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Alserkal Arts Foundation’s Research Grants are designed to support radical, innovative, and contemporary research that challenges traditional modes of practice in a variety of fields.


The grants place an emphasis on interdisciplinary proposals, comparative studies, and societal discourses that link the arts, humanities, and social sciences in the context of Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA).

The grant seeks applications especially from those individuals and collectives that dynamically aim to disrupt conservative boundaries between conventional disciplines.

Potential grant awardees can include, but are in no way limited to, multidisciplinary visual and sonic artists, architects, writers of fiction and non-fiction, independent publishers, documentary filmmakers and educators, geographers, historians, economists and social scientists. Applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing broad, intersectional, and experimental approaches to research in their respective fields will be prioritised.


Selection for Alserkal Arts Foundation's Research Grants is based on applicants’ potential to become influential researchers, writers, practitioners, and thought-leaders in their respective fields. The application should make a cohesive argument for how the applicant will expand their expertise through Alserkal Arts Foundation’s Research Grants. Applicants from all countries and disciplines are eligible.

To be eligible to receive a research grant, all applicants must:

  • Be over 21 years of age;
  • Have 5 years of experience;
  • Demonstrate an imaginative and evolving practice which creates space for accessible discourse and pedagogy.
The following types of projects/proposals will be disqualified from consideration:
  • Projects with a commercial interest or outcome;
  • Projects for a political or religious entity or group;
  • Projects for a registered charity, healthcare, or educational organisations;
  • Projects with a realisation deadline of more than 24 months.

The Grants

Research grants are awarded as follows:
  • Grants for individuals - up to US$5,000
  • Grants for duos/collectives - up to US$10,000
  • Grants for independent publishers - up to US$10,000

Research grants are awarded in phases. The Foundation will work closely with the grant recipients to make sure funds are disbursed in line with research requirements.

Research grants may be used for:
  • Rental of equipment required for field work (e.g. cameras, audio records, dictaphone)
  • Rental of space required for video and/or audio recording (e.g. film studio, sound booth, editing suite)
  • Transcription and translation services
  • Video editing and/or sound editing services
  • Website design and website development
  • Editorial design
  • Gratuities and fees for project support and assistants
  • Honorariums for research collaborators, contributors, editors, copy editors, proofreaders Printing and binding of publications (print run of 500 copies only)
  • Library and digital learning resources memberships
  • Acquisition of primary archival resources and out of print books or publications
Funds may not be used for:
  • Purchase of electronic hardware and media (e.g. film cameras, speakers, laptops)
  • Purchase of personal items, health insurance, visa fees
  • Purchase of books (in-circulation), monthly publication subscriptions
  • Fees for personal one-on-one mentorship and/or courses, university classes, vocational studies, professional training programmes
  • Postgraduate education (e.g. fees for diplomas, certificates)
  • Participation (e.g. application fee, participation fee, booth rental fee) in fairs or trade market (e.g. film market, art fairs, design fairs)
  • Shipping fees for personal items including books

Applications to Alserkal Arts Foundation’s Research Grants are currently closed. This page will be updated upon grant application opening.

Feeling inspired by our programmes or want to participate in our events? We’re interested in learning more about your projects. Get in touch or learn about eligibility here.