Maldives National University (MNU) on Tuesday awarded grants to nine employees to conduct research.
The winners were chosen out of 10 proposals submitted when the university opened for applications last April.
Former Governor and MNU Research Department's Assistant Professor Fazeel Najeeb stated that all the grants add up to a total of MVR 2.6 million. The individual grants fall within a range of MVR 10,000 to MVR 983,000.
The university offered a duration of between six months to one year. Those who complete their research can publish their papers in MNU's research journal.
Fazeel added that some of the previous papers were presented at international conferences and published in journals of foreign universities.
The proposals selected on Tuesday include research in the environmental and health sectors. The biggest grant was awarded to MNU's Medical School's Dean Dr Sheeza Ali for her research on the correlation between the abundance of thyroid diseases and lack of iron in the body.
According to Sheeza, the research done on the topic by other countries show a causation between the two.
"There are many substances required to produce thyroid hormones. Iron is one of those substances. It is likely that the production of hormones decrease due to iron deficiency. Since some foreign papers prove this hypothesis, we wanted to research if a similar occurrence is happening in Maldives", said Sheeza.
She further elaborated that if the hypothesis were proven correct, the treatment plans for thyroid diseases should be changed.
MNU accepts proposals to provide research grants twice every year. Fazeel stated that this was 2019's first round of grants and there will be more opportunities in the future.