Within the Research and Development Grants Program for National Research Institutions and Centers (GRANTS) under the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Umm Al-Qura University researchers presented thirty-one proposals for a research program studying the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), whose funding exceeds twelve million Saudi Riyals. The aim of the program is to contribute to reducing the spread of the endemic, and to mitigate the damages from the epidemic by providing medical, technical and engineering solutions.
The Vice President for Postgraduate Studies and Scientific Research, Prof. Abdul-Wahhab Al-Resini, stressed that the Science and Technology Unit follows up and offers assistance to researchers in the different stages in the submission of their studies on the electronic submission portal by providing continuous technical support. They also provide repeated reviews of the projects of all the proposals, approximately seventy reviews, at a maximum of seven reviews per proposal; however, some studies were subject to only one review. The unit also carried out sixty-nine plagiarism checks, in the context of improving research in a way that guarantees high probability of its accreditation.
The proposals presented to study the virus branched into seven different areas. Out of these seven areas, "Mathematical Modeling and Infection Dynamics" accounted for the largest share, totaling thirteen research projects. The number of university entities participating in the research program reached twelve colleges and deanships, with the College of Computer and Information Systems at the forefront with nine projects. The College of Medicine came second with six projects.