Social Science Research Initiative


RDO to provide funding in support of policy-related social science research focused on five broad themes.

Why does the RDO introduce this initiative?

Social change is coming thick and fast to Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom deepens its reform. To address the pressing challenges, the social science research initiative aims to:

  • Encourage high-quality and impactful social science research in areas of the Kingdom's strategic relevance
  • Improve awareness of evidence-based policy research and cultivate culture of the social science research in the Kingdom 
  • Catalyze collaborations among existing social science research performers in the Kingdom, connecting scattered research organizations and groups

What are the research themes?

The RDO has identified specific research themes in relation to Vision 2030 and have conducted consultations with governmental stakeholders and universities to validate the below themes. 


How large is the grant?

Two types of awards will be introduced.

Type I - Research Project: Budget up to SAR 3 million over 1-2 years

  • For research efforts that pursue more ambitious, interdisciplinary research on issues of cross-cutting interest
  • May include extensive survey and data-gathering at a national level
  • May include multiple PIs and co-PIs plus any additional research assistance teams

Type II - Small and Medium Grant: Budget up to SAR 1 million for up to 1 year

  • For smaller-scale investigator-led research projects
  • Include only one PI and one or multiple co-PIs plus any additional research assistance teams
  • Encourage broad-based participation in research areas of strategic relevance

Who can apply?

PI must be established members (Assistant Professor or above) of a KSA public university (Saudi and non-Saudi) or those from a KSA private or independent university (Saudi only). A PI can only be a PI on one proposal but they can also be a Co-PI on one other.

What can the money be spent on?

Mobility, Data collection, and Suppliers and materials. If the proposed research requires exceptional costs to generate and collect data, this should be noted for separate consideration by the RDO.

How do I apply?​

Researcher are expected to digest the Application Guidelines and FAQs first

Application Form, Application Guideline and FAQs can be found in:

Application Form-Expression of Interest ​​

Application Guideline​


The application deadline is 4PM January 6th, 2019

جميع الحقوق محفوظة لوزارة التعليم - المملكة العربية السعودية