Call for Proposals: Competitive Research Grants (CRG) Program (2018)


To all KAUST Faculty:

KAUST Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) is pleased to announce the 2018 competition for its internal competitive research funding program, the Competitive Research Grants (CRG) program.

The CRG program, managed by the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), is KAUST 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.

  • CRG proposal submission may not duplicate projects already supported with Center funds.

  • Full proposal budget exceeding the $1.05M cap 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 (e.g., project involving a multi-disciplinary team of KAUST investigators), 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 5:00 p.m. KSA time Thursday, March 29, 2018

  • Town hall meeting: Sunday, March 18, 2018, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Auditorium 0215 between buildings 4&5

  • Online Proposal Submission to RS by 5:00 p.m. KSA time Monday, May 21, 2018

  • Anticipated Funding Decision Notification Date: November 2018                

  • Award Start Date: April 1, 2019

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.

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.