Arab students Abu Dhabi - Agencies Four medical students from the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) have been selected to travel to the United Kingdom, as part of the British Council Research Scholarship Programme. The programme is a joint initiative between the Faculty of Medicine at UAEU and the British Council which provides the opportunity for selected students to participate in research activities at cutting-edge UK research laboratories, forming an invaluable part of their career development. \"In order for the UAE to develop a world class research programme, it is vital that young researchers at the beginning of their careers have the chance to meet and network with their peers. The scholarship offers the opportunity to meet counterparts from the UK who are at the cutting edge of medical research,\" said Richard Cotton, Country Director for British Council UAE. \"This is the 10th year of the scholarship and in those 10 years we have seen alumni move into senior positions in research. With the calibre of scholarship winners this year, we expect that to continue into the future,\" Cotton added. The programme aims to enhance learning, teaching, research and knowledge transfer between the UK and the UAE, to encourage scientific educational co-operation and to increase the international competitiveness of both countries. Professor Chris Howarth, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at UAEU said: \"Our vision for the future would be to expand the programme and make it available to medical students in universities throughout the GCC countries.\" Scholarship awardees Amira Yaqoub Al Ahmadi, Bushra Ahmad Kamalboor, Reem Ahmed Ali and Fakrah Al Darei will spend four to six weeks working on a research project over the summer supervised by a PhD student or postdoctoral scientist, and may be given opportunities to visit local hospitals and participate in scientific conferences. The research scholarship experience is aimed at paving the way for undergraduate electives, post-graduate research qualifications and specialty programmes in the UK. Over the long term, the project aims to strengthen scientific collaboration between academics in the UAE and UK, and in recent years scholarships have been offered at Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Imperial College London, King\'s College London, Dublin, Liverpool, Glasgow and several other universities and research centres. The UK Research Scholarship programme is in line with the overall UAE strategic plan for higher education and research, which aimed to update UAE\'s science and technology university education programmes to match global standards, and allow the UAE to be a scientific hub in the region.