DUBAI // Four academic research centres specialising in education, the environment, medicine and nanoscience, will be established in Zayed University (ZU) and UAE University (UAEU) next year. The centres will be granted up to Dh10 million each year for five years, after an annual evaluation on their work and progress. They were selected as part of a competition conducted by the National Research Foundation (NRF). Kenneth Wilson, the director of NRF, announced the winners of the competition on Tuesday at Zayed University's Knowledge Village campus.
The Centre for the Study of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education at ZU, and three centres at UAEU - the Water and Environment Centre of Excellence, the Genes and Diseases Research Centre and the Emirates Centre for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering - will start their work in January 2009. Dr Sulaiman Al Jasem, Vice-President of ZU, said that this initiative came as a response to the need to participate in helping society, the local community and the world. "The role of higher education is not only to graduate educated students but also to serve the community through research," he said. The focus of the research will be local, but there will be "collateral advantage" for neighbouring countries, said Jeffrey Belnap, the associate provost and director of ZU's Abu Dhabi campus. * WAM