Alserkal Arts Foundation’s Research Grants

Alserkal Arts Foundation is now accepting applications for the third round of the Research Grants programme, which awards individuals and collectives amounts of 5,000 to 10,000 USD in funding for projects to be completed over two years. We aim to award three grants for the 2025-2027 cycle.

Since 2019 the programme has supported individuals and collectives working in the arts, humanities and social sciences who seek to pursue a research project within the contexts of South Asia, West Asia and Africa. Currently, the Foundation is seeking applications that demonstrate an interest in pursuing intersectional and experimental approaches to research, and that strive to blur the boundaries between conventional disciplines. We will particularly welcome applications from practices that have been impacted by or are attentive to the violence and polarization that we are witnessing today.

Potential grant awardees may include multidisciplinary visual and sonic artists, architects, writers, independent publishers, documentary filmmakers, educators, geographers, historians, economists and more. Previous Research Grant awardees have included curators, artists, writers and researchers Léa Morin, Manar Moursi, Shahana Rajani and Jeanne Penjan Lassus, Zainab Gaafar and Khalda El Jack, Natasha Maru and Rhea Shah, Lubnah Ansari and Maitha AlSuwaidi.

Applicants must be above 21 years of age and have at least five years of experience in their respective fields. To apply, please submit a CV, portfolio and research proposal. Submissions must be completed by September 1, 2024.

Alserkal Arts Foundation is supported by Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Ahmad Bin Eisa Alserkal and the Alserkal family. The Foundation is a hub for Alserkal Initiative’s not-for-profit activities, bringing together and building on our cultural programming and partnerships.

Image: Khalda El Jack & Zainab Gaafar with Hind Abdelbagi & Niema Alhessen, 2023-24, artistic research at a time of war, in the project “This is (our, your, whose?) Land / (دي ارض (نا, كم, منو؟


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
  • 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

Applying for a research grant

Applicants should submit a completed online application by clicking the ‘Apply Now’ button above. The online application form consists of six sections, which must all be completed

Documents to be uploaded

I. Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae

Your CV should be a maximum of three pages, and should include a list of major publications, research studies and relevant projects undertaken.

II. Portfolio

Portfolios must be submitted as a PDF and this may include your research papers, thesis summary, images, videos and other materials that will help the selection committee gain an understanding of your interests, experiences and research potential. Please make sure your portfolio is no longer than 10 pages. Maximum file size is 10MB.

III. Abstract

A summary of your research proposal in fewer than 300 words.

IIII. Research proposal including budget

Research proposals should be uploaded in PDF format. Maximum file size is 10MB. Your proposal should include:

  • Context, background and rationale for the research
  • Research expertise and new areas of research that will be explored during the grant period
  • How your work references/relates to the South Asia, West Asia, and Africa
  • Research methodology and analytical tools that will be used
  • A project schedule (no longer than 24 months)
  • Description of research outcomes and how you intend to take it forward;
  • Itemised budget detailing how you intend to use the grant amount

V. Letters of recommendation

We require two letters of recommendation with your application. Individuals writing letters of recommendation are required to submit them through the online application system. Once you submit the names and contact details of your references, they will receive an email confirmation with instructions to submit their reference.

Please note that letters of recommendation are due on or before the application deadline. Please contact your referees well in advance to make them aware of their responsibility. We recommend that you choose individuals who can provide both an academic and professional evaluation of your potential to succeed as a grant recipient.

Submission instructions

All applications must be submitted through our online application system. We recommend candidates begin the application process as early as possible to review the online application, and to allow sufficient time for your referees to upload the letters of recommendations. To begin the application, please register on our online application portal. Once the application is submitted, you will not be able to make changes.

We anticipate a high number of applications and will do our best to respond to any queries. Please do note that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted in the first instance.


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