

The BRIO awards reflect the emphasis within Qatar’s research community on both producing and promoting scientific research outcomes. For the second cycle of the competition, QNRF received 50 images resulting from projects funded under its portfolio of programs, including its National Priorities Research Program (NPRP), Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP), and NPRP-Exceptional Proposals program.

All submissions were screened and then assessed for scientific and visual impact by an expert panel, whose members looked for the aesthetic appeal of each image as well as the strong and novel message behind it. Seven images were shortlisted and exhibited at the recent Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference 2018, where a week-long public vote was held. Around 3,000 votes were cast, a high level of public interaction which accounted for 50 per cent of the weight in determining the final rankings.

Noor Al-Merekhi, Deputy Executive Director, QNRF, said: “The announcement of the winners of the second cycle of BRIO was connected to QNRF’s Research Outcome Seminar on the Role of Media in Society, the theme of which revolves around how media has a crucial social role as it informs, educates, and entertains.

“BRIO reflects this role, as images have a strong history of connecting society and science. The impact of such images, and their capacity to engage people, is demonstrated by the thousands of members of the public who took part in the vote to help decide our winners. We congratulate the awardees under the second cycle of BRIO, and all those who submitted their high-quality and thought-provoking images.”

Al Jazeera newscaster Osman Ayfarah announced the BRIO winners at the ROS event, with Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director, QNRF, presenting the awards to the creators of the top three images. The first-place winner was ‘A Microscopic Image of a Vertical Cut of an Artificial Collagen Skin Layer’, created by Dr. Nishtha Chopra and Dr. Akram Alomainy, working under Lead Principal Investigator Dr. Joseph Boutros, Professor, Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ). The image comes from an NPRP-funded project designed to develop novel algorithms and design methodologies that improve the operation, monitoring, reliability, and security of future e-health platforms.

Second place went to ‘A 3D Illustration for Testing a Novel Design of a Protection Coating TiN Film under Compression’ by Mustapha Makki, working under the Lead Principal Investigator Dr. Bilal Mansoor, Assistant Professor, TAMUQ. Two images tied for third place: ‘Dual Viscous Fingering Effect Observed when Displacing Glycerine by Dyed Water in a Hele-Shaw Cell’ created by Rommel Yrac and Dr. Nayef Alyafei through a UREP project from TAMUQ, and ‘Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (hiPSCs) Generated from a Qatari Diabetic Patient’, by Dr. Essam Abdelalim of Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, a research entity under Hamad Bin Khalifa University.


Fatema Al-Malki, Program Officer, QNRF, said: “The BRIO program was established to add an artistic flavor to science, and engage and encourage members of research teams to unlock their full range of talents and use different media to interpret and illustrate their outcomes.”