Mat Wright 

About this opportunity

The UK-Gulf Institutional Links programme is part of the UK Government’s strategic commitment to strengthening partnerships with the Gulf countries in our interests and theirs to help tackle the challenges we share. Addressing these challenges requires an integrated research and innovation approach, bringing together researchers from different disciplines, sectors, and countries in high-quality collaborations. Institutional Links aims to build UK-Gulf country collaborations centred on those shared challenges which have direct relevance to partner countries’ priorities.   

The Institutional Links programme is designed to establish links beyond the level of the individual researcher and innovation practitioner, opening up opportunities for sustainable, solution-oriented collaborations between research groups.

UK-Gulf Institutional Links grants provide small-scale seed funding from the UK Government for collaborations between the UK and the Gulf to:

  • Initiate new research and innovation collaborations between academic groups, departments, institutions and catapults in partner countries and the UK
  • Develop existing collaborations at group, departmental, and institutional level
  • Encourage these collaborations to work with non-academic organisations and individuals to support the exchange of research and innovation expertise and the translation of research knowledge into tangible benefits, and the commercialisation of research.
  • Establish local hubs for UK-Gulf country activity in a particular area, enabling engagement from the wider research and innovation community.

Partner countries

Applications can be submitted for collaborations between the UK and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

Eligibility criteria

  • Each proposal must have one resident Principal Applicant from the UK and one resident Principal Applicant from a maximum of two partner countries in the Gulf (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates)
  • Principal Applicants must be Leading Researchers/Innovators or Established Researchers/Innovators
  • Please see the list of eligible UK research institutions available in the download section below.

Other eligibility criteria apply. Please refer to the guidelines document available from the download section below for full eligibility criteria.


This call is now closed.

How to apply

1. Download and read fully the guidelines document from the download section. 

2. Complete the online application form here. A word docx version of the application form is available from the download section. This is intended to give applicants knowledge of the questions in the online application form only, and cannot be used to submit an application.

If you are experiencing issues with downloading the budget spread sheet, please try using a different browser (Google Chrome) or email UK-InstitutionalLinks@britishcouncil.org to receive a copy.


All queries or comments about this call should be addressed to the Institutional Links email address UK-InstitutionalLinks@britishcouncil.org. Please specify that you are enquiring about the UK-Gulf Institutional Links call.