Press Release

Al Jalila Foundation invites UAE scientists to apply for biomedical research grants focused on COVID-19

Al Jalila Foundation, a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, announced today that application for its sixth cycle of seed grants has opened in response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) global outbreak to help develop the UAE capacity to address this pandemic and other viral diseases in the future. In line with its mission to transform lives, the global philanthropic organisation has been supporting talented biomedicine scientists in a number of research areas including cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes since its inception in 2013 investing over AED 25 million to advance medical research in the UAE.

Researchers are invited to apply for seed grants of up to AED 500,000 over a 1 to 2 year period to investigate the pathology, diagnostics, epidemiology, transmission, therapeutics, and/or prevention related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) specific to the UAE population and demographics. The seed grants support basic, translational, or clinical research projects (excludes research that requires clinical trials). The grants are available to UAE Nationals and residents of the UAE provided the research is conducted locally. Applicants should hold positions at local universities, research or clinical institutions in the UAE.

Her Excellency Dr Raja Al Gurg, Member of the Board of Trustees of Al Jalila Foundation and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Al Jalila Foundation, commented: “Scientists around the world continue to search for answers into the causes, prevention and treatment of diseases affecting mankind. Our investment in medical research reaffirms our commitment to embed research and innovation in the fabric of the nation’s long-term healthcare strategy. Medical research has the potential to save lives and our efforts today will pave the way for a healthier world for future generations.”

Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, added: “As we come to terms with COVID-19 global outbreak there has never been a greater need for life saving treatment and medical breakthroughs that could end the pandemic and save millions of lives.  Now more than ever we are counting on scientists and doctors coming together to develop better diagnostic testing, treatments, and gain a better understanding of COVID-19 and other viral diseases. Al Jalila Foundation is dedicated to advancing medical research to transform lives. We are more determined than ever in our mission and count on you, our partners, to help us pave the way for a healthier, brighter future for all.”

The applications are assessed through a stringent independent international peer review process overseen by a Scientific Advisory Committee. The committee is made up of the most brilliant minds in the region who work with the international peer review panel to award research grants to the most deserving scientists.

Professor Yousef Mohamed Abdulrazzaq AlBastaki, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Research plays an important role in improving the quality of the UAE’s medical sector. It is very important in building a knowledge based economy, and transforming the healthcare system to be more research oriented, and hence, improving people’s lives with better diagnostics and treatments. As we launch the sixth cycle of research grants, we look forward to supporting ground-breaking research projects that will lead to life-changing discoveries.”

Since inception in 2013, Al Jalila Foundation has provided opportunities to increase innovative and impactful medical research investing AED 25 million to award 95 research grants and 8 international research fellowships at global leading institutions in the UK, USA and Japan to discover solutions for the region’s biggest health challenges. In line with the vision to position the UAE at the forefront of medical innovation, the Foundation has established the first independent multi-disciplinary biomedical research institute with an investment of AED 200 million solely funded by philanthropic partners.

With this investment the Foundation has brought together 350 scientists from around the world to further boost scientific medical research in the UAE. The grants have created training opportunities for more than 400 young students and post-doctoral associates and contributed to 245 publications in a number of international scientific journals.

By supporting talented scientists, Al Jalila Foundation is building on its mission to transform lives by paving the way and developing the next generation of innovators in health sciences.

The application deadline for the seed grants is 9 June 2020 and successful applicants will be announced by the end of September 2020. For more information and application details please visit Al Jalila Foundation website: