Recipients of CNRS national scholarships and grants honored

​A​UB and the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) honored doctoral students, undergraduates, and faculty who received CNRS scholarships and grants for the academic year 2016-17. The names of 46 awardees were announced in the presence of AUB President, Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, and CNRS Secretary General, Dr. Mouin Hamze.

For the first time, faculty and students, both undergraduate and doctorate, were honored in one official ceremony organized by the Office of Financial Aid, the Graduate Council, and the Office of Grants and Contracts. This year, a total of $480,000 of CNRS funding was allocated for 14 undergraduate scholarships and grants in support of research projects for 12 PhD candidates and 20 faculty members.

“The remarkable support from CNRS to AUB shows the commitment of the Council to fostering and enhancing research environments in notable academic institutions in Lebanon such as AUB,” said Dr. Rabih Talhouk, Graduate Council Chairperson. “It also reflects a commitment by AUB to its constituents and to CNRS that it will sustain its leading role as an outstanding educational and research institute in Lebanon and the region.”

Dr. Hamze acknowledged the importance of AUB’s output of research in publications, high impact factor journals, and corresponding high citation indexes. He also congratulated AUB on its 150th anniversary.

“We join many others in recognizing the exceptional contribution of this University, its leadership and its professors, to education and research, both nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Hamze. “Over the course of your history, 150 years, and ours, 54 years, the CNRS has been honored and proud of a partnership that started since the very first days of our establishment in 1962 and developed over a common vision of enhancing research and capacity in and for Lebanon.”

Selected according to international evaluation criteria, 20 faculty research projects join a total of 68 projects supported by CNRS between 2013 and 2015 (35% of all projects funded by the Council).

“In our view, the CNRS is one of the most fundamentally successful and important branches of the Lebanese Government,” said President Khuri. “We will move forward with our most trusted and most relied-on partners. We commit to the leadership of the government and to the new president of the Republic that we will redouble our efforts to continue to educate the very best and the brightest irrespective of their backgrounds.”

Every year, the top five ranking students in each category of the Official Lebanese Baccalaureate exam are selected by CNRS to receive undergraduate scholarships. To date, AUB has attracted 48 % of all CNRS scholarship recipients. This year, 14 newly awarded AUB undergraduates join another 118 funded by CNRS to date since the start of this initiative in 2006.

“The national undergraduate scholarship is a great opportunity given to Lebanon’s top-notch students,” Dr. Salim Kanaan, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, told us. “The high rate of these students’ choice to join AUB testifies to the quality of education at AUB and adds to the richness of its diversity.”

This year’s 12 new doctoral scholarship recipients come from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture. They join 36 fellows funded by CNRS to date. The doctoral scholarship was established in 2012 to help fund PhD students at AUB. Since last year, the number of awardees per year has risen from 8 to 14.

“The road ahead is difficult; but it is filled with hope and that hope is stronger when we see so many bright and successful, young and senior faces, researchers and students who are committed to the greater good through the discovery of truth,” said President Khuri. “Today, we celebrate [our awardees], all of whom are outstanding examples of the hope that can bring forth reasons to be optimistic about today.”