CRG - Competitive Research Grant program. 2017 Call for Proposals now open | Deadline: May 21st, 2017


KAUST Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) is pleased to announce the 2017 competition for its internal competitive research funding program, the Competitive Research Grant (CRG) program.

The CRG program, managed by the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), is KAUST's internal competitive research program for curiosity- and goal-driven scientific research. Research funded under the CRG program is expected to lead to major discoveries and innovations at the frontiers of science and technology. Proposals transcending different disciplines and fields are strongly welcome.

CRG research activities are expected to contribute towards the recruitment of excellent graduate students to KAUST as well as the participation of women in research. The participation of world-class external co-investigators is also allowed, but it must be demonstrated that these collaborator(s) can provide unique and essential expertise and resources to the project.

New in 2017

  • Previous restrictions on Center participation in the submission of Full proposals have been removed. Nevertheless, duplication of Competitive Center Fund (CCF)-funded projects must continue to be avoided in any CRG proposal submission.
  • Full proposal budgets exceeding $350K/year will be allowed with prior approval from OSR.

Two types of Proposals will be considered in the CRG program:

  1. Exploratory Proposals: Proposals for very early stage small-scale, short-term, high risk-high impact research projects, involving radically different approaches or applying new expertise. Proposals MUST focus on new topics and not be a continuation of existing work. The Exploratory Award Term is up to a maximum of 24 months with a maximum Award Budget of $400,000
  2. Full Proposals: Proposals for high-quality, novel, ambitious and innovative research projects. The Award Term can be up to a maximum of 36 months with a total Award Budget not to exceed $1,050,000.  However, a 3-Yr total budget of up to $1,500,000 will be considered in exceptional cases, but only with prior approval from OSR (to be requested by the PI through the Letter of Intent).

Key Call Dates

  • Letter of Intent (LoI) submission to Research Services (RS) by 5:00pm KSA Time March 30th, 2017
  • Town hall meeting: March 12, 2017, 2:00-3:00pm
  • Online Proposal Submission to RS by 5:00 p.m. KSA time May 21st, 2017
  • Anticipated Funding Decision Notification Date: November 2017              
  • Award Start Date: April 1st, 2018

Submission of proposals is via the CRF online submission portal, the Proposal to Award Lifecycle

Management System: PALMS (

  • No registration is required to use PALMS, your KAUST username and password will give you access.
  • The system is accessed using the network; no additional software needs to be installed.
  • You can access the system online from any location worldwide through the KAUST VPN.

Please see the PALMS User Guide for more detailed information.

All call documents can be downloaded from the PALMS portal by clicking the 'Download Call Documents' button located at the very top of the web page once logged in. The Call for Proposals content also available here

Please direct all questions related to Proposal preparation and Proposal budget development and submission to the Research Services Pre-Award Team at

CRF encourages your active participation and wishes you the best in this competition.