Abu Dhabi Award for Research Excellence (AARE) - 2019

Abu Dhabi Award for Research Excellence (AARE) - 2019

The Abu Dhabi Award for Research Excellence (AARE) is a competitive funding program for outstanding research proposals in targeted areas within Abu Dhabi. Research funded by the AARE program is expected to advance scientific and technological development within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as well as develop meaningful partnerships between Abu Dhabi scientists and leading academic and industrial collaborators, both nationally and worldwide. Applicants will be required to demonstrate the potential impact of their research and identify how this impact may be realized.

Call for Submission of Proposals

The funding call for 2019 is now closed.

Priority Sectors

The awards will be targeted to sectors of strategic importance to Abu Dhabi, specifically the following:

Sector Maximum Award
Aerospace AED 1,000,000 
Energy AED 1,000,000 
Environment  AED 1,000,000 
Health, Food and Agriculture AED 1,000,000 
Information and communication Technology (ICT)  AED 1,000,000 
Manufacturing AED 1,000,000
Education and Social Sciences  AED 300,000

If there is a clear attempt to misrepresent the category, the proposal may be considered non-compliant and will not be considered for further review.

Applicant Eligibility

1- The AARE Program is open to all full-time faculty in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) geographically located within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and collaborators in the affiliated industry, however, no awarded funding can be directed to industry. An applicant can only submit one proposal as lead investigator but can participate as a co-investigator, or collaborator, on additional proposals.

2- Faculty members who are currently holding an AARE award as principal investigators are eligible for funding under the AARE Program. However, it just cannot be an extension of an identical project as this is not a competitive renewal call for proposals.

3- Faculty members who wish to apply for the AARE as a principal investigator cannot apply simultaneously to the Abu Dhabi Young Investigator Award (AYIA), which is a competitive funding program targeting early career faculty, as a principal investigator.


The AARE may be up to three years in duration with up to a maximum budget of AED 1,000,000 for non-Education and Social Sciences proposals. Budgets in Education and Social Sciences may be up to a maximum budget of AED 300,000. The maximum budget for Education and Social Sciences has a reduced amount recognizing that equipment/consumable purchases of any significance are unlikely to be required in these areas of research. Award amounts will be based on the feasibility of the project budget proposed, availability of funds, the number of proposals submitted, the nature of the proposal and level of institutional and industry cost sharing.

Proposal Review

Proposals will undergo both an administrative and subject matter peer review process. The proposal will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

1- Novelty and intellectual merit of the proposal.
2- Potential impact of the research and the described path to impact.
3- Relevance to Abu Dhabi strategic priority areas.
4- Qualifications and track record of the Lead PI, Co-investigators and collaborators.
5- Commitment of Higher Education Institution and availability of support and infrastructure.
6- Collaboration with industry where applicable.
7- Training and human capital development.


Budgets must be submitted using the template provided within the proposal template and with full justification for each cost. Items not justified or poorly justified will be removed from the budget.


Only personnel directly employed by, and costs directly incurred as part of, the funded project can be included in the budget. Please detail the type and designation of staff or student to be funded from the award. The time commitment for each request should be stated. Personnel costs relating to Faculty time cannot be included as a direct cost, only as a cost-share (in-kind or cash contribution).


Equipment essential to the project with a unit cost of up to AED 200,000 can be requested, with a cap of AED 250,000 in total (Equipment with a unit cost of less than AED 20,000 should be included under consumables).


An outline should be given of the consumables which are to be used. This section would also include the costs of using databases, chemicals, biological specimens etc. It is expected that as part of its commitment to the project, the host organization would cover the costs of using research infrastructure already available at the host institution.

Travel and Subsistence:

Travel relating to the research can be requested up to a total value of AED 75,000 across the three years of the grant. These can include conference attendance, travel to collaborator institutions, collaborator visits to Abu Dhabi and other directly relevant working visits.

Technical-Level Outsourcing:

Where it is necessary to access specialized facilities elsewhere for technical level supportive work (non-research oriented), the costs may be included in the application. A strong justification must be made for such expenditures. This cost should not exceed 7.5% of the total requested budget.

Miscellaneous (other direct costs):

Publication costs and any other costs that do not classify as equipment or consumables.

Institutional / Industry Cost Share:

Cost share are the contributions made by the host HEI or industrial/HEI partner that are not eligible direct costs. This amount is not counted towards the requested budget.