Al-Khwarizmi KAUST PhD Doctoral Fellowship

The Al-Khwarizmi Graduate Fellowship scheme invites applications for doctoral fellowships, with the submission deadline of 22 January 2021, 17:00 CET. The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with support from the European Science Foundation (ESF) launches a competitive doctoral fellowship scheme to welcome students from the European continent for a research journey to a top international university in the Middle East. The applications will be evaluated via an independent peer-review process managed by the ESF. The selected applicants will be offered generous stipends and free tuition for Ph.D. studies within one of KAUST academic programs. Strong applicants who were not awarded a Fellowship but passed KAUST admission requirements will be offered the possibility to join the University as regular Ph.D. students with the standard benefits that include the usual stipends and free tuition.

What is funded

  • The Fellows receive a USD 38,000 annual living allowance.
  • The Fellows are provided with free tuitionfree student housing on campus, relocation support, and medical and dental coverage for the duration of the Fellowship.
  • Each Fellowship includes a supplementary grant of USD 6,000 at the Fellow’s disposal for research-related expenses such as conference attendance.
  • The academic progress of the Fellows will be reviewed on an annual basis. The Fellowships may be terminated if the Fellows fail to meet KAUST academic requirements for Ph.D. students.
  • The applications must be submitted in two steps, with the formal documents and transcripts to be submitted to KAUST Admissions in Step 1, and the research proposal to be submitted to the ESF in Step 2. Both steps should be completed in parallel before the call deadline.


The duration of the Fellowships is three years. Extensions may be considered in duly justified cases.


  • Applicants must either hold an MSc degree (or equivalent) in one of the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines or be in the final year of their MSc studies. The Fellowship award will be subject to candidates presenting their MSc degree (or equivalent) certificates to the KAUST Office of Admissions in summer 2021 at the very latest.
  • Applicants must submit a research proposal following a pre-defined template (see Step 2 of the application process). Only one application per candidate is allowed. Only complete proposals in which all sections are filled with relevant information will be evaluated. Proposals with missing information will not go to the peer review stage.
  • Applicants must have demonstrated excellence in their previous studies. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent during the MSc studies is required. The equivalent of GPA can be calculated for grades obtained in other systems such as ECTS based on various resources available online, such as the tables provided by the OECD.
  • The proposed research topic must be in an area represented in any of the three academic divisions of KAUST.
  • Applicants must pass all KAUST admission requirements for the Ph.D. degree program.
  • Applicants must be either nationals or residents of one of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe (CoE).
  • Good command of English evidenced by a minimum TOEFL score of 79 on the IBT (Internet Based Test) or 6.0 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). A TOEFL or IELTS score is not required if the applicant received a degree from an accredited institution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand.
  • A separate interview may be conducted to assess the applicant’s motivation and good fit for the program and the University.
  • The application must be submitted in English before 22 January 2021, 17:00 CET.


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