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KAUST Al-Khwarizmi Doctoral Fellowships in Saudi Arabia, 2021

The more talented and knowledge you learn, the better opportunities will open for you. We bring to you the KAUST Al-Khwarizmi doctoral fellowships in Saudi Arabia, 2021.

KAUST Al Khwarizmi doctoral fellowships in Saudi Arabia 2021

What you need to know is that, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is offering Al-Khwarizmi Doctoral Fellowships in Saudi Arabia.

The reason of the doctoral fellowships is to help and support outstanding European students for the academic session 2021/2022.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) offers educational and graduate training programmes in English as the official language and it was Founded in 2009.

You need to ask yourself the aim of studying at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology?

KAUST is Saudi Arabia’s first mixed-gender university campus. The University ranked among the world’s 500 fastest growing research and citation records in 2013. It was ranked 19th in the fastest growing universities for high-quality research performance in the 2016 Nature Index Rising Stars. And now they have upgrate from 19th fastest growing universities for high-quality research performance.

Application Process:

The application must be submitted in two steps, so if youb are to apply for this application they you need to take note of the two steps submittion.
With the formal documents, and transcripts to be submitted to KAUST Admissions in the first step (Step 1), and the research proposal to be submitted to the ESF in the second step (Step 2). Both steps should be completed in parallel before the closing date of the application.


Here are the steps and the following requirements.

  1. Applicants must submit an online application for studies at KAUST via the Admissions’ website before the call deadline. At the end of this application content, you will find out about the KAUST Al-Khwarizmi Doctoral Fellowships in Saudi Arabia, 2021 “CALL DEADLINE”. 
    • The following documents must be included: 
      • Curriculum Vitae including information about studies, employment, career breaks, academic awards, and, where available, a list of publications and publication abstracts (max. 2 pages), 
      • Degree certificates and official transcripts from all university-level institutions attended, 
      • A short statement of purpose (max. 1 page), where the applicants must indicate why they are applying for the Al-Khwarizmi Fellowship, the topic of the research proposal, and the name(s) of the potential thesis supervisor(s), if known at the time of application, 
      • Three letters of recommendation from professors or advisors who know the candidate (max. 1 page each), 
      • Proofs of English (certificates of GRE and/or TOEFL test taken within three years of the application).
  2. Applicants are required to submit a research proposal in PDF format (max. 5 pages) via the ESF Portal before the call deadline.
    At the end of this application content, you will find out about the KAUST Al-Khwarizmi Doctoral Fellowships in Saudi Arabia, 2021 “CALL DEADLINE” 

    • This proposal will define the applicant’s Ph.D. thesis’s theme if he/she is awarded the Fellowship. 
    • The proposal must follow the template provided here. 
    • While it is not mandatory, the applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their prospective supervisors at KAUST to familiarize themselves with their research and technical capabilities. This information will help the applicants in devising a feasible work plan.

Brief Description

  • University or Organization: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

  • Department: N/A

  • Course Level: Doctoral Fellowships

  • Award: USD 38,000 annual living allowance

  • Number of Awards: N/A

  • Access Mode: Online

  • Nationality: European students

  • The award can be taken in Saudi Arabia

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  1. Eligibility check: Upon receipt of the proposals, an eligibility check is performed by KAUST. The proposals which pass the eligibility check are evaluated in a two-stage selection process using the below-defined scores and criteria.
  2. Evaluation scores: All criteria are evaluated according to the scale 1 through 5, based on the definitions recommended by the European Peer Review Guide:
    1. Poor: “The criterion is addressed inadequately, or there are serious inherent weaknesses.”
    2. Fair: “While the proposal broadly addresses the criterion, there are significant weaknesses.”
    3. Good: “The proposal addresses the criterion well, although improvements would be necessary.”
    4. Very Good: “The proposal addresses the criterion very well, although certain improvements are still possible.”
    5. Excellent: “The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion in question. Any shortcomings are minor.”
  3.  Stage 1 – individual assessment

Each application is reviewed by two independent experts assigned by the ESF based on matching expertise to the proposal topic. The experts will assess the qualifications of the applicant and quality of the research proposal based on the following criteria:

Criterion 1. Qualifications of the candidate:
    • Sub-criterion 1.1: previous academic performance of the applicant (evaluation based on the applicant’s CV including awards/prizes in recognition of excellence in studies, participation in internships and external schools and courses, awarded student fellowships, etc.).
    • Sub-criterion 1.2: previous research output, if available (participation in research projects, co-authorship of conference contributions and scientific publications, any other relevant research activities).
    • Sub-criterion 1.3: evaluation of the applicant’s motivation and the potential impact of the fellowship on her/his career development, based on the applicant’s statement of purpose.
Criterion 2. Quality of the proposed research:
    • Sub-criterion 2.1: scientific quality and novelty of the proposed research.
    • Sub-criterion 2.2: appropriateness of the methodology, feasibility of the project and clarity of the workplan.
    • Sub-criterion 2.3: expected impact of the proposed project.

Each sub-criterion is evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5. The total score (/30) is obtained as the sum of the averaged scores for each criterion provided by the two independent evaluators’ individual evaluation reports. The applicants with a total score of 20 and above will be admitted to stage 2 of the evaluation process.

In cases where one of the two experts has evaluated the application above the threshold of admission to stage 2, while the other expert has scored the application by seven or more points below the first expert, the respective Selection Committee will examine the two assessment reports. The Committee will decide which of the two individual evaluation reports shall take precedence and use those scores as the final scores of stage 1. If the final score is below the threshold of 20 points, the application will not be considered in stage 2.

Check: Michael Giannulis Scholarship in the US, 2021 – When , Where & How to Apply

Rebuttal: the applicants are entitled to submit a rebuttal after receiving the reviewer’s comments from the ESF. The rebuttal offers the opportunity for applicants to provide clarifications on factual errors or misunderstandings that may have been made by the reviewers while assessing the proposal. The Selection Committee will decide which applicants are invited to stage 2 taking into account the review reports and the rebuttal.

Feedback to applicants after stage 1: Upon completing the individual assessment and rebuttal stages, the ESF will send all applicants anonymized reviewers’ comments and notification of either having passed or not to stage 2.

4. Stage 2 – candidate interviews

Interviews with the Selection Committees will take place online. Three Committees will be established corresponding to the disciplines of the three academic divisions of KAUST. Each Committee will consist of appointed faculty members of the respective Divisions. Each Committee will establish a separate ranking list of candidates taking into account the proposals, the referee reports and rebuttal. Decisions will be taken by consensus, where needed a simple majority procedure will be used. The interviews will be scheduled shortly after the shortlisted applicants have been informed by the ESF of going to stage 2. The interviews will consist of:

  • a short 15-minute presentation by the candidate, including:
    • personal career motivation,
    • academic and research achievements,
    • the proposed research project,
  • questions by the Committee, aimed at clarifying the candidate’s career objectives, background knowledge, and his/her ability to carry out the proposed research. In their assessment, the Committee will also consider the letters of recommendations supplied by the professors or advisors who know the candidate.

Based on the interviews and scores received in stage 1, the Selection Committee will score each candidate with a mark between 1 and 5 for each of the above-listed criteria.

5. Final decision and Fellowship award

The stage 2 evaluation score will establish the final ranking. Each of the disciplinary Committees will establish a separate ranking list. The top candidates in each ranking list will be offered a Fellowship. A reserve list of candidates will be drawn in case awarded candidates decline the fellowship.

Feedback to applicants after stage 2: KAUST will inform each applicant about the selection outcome, which will include providing an evaluation summary report from the respective Selection Committee. The high-scoring applicants who will not be offered a Fellowship will have the option to join KAUST as regular Ph.D. students with the standard KAUST student benefits and stipends if they pass all admission requirements.


The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Promise to offer USD 38,000 annual living allowance, free tuition- fees, free student housing on campus, relocation support, and medical and dental coverage for the duration of the Fellowship and a supplementary award of USD 6,000 at the Fellow’s disposal for research-related expenses such as conference attendance.

Application deadline: February 11, 2021

Apply now…

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