Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a set of commonly questions regarding the KAUST Global Fellowship Program. If you do not find an answer to your query, please contact the program office

About the Fellowship

What is the scientific scope of KAUST Global Fellowship Program?
The KAUST Global Fellowship Program is supporting research in line with the KAUST Five Research Pillars (Water, Environment, Digital Domain, Food & Health, Energy) and the programs of KAUST academic divisions; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE), Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE), and Physical Science and Engineering (PSE). For more information about the KAUST academic divisions and programs: 
KAUST Global Fellows are expected to live and work at KAUST and undertake work in one of the research laboratories on campus, in Saudi Arabia.
KAUST Global Fellows are expected to be working on their proposed project full time. As such, you will have to give up any other primary employment in order to become a Global Fellow.
That's ok. Our goal from day one is to support you in finding the best path to drive your research toward impact in the research community and eventually the world. We understand that this can take many forms or the idea might have a fatal flaw you didn't expect. In any case, our primary goal is your personal success and the realization of your research project proposal, regardless of the form that takes.
Yes, but as soon as you accept another fellowship or position you need to inform the KAUST Global Fellowship Office ( Please mention any other fellowship you are applying or planning to apply for in the online application form. This information is important to us for statistical purposes, but has no influence on the evaluation process and outcome.
Yes, you may apply. However, at the time the Global Fellowship Program starts you need to be able to move work on a full time basis on your proposed research project here in KAUST. This means you will have no obligations with other institutions or funding agencies.
Our purpose is to provide you with an excellent Cohort experience that helps build a supportive intellectual environment to enhance your scientific endeavors, personal & professional development, career success, networking opportunities, and an overall culture of innovation, scientific rigor, and workplace joy at KAUST. To achieve this, we bring KAUST Global Fellows together promoting a complete Cohort experience.
Due to data protection and privacy reasons, we cannot provide contact details of KAUST Global Fellows. The names of the successful applicants, are listed on our website: 

Fellowship Eligibility

What do you mean by postdoctoral research experience?

Postdoctoral research experience is considered any experience obtained after the applicants PhD, not just a postdoctoral position. Any experience on the topic or field of the applicant will be considered as a post-PhD research experience independed of the sector.

To claim a career break or non – research / proposal topic related experience, please check the FAQs section at the Fellowship website as well as the Application Guidelines published under the ‘How to Apply’ webpage to see what is considered a justified career break under this Fellowship.

Please see our eligibility requirements and details on what we look for in a KAUST Global Fellow at: 
KAUST is a Science and Technology focused institution. Hence, we support fellows whose proposals are aligned with the KAUST five Research Pillars (Food & Health, the Environment, Water, Energy and the Digital Domain) and the Research Programs of our divisions. We encourage you to check KAUST research priorities and programs when determining if your project fits at: 
KAUST Global Fellowship Program encourages the participation of scientists and engineers of all nationalities. However, candidates need to satisfy all Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requirements to obtain resident status and participate to the program.
Candidates must identify in their application the KAUST faculty member who confirmed and agreed to host them and their research project, if successful. As evidence, candidates will need to include in their application a copy of the email confirmation from the PI or use the KAUST host PI support letter template as provided. We encourage you to check KAUST Faculty directory when identifying your KAUST Host PIs and contact them in advance: 
Applicants who have not yet been awarded their PhD degree, must be awarded prior to the start of their fellowship, but not necessarily at the time the application is submitted. To participate in the upcoming cohort and given the visa processes that might be required, applicants currently in PhD programs need to complete their degrees by May of the year the cohort starts. (Cohort 2023 applicants must complete their PhD by May of 2023.) 
There is no age restriction; however, the candidate must have no more than four years of research experience after completing their PhD.
In order to be eligible, applicants need to have less than four years of post-doctoral research experience at the time of the application. Exceptions to the four years rule are made for applicants with well justified career breaks during the relevant period due to parental leave, mandatory military/ civil service etc. in which case the time of the career break will not be counted. Additional exceptions might be made on a case – by – case basis for extraordinary personal circumstances, such as demonstrable severe illness or full-time care of an ill family member. No other exceptions will be made for other types of voluntary career breaks.
For the purposes of this program, you need to apply with a proposal that is not directly connected to any running project. The research proposal submitted for this Fellowship must fall under KAUST Research priorities and programs and meet the selection criteria as described in the Application Guidelines. Having said that, among other things we are looking for scientific quality, approach, novelty and significance of the proposed research that will potentially lead to innovation and development of research outputs. Likewise, submitted research proposals need to go beyond an applicant's PhD work and/ or current research.
Re-application is permitted only once, irrespective of a change of project or change of KAUST Host PI. You can apply two times in total, provided that all eligibility criteria are met each time. A submission is counted as an application once receipt has been acknowledged and a reference number has been assigned.

Fellowship Application Process

How do I submit an application to the KAUST Global Fellowship Program?
Applications are submitted online through the online application portal. Please make sure that you have read the Eligibility criteria, Application Guidelines and have all the necessary documents to complete the application form: 
Each applicant may submit only one application and with one KAUST Host PI.
Your application will be reviewed by scientific and industry experts from our network in accordance with our privacy policy. We will not share application materials outside of the review process without your express permission. While we encourage you to be as open as possible in your application, we would advise against including any critically sensitive proprietary details.
The selection criteria can be found in the KAUST Global Fellowship Application Guidelines document. Please download and carefully read the CALL FOR COHORT 2023 – APPLICATION KIT at: 
Fellows coming out of a PhD, postdoctoral, or staff scientist appointments are not allowed to continue working directly in their current academic labs, under the management of their principal investigator. Excemptions are made for applicants who are already affiliated with KAUST. Fellows who are not currently at KAUST need to move here and conduct their research in one of KAUST academic research labs. Fellows may, however, form collaborations with their previous academic labs or with other institutional labs, provided those collaboration do not compromise their ability to conduct their independed research. The program aims to promote independed research and we believe that requiring global fellows to direct their own efforts in a new environment is necessary for their growth as independed researchers.
Most communications from the KAUST Global Fellowship Program will come from the email address. We recommend making sure emails from this address are not sent to your spam or promotion folders. You may see our application review timeline at: 
Research budget varies with discipline. To see what is applicable for your project, please download and carefully read the CALL FOR COHORT 2023 – APPLICATION KIT at: 
Any work-related travel including field activities and conferences are covered under the 'travel budget' you will need to mention on your proposal budget.
As a KAUST Global Postdoctoral Fellow, you can only have one official host PI. You can apply with a research proposal that requires collaboration with other PIs, but you have to choose one main PI. You should describe the planned collaboration(s) within the research proposal, but keep in mind that including another PI or lab in your proposal means you would be expected to have them on board as well if you are selected.
You can add figures or tables in your application, but you still need to use the proposal template and stay within the max page limit.

KAUST Applicants

Can I apply if I am already affiliated with KAUST as a Postdoc?
KAUST affiliated Postdocs may apply to this Fellowship Program as long as they haven't been affiliated with KAUST more than 1,5 year by the time of the application and given that they meet the eligibility requirements. It must be noted that KAUST Postdocs do not need to change a KAUST PI, but will need to submit a support letter from their KAUST PI agreeing to host them and support their independent research project if successful. 
Yes. In coming Postdocs are eligible to apply without the need to change their KAUST PI but they will need to change projects if successful. Also, they will need to submit a support letter from their KAUST PI agreeing to host them and support their independent research project if successful. 
The contract-limit will not affect the application. However, applicants must meet the eligibility requirements of the call.
Yes. The selection criteria are the same for all applicants, regardless of their current affiliation.