Supporting the development of an innovative nation



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Sandooq Al Watan Applied Research and Development (SWARD) initiative is at the forefront of fostering innovation and impactful research in the UAE. By providing vital funding opportunities to UAE-based universities and colleges, SWARD enhances the nation’s research landscape by accelerating impactful research. Acting as a catalyst for progress, SWARD bridges the gap between academia and industry to unlock social and economic benefits for the UAE.

To contribute to the achievement of the UAE Net Zero 2050 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we regularly issue calls for proposals three times a year, focusing on three strategic research areas:

  1. Circular Economy
  2. Climate Change
  3. Social Sustainability

SWARD Grant Program Timeline

3 Cycles per Year

Cycle 1: Circular Economy
Cycle 2: Climate Change
Cycle 3: Social Sustainability

Each Cycle consists of:
  1. Phase 1: Proposal Solicitation, Preparation, and Submission (4 months)
  2. Phase 2: Proposal Evaluation and Award Selection (6 months)
  3. Phase 3: Award Processing and Finalization (2 months)

Call for Proposals (Spring 2024 Cycle): Circular Economy

Submission Deadline:

13 June 2024, Thursday

Grant Duration:

12 to 36 months

Purpose of the grant
The goal of a circular economy is to reduce waste and maximize resource efficiency by promoting the reuse, recycling, and regeneration of products and materials. By transitioning from a traditional linear economic model to a circular one, we can minimize environmental impacts, conserve resources, and foster sustainable economic growth. Research in this field contributes to achieving UAE Net Zero 2050, UNSDG 12, and their related targets.
Focus areas

Research aiming to advance the circular economy through interdisciplinary approaches, fostering innovation, informing policy-making, and promoting sustainability and resilience in both the economy and society.

Examples of research areas include, but are not limited to:

  1. Design and product innovation for sustainability
  2. Sustainable business models and entrepreneurship
  3. Waste management and waste reduction
  4. Sustainable practice in technologies
  5. Energy efficiency and resource efficiency
  6. Sustainable agriculture and food systems
  7. Urban planning and circular city development
  8. Policy and governance for circular economy transitions
Grant Range

AED 50,000 to 1,500,000

A minimum of 50% matching funds from other sources (internal or external) must be secured at the time of application.

UAE-based researchers, scientists, institutions, and organizations with a proven track record in environmental research and sustainability. The research team must include at least one Emirati researcher. International collaboration is not required; however, it is highly encouraged.
Required Supportive Documents
  1. A Letter of Endorsement from the institution, ensuring:
    • Pre-award review of the application
    • Research ethics approval (if applicable)
    • Confirmation of the use of institutional resources and non-redundancy of requested major equipment
  2. Mentoring plan (if applicable): If the Emirati member(s) is a student or junior research/lab assistant (with less than 3 years of experience in the position), a one-page mentoring plan should be submitted for each member.
Proposal Application and Submission
  1. Download the proposal and budget templates from here. If applying for a SWARD Continuation Award, download Section 10.
  2. Complete the registration form and upload the required documents [proposal; budget sheet; endorsement letter; and mentoring plan (if applicable)] via the SWARD online portal Submit
Contact Details

For more information and inquiries, please contact: [email protected]

Review Process
Qualified proposals will undergo a rigorous evaluation by an expert panel consisting of esteemed scientists, environmental researchers, and industry professionals. This evaluation will assess the proposed project’s intellectual merit and broader impacts, examining its potential to advance knowledge and benefit society. The review will focus on exploring innovative ideas and transformative concepts, as well as assessing the plan’s coherence, organization, and rationale for effectiveness in achieving success. Additionally, the qualifications of the individuals or team and the availability of sufficient resources, whether internal or through collaborations, will be considered in the evaluation process.

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