Press Release

Al Jalila Foundation announces 2020/2021 international postgraduate scholarship programme to raise capacity to combat viral diseases including COVID-19

Al Jalila Foundation, a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, announced today that applications for its 2020/2021 postgraduate medical international scholarships have opened. As part of the country’s response to the global novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Foundation’s scholarship programme will help prepare a cadre of Emirati healthcare professionals to deal with viral diseases in the future.

With COVID-19 cases increasing quickly around the world and the total number of confirmed cases reaching three million, the outbreak has crippled health systems in many countries, primarily due to a shortage of resources, manpower and equipment. Medical capacity is critical to the success of a nation’s healthcare sector and the UAE has been exemplary in managing the health crisis rapidly.

To help proactively respond to both the local and global COVID-19 pandemic and to bolster the UAE’s capacity to address this pandemic and other viral diseases in the future, Al Jalila Foundation invites UAE Nationals to apply for postgraduate scholarships at world class international universities in a number of medical fields: virology, genetics and genomics, nanotechnology, stem cells, immunology and biomedical data science.

Increasing the availability of infectious disease specialists in-country will support the UAE in its mission to develop the best healthcare system in the world; it will also strengthen the country’s medical research capacity to respond to pandemics and quickly save lives.

Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Member of the Board of Trustees of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “The medical profession represents one of the most noble and greatest services rendered to mankind. Today with the coronavirus pandemic, we are all witnessing the courage of healthcare workers as they risk their lives to save patients’ lives. Health is the cornerstone of a nation’s longevity, economic development and sustainability and at Al Jalila Foundation we aim to build medical capacity to strengthen the health system to support the government’s efforts in safeguarding human health.”

Since the launch of the scholarship programme, Al Jalila Foundation has awarded 56 scholarships in nursing, dentistry, public health, pharmacy, molecular biology and biotechnology, among others at local institutions and three international scholarships at Harvard Medical School and Boston University. Al Jalila Foundation has invested AED 15.5 million to strengthen the UAE’s medical capabilities and continues to monitor the emerging healthcare needs to respond accordingly.

Dr. Abdulkareem Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, commented: “COVID-19 has highlighted a greater need for highly skilled medical professionals in a number of specialisations to address viral diseases and pandemics. If we look at the global frontrunners in healthcare, what sets them apart are their investments in developing their human capital. We are proud to once again extend financial support to aspiring Emirati healthcare professionals enabling them to specialise and further build the expertise to contribute to the wellbeing of the nation. Not only will our scholarships help to develop capabilities, they will build capacity, continuity and sustainability in the UAE’s healthcare sector. Each stream of graduates will contribute to the country’s quality of healthcare – and, by extension, the quality of life.”

The application deadline for Al Jalila Foundation international scholarships is 7 July 2020. Interested applicants can find more information and application guidelines on Al Jalila Foundation’s website