​​Stimulate Innovation

​KAUST offers a number of opportunities for donors to share in the King’s dream by presenting a living gift to the people of the Kingdom and beyond.
Ground breaking research perpetuates the King’s dream of the University as new “House of Wisdom" that tackles the challenges of our time. Such questions as how to provide enough water and food to sustain our populations, and how to steward the Earth’s ecosystems and resources for the generations to come will require collaboration of the best scientific minds, using the most sophisticated facilities available.
KAUST has established nine research centers to support its strategy. In addition, KAUST researchers are supported by a strong Global Research Collaboration network with partners from many of the top research institutions in the world. These include:
  • MIT
  • Imperial College
  • Stanford
  • Institut Français du Pétrole
  • University of California at Berkley
  • Seoul National University
  • Cambridge University
  • Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

What Your Support Will Achieve

Your Living Gift will be applied to unrestricted research and its associated costs.

Whether you decide to enable a specific research initiative with your donation or make an award through open competition – the funds you provide will open up opportunities for research, collaboration and discovery not otherwise available to the recipient scientist(s).

Donations toward KAUST research can be designated toward named funds either intended for specific areas of research aspired to by individual donors provided they support the University vision, strategy, and academic objectives; or may be unrestricted and available to support all areas of research.

Your Living Gift will play a significant role in KAUST achieving its vision to become a beacon for scientific contribution to the region and the world.

Cultivate Scholarships: Gifted minds process knowledge and offer new perspectives

The King’s dream of a new House of Wisdom was achieved, in part, by attracting scholars who were the “pick of the crop” worldwide. Selected on the basis of academic merit (representing just two percent of all applicants), the founding class hails from almost 45 countries. Their academic vigor and research excellence will serve to enrich KAUST, intensify competition and provide motivation for Saudi students.

Your Living Gift will perpetuate that dream. It will enable KAUST to cultivate the best and the brightest to contribute to KAUST’s aspirations and commitment to solving pressing issues faced by humanity: energy, water, food and the environment.

KAUST offers three ways to support scholarship


Your donation will enable the brightest, most deserving scholars to begin their life’s work at KAUST under the tutelage of our faculty and senior researchers


While enabling scholars to grow and prosper at KAUST, as a sponsor you will also receive opportunities to engage directly with the scholars you support as well as other researchers, faculty and staff at the university


The annual income from your donation of an endowment or waqf will be used to fund scholarships in perpetuity – the dream will live on

Donations to fund scholarships of significant value may be named by donors, in their own name or the name of others whom they wish to honor provided they support the University vision, strategy and academic objectives.

Your Living Gift will enable the University to attract highly gifted scholars capable of participating in pioneering research. They, in turn, help KAUST attract and retain faculty and senior researchers.

Nurture Professors:

High Caliber Faculty Inspire and Nurture Emerging Scholars

Outstanding faculty perpetuate the King’s dream. In its first year, over 70 faculty members joined KAUST. They include distinguished scientists from top international universities who are committed to promoting innovation and scientific discovery that benefits Saudi Arabia, the region, and the world.

Your Living Gift towards a named professorship will strengthen KAUST’s ability to attract, retain and support researchers and faculty. Individuals of the caliber to be given such an honor are recognized by their peers as preeminent and leaders in their field. They also demonstrate a continuing commitment to the support and development of emerging scholars.

Those who hold named professorships achieve and facilitate breakthroughs in KAUST’s priority research areas of food, water, energy, and the environment. Their passion and drive influences and motivates scholars and other faculty members at KAUST to do the same. These can be Deans, Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors within the three academic divisions:

  • Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
Professorships may be named by donors, in their own name or the name of others whom they wish to honor provided they support the University vision, strategy, and academic objectives.

By supporting outstanding faculty and their research infrastructure, your Living Giftwill play a significant role in ground-breaking discoveries that tackle the challenges of our time.

Propagate Faculty Chairs: Preeminent academics break new ground

The King’s dream of building a new House of Wisdom has been realized. KAUST is an academic institution which rekindles the virtue of learning that marked the Arab and Muslim worlds in earlier times.

Professorial Chairs will strengthen KAUST’s ability to attract, retain and support researchers and teachers. To be awarded a Chair is a great distinction granted by KAUST to outstanding and innovative researchers whose accomplishments have made groundbreaking impacts in their field.

Your Living Gift towards a professorial Chair will perpetuate the King’s dream.

KAUST offers two types of chairs:


Your donation, for five years, will enable an academic with a stellar research record to advance his/her research at KAUST while, at the same time, influencing and motivating scholars and other faculty members to produce ground-breaking results.

Memorial Chairs:

The annual income from your donation of an endowment or waqf will be used to fund a Chair in perpetuity. The dream will live on through the work of the researcher you enable with your donation.

The value of a Chair is reflected in a hierarchy of titles of special merit:
  • President’s Chair
  • KAUST Chair
  • Research Center Chair

National Collaboration Programs

Outreach programs enable talented Saudi scientists and researchers working in the Kingdom, as well as gifted Saudi students to come to KAUST to experience its rewarding intellectual environment. Faculty members, renowned experts in their fields, are eager to share their knowledge and passion for their field with others across the country.

Activities such as exchanges, placements, scholarships, courses and visits are all within the scope of programs that could result from your Living Gift.
  • National Young Investigator Program – a national, prestigious competitive program that will fund recent successful Ph.D. candidates from Saudi universities to spend a year at KAUST and a year at their home institutions. Successful candidates will enjoy the opportunity to work with KAUST’s leading scientists and facilities while also participating with the global research community
  • KAUST Discovery Scholars – a general scholarship program for talented science and technology students, helping them attend first-university or bachelors degree programs before entering KAUST as M.S. scholars
  • National Fellows Program – recent PhD graduates currently affiliated with national universities will spend one year at KAUST as postdoctoral researchers working under KAUST faculty members to gain advanced research experience and build long term collaborative relations with KAUST and its partners
  • Assist gifted Saudi future leaders in science, engineering and technology at all academic levels (from high school through post-graduate) to continue their studies in the best universities around the world
By supporting national collaboration opportunities, your Living Gift will play a significant role in spreading the talent and capabilities available at KAUST to Saudis throughout the Kingdom and abroad.

Stimulate Innovation Through Seed Funding

With its Seed Fund Program KAUST aims to reduce the barriers to investment that entrepreneurs often experience with other early-stage funds. Our seed funding does not compete with venture capital, but strives to act in a synergistic manner to facilitate the very early and early-stage product development towards commercial uptake.

Whilst capturing early stage opportunities, KAUST strives to:
  • create employment opportunities in the Kingdom
  • make a positive contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP)
  • nurture new entrepreneurs
  • develop new technologies into commercially viable products and services
Those who receive awards are not only eligible for up to $250,000 development funding, but also receive administrative support services and discounts on access to KAUST’s Research Centers and Core Lab facilities. Additionally, the awardees have the opportunity to tap into KAUST’s Industrial Collaboration Program (KICP) for large scale manufacturing and distribution of their novel technologies.

Donation Recognition

A sponsored Seed Fund Program can be named by donors, in their own name or the name of others whom they wish to honor, provided they support the university vision, strategy and academic objectives.

By stimulating and assisting entrepreneurs, your Living Gift will contribute to economic development and social prosperity in the Kingdom and the world.

For more information, please read our Policy on Acceptance of Donations and Grants