KAUST aspires to be a destination for scientific and technological education and research. By inspiring discoveries to address global challenges, we strive to serve as a beacon of knowledge that bridges people and cultures for the betterment of humanity.


KAUST advances science and technology through distinctive and collaborative research integrated with graduate education. We are a catalyst for innovation, economic development and social prosperity in Saudi Arabia and the world

We exist for the pursuit and advancement of scientific knowledge and its broad dissemination and benevolent application. We strive to enhance the welfare of society with a special focus on four areas of global significance – food, water, energy and the environment.


As a new institution, KAUST has the distinct advantage to have been purposefully designed as a global and private university with several key attributes:
  1. An environment where excellence in curiosity-driven and goal-oriented research thrive. Through our endowment, we provide flexible and sustained support to pursue long-term research and scientific goals. Our people are empowered and encouraged to aim high and investigate important questions with passion and freedom. Few universities enjoy this level of consistent support. In return, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of performance, behavior, and ethics.
  2. A global DNA that bridges people, ideas and traditions from around the world. This is reflected in: (a) our diverse and international university community of faculty, students, and staff; (b) strategic and sustained collaborations with key institutions across the world; and (c) commitment to contribute to the welfare of society by placing special emphasis on areas of strategic importance to the world.
  3. Cross-disciplinary organization between Academic Divisions and Research Centers. While leveraging disciplinary excellence, our matrix structure of three Academic Divisions encompassing multiple disciplines and eleven strategically connected Research Centers encourage our faculty, researchers and students to be entrepreneurial and free-spirited while pursuing research that translates science into discoveries and new technologies.
  4. Unparalleled laboratory facilities, equipment and expertise. We provide our people and our research partners the opportunity to conduct experimental research in an empowering environment with exceptional facilities, equipment, and support staff. Our ability to sustain these exceptional facilities over the long term is an important competitive advantage over other institutions.
  5. Collaborative learning environment and a distinctive educational experience. Our learning environment encourages KAUST students to think beyond the laboratory to consider how their ideas can change the world. Through the spirit of discovery, we promote collaboration, excellence, curiosity, integrity, and a passion for doing things that matter.
  6. Innovation and technology development for public benefit. We contribute to the cultivation of a knowledge and innovation-driven economy. Our Research and Technology Park is physically and organizationally integrated within the University to facilitate corporate interactions, innovation, knowledge transfer and economic development. Leveraging ideas from around the world, KAUST is positioned to accelerate both early-stage and market-ready technologies.
  7. A work-play-live environment. We are more than a premier university; we are also a city. On the shores of the Red Sea, our services and amenities offer an exceptional quality of life, from schools to recreation to health care. We are a community where more than 100 nationalities learn, live, and thrive together.


At KAUST, we attract people from Saudi Arabia and around the world who want to create impact beyond their own achievements. Irrespective of their national origins, the people of KAUST are “people of the world” who uphold our values of achievement, passion, inspiration, citizenship, diversity, integrity, and openness.

Those who join us are drawn here by the:
  • Desire to collaborate with people who share the belief that tackling global challenges is a worthy endeavor;
  • Opportunity to contribute to science and innovation within an historic enterprise; and
  • Prospect of living in a uniquely international community where they and their families can thrive
In return, we invest in our people to help them fulfill their intellectual and personal potential. Together we are guided by these principles:
  • Advancement of science and technology for the public good. We encourage collaboration among scientists, researchers, students, and staff from different disciplines, nationalities, and cultural backgrounds. We leverage these global partnerships in pursuit of excellence to support the nation’s aspirations and address global challenges.
  • Environment where inquiry and debate can take place with purpose, passion, and respect. We are committed to the highest standards of moral, ethical, and professional conduct in our scholarly and research activities, and in our daily lives throughout the community.
  • Dedication to academic and professional best practices that uphold transparency and meritocracy in the recruitment, development, and advancement of our people. We are committed to excellence across all of our activities and embrace global benchmarks for performance.
Combined, these values and guiding principles act as a unifying and energizing force bridging peoples and cultures in a collegial, open, and transparent community. In education, research, and innovation, KAUST acts globally and delivers both locally and internationally.

Academic Divisions and Research Centers

To achieve its mission, KAUST engages in both curiosity-driven and goal-oriented research through its Academic Divisions and Research Centers.

The Academic Divisions invest in people and develop depth and breadth in multiple disciplines. They focus on fundamental knowledge in science and engineering while creating opportunities for ideas and innovation to flourish. Our people, and the ideas they generate, are sustained through a funding model designed for long-term research reflecting our belief in the intellectual potential of curiosity and exploration.

The Academic Divisions develop deep scientific and engineering capabilities through graduate education underpinned by cutting-edge research. Our graduate students contribute to the research environment through their work with our outstanding faculty and access to unrivaled facilities designed to further their educational horizons. Upon graduation, our alumni carry forward their education and training to build upon the knowledge economy and innovation ecosystem within the nation and in over 40 countries around the world.

Our Research Centers invest in major projects and provide thematic focus and critical mass to pursue goal-oriented research that addresses significant challenges for the Kingdom and the world. They invigorate graduate education by fostering creative and problem-solving approaches in an interdisciplinary, team-based environment. They also serve as hubs for engagement of the corporate world.