ZU Funding Opportunities

All professional faculty at ZU are expected to be active in scholarly research or creative activity, as appropriate to their discipline, and to publish in peer-reviewed academic journals. Zayed University is eager to support the research and creative work of its faculty as we continue to build the University’s research visibility both inside and outside the UAE.

ZU has reoriented its activities to increase its research impact by supporting faculty research in a variety of ways:

  • Increasing internal funding

  • Developing a wider variety of grants to support faculty at different points in their research careers.

  • Encouraging faculty apply for external funding and supporting them in the process.

  • Defraying publication costs for faculty whose work is accepted in high-quality journals that have instituted a publication fee.

  • Facilitating international research collaboration.

  • Encouraging the hiring of ZU students as research assistants by creating a special fund with an easy application process.

During the period 2018-2023, a total of 760 internal and external grants were awarded, with a total value of approximately AED 103 million (USD 28.29 million).








Total Internal Funding in AED 12,705,123






Total External Funding in AED



1,626,639 10,025,745 5,339,862 2,452,887.23




16,782,927 21,367,370 20,314,471 19,476,474.37
Grand Total 2018-2023

AED 103,807,182.12

The Office of Research supports faculty with a variety of internal grants, depending on the needs of the project and the stage of the faculty member’s research career:

  • Start-Up (SU) Grants.  Awarded to new faculty within the first year of their first ZU contract, to continue existing research or jump-start a new project.

  • Research Incentive Fund (RIF) Grants.  ZU’s primary source of funding for individual or small team projects over 1-2 years.

  • Provost’s Research Fellowship Award (PRFA).  The PRFA supports a faculty member in completing a major scholarly or creative project by providing a semester with no teaching assignments plus a small research fund.

  • Research Clusters.  These awards aim to fund in-depth projects that will enhance ZU’s research profile and result in multiple outputs.

  • Instructor Research Grant (IRG). Designed to encourage new faculty at Instructor rank who have research agendas in addition to their primary teaching obligations.

  • Short-Term Grant (STG).  Introduced in 2020 to encourage research during COVID, these are now offered periodically to provide quick, short-term funding to keep a project moving.

  • Emirati Research Grant (ERG).  Designed to encourage Emirati faculty to continue to develop their scholarly careers and make the highest possible contribution to their nation.

  • UAEU-ZU Grant.  Started in partnership with UAEU in 2021 to encourage collaborative research between these two federal institutions.

  • Special Projects.  Funding for a special project may be awarded as a one-off grant based on connection to institutional or national strategic priorities.

Each year a call for proposals is sent out to all faculty via email with clear instructions and eligibility criteria set out for each type of grant. Faculty are encouraged to apply for grants that they are eligible for. Proposals must adhere to the respective call for proposal document and must follow the guidelines set out in the CFP. All proposals have to be submitted by the faculty to their respective Dean’s office and the Dean’s office after endorsing the proposals submits it to the Office of Research. No direct submissions by faculty will be accepted.

External Grants:

The Office of Research also supports faculty to apply for a wide range of external research grants. Some noted external funders who have funded grants previously include, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, ASPIRE, the Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, the Al Jalila Foundation, the UAE Space Agency, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Bluenotes, the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development, and others.