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Scientific Review Panels

​​Higher Education Commission supports highest quality scientific research within all scientific fields.  To ensure that the assessment processed are systematic and that the handling of applications is objective and impartial, so that the best research ideas receive funding, scientific review panels have been formulated. The objective of the scientific review panels is to ensure quality of assessment, transparency, objectivity and efficiency.

Program Chairs​

rashid bajwa.jpg

Dr Rashid Bajwa
(Program Chair for Local Challenge Fund - LCF)

Rashid Bajwa heads National Rural Support Program (NRSP) which is Pakistan's largest rural development organization. He works with millions of small and poor farmers trying to create out of the box solutions to help improve their productivity and incomes. He looks at Rural Development and Poverty alleviation from the lens of a social entrepreneur instead of charity. The NRSP model of development is organizing communities, men and women and their capacity building. The model creates demand for goods and services and NRSP as a support organization bridges this gap with public sector and donors. NRSP works with all international donors operating in Pakistan. It has recently concluded a seven year 50 million USD USAID "Small Grants and Ambassadors Fund Project (SGAFP)". The SGAFP was providing small grants to civil society organizations in the country.

Dr. Bajwa has successfully set up the NRSP MF Bank which has investors including IFC, KFW and ACUMEN FUND. Today, the NRSP Bank is the third largest MF Bank in the country with 115 branches. It is the only MF Bank to have been given an "Islamic Micro Banking License". Recently, he has established an Agriculture Value Chain company that integrates small and poor farmers into a vertical value chain in Sugar Cane and Rice.

He is currently the Chairman of Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX). He has remained Chairman of the Pakistan Micro Finance Network (PMN). He has been on many Boards as independent director including FFBL, Fauji Foods etc. Dr. Bajwa is an ex member of the Pakistan Administrative Service (DMG) from where he resigned in 2003. He holds a Master's degree in Public Health from the Nuffield Institute of Health, UK and a graduate of King Edward Medical College.

Dr Athar Osama

(Program Chair for Grand Challenge Fund - GCF &

 Innovative & Collaborative Research Grant - ICRG)

Dr. Athar Osama is a science and innovation policy adviser and consultant and the founder and CEO of Pakistan Innovation Foundation (PIF). He has served as Member Science & Technology and ICT, Planning Commission. He is also the Founder and Chief Executive of Technomics International Ltd – a public policy research and consulting firm. At PIF, Dr. Osama has spearhead fundraising and executive responsibility for developing and delivering several innovation programmes including a National Innovation Grand Challenges (NIGC) initiative, an annual Conference (Pakistan Innovation Forum), a National Learning Innovation Challenge, and a Civic Innovation Initiative for Karachi.  

Prior to this, Dr. Osama was the Director of Middle East and Asia for Angle Plc. – a UK-based technology commercialization consulting, management, and venture capital firm that specialized innovation programmes, incubators, and research parks in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. From 1999-2006, Dr. Osama worked at the RAND Corporation where he helped designed eCommerce Strategies, consulted on the re-organisation of US Army's R&D Infrastructure, and helped create the US Army's Venture Capital Fund.

Dr. Osama has advised and consulted for several state and national governments across Asia, Middle East, Europe, and North America and institutions like DfiD, ADB, UN, The OIC, The Carbon Trust, and The Royal Society, among others. Dr. Osama is the Fellow of the New York-based World Technology Network (WTN) and a Young Global Leader (2013-18) for the World Economic Forum (WEF).​

Panel Chairs
Panel ChairDiscipline
Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta

Professor & Founding Director, Centre of Excellence in Women & Child Health, Agha Khan University, Karachi 

Biological and Health Sciences

Dr Tariq Hassan

Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan

Management Sciences

Dr Muhammad Ashraf Chaudry

President Pakistan Nuclear Society

Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Dr Amir Muhammad

Ex-Chairman PARC

Agriculture Sciences

Dr Sarosh H. Lodhi

VC NED UET Karachi 

Engineering & Technology

Dr Syed Noman ul Haq

Dean, Institute of Liberal Arts

UMT Lahore

Arts & Humanities

Dr. Hanid Mukhtar

Former Senior Economist

World Bank

Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences