Abu Dhabi Young Investigator Award (AYIA) - 2019

Abu Dhabi Young Investigator Award (AYIA) - 2019

The Abu Dhabi Young Investigator Award (AYIA) is a competitive funding program open to researchers who are within 6 years of obtaining their terminal degree (PhD or equivalent) for outstanding research proposals in targeted areas within Abu Dhabi. Research funded by the AYIA 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
AED 200,000
AED 200,000
AED 200,000
 Health, Food and Agriculture AED 200,000
Information and communication Technology (ICT)  AED 200,000
AED 200,000
Education and Social Sciences AED 100,000
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 AYIA Program is open to researchers who are within 6 years of obtaining their terminal degree (PhD or equivalent) currently employed as a full-time faculty in Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) geographically located within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The applicant should also include a suggested faculty mentor as a Co-PI. An applicant can only submit one proposal as lead investigator but can participate as a co-investigator, or collaborator, on additional proposals. Preference will be given to Emirati applicants.

2- Faculty members who are currently holding an AARE award as principal investigators are eligible for funding under the AYIA 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 AYIA as a principal investigator, cannot apply simultaneously to the Abu Dhabi Award for Research Excellence (AARE) funding program 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.