Institutional Links UK-Gulf

The Deadline has been extended until 7 October. The latest version of the guidelines is v.3, which were updated to clarify guidelines on match funding. 


Institutional Links aims to build UK-partner country research and innovation collaborations centred on shared research and innovation challenges which have direct relevance to social welfare and economic development.

This programme is designed to establish links beyond the level of the individual researcher and innovation practitioner, opening up opportunities for more sustainable, solution-oriented collaborations between academic groups as well as with the private and third sector (e.g. SMEs, NGOs, technology transfer offices and other not-for-profit organisations).

This call is focused on UK-Gulf collaborations and is part of the UK Government’s strategic commitment to strengthening partnerships with the Gulf countries to help tackle the challenges we share. Applications can be bilateral (UK-Gulf country) or trilateral (UK-Gulf country-Gulf country).

Please note there are other Institutional Links calls with different partner countries currently. Please check the opportunities section of the website here.

Grant details

Size of grants: up to £400,000 over a maximum period of 24 months.

Match funding: contributions from partner institutions are welcome but match funding is not mandatory. Please see updated guidelines for more information

Priority areas: applications should be made within the following thematic areas: 

  • Food and nutrition (including research on agricultural technology and crops; agri-food waste; nutrition and health; and food safety)
  • Water (including research on water security; water management; groundwater; waste water; and desalination) 
  • Energy (including research on energy security; energy access; and renewable energy)
  • Food-water-energy nexus
  • Cyber security


Applications can be submited for UK-Gulf collaborations, and UK-Gulf-Gulf collaborations.

Gulf countries are defined as Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Eligibility criteria

  • Applications are made by Principle Applicants on either a bilateral or trilateral basis:

Bilateral applications must have two Principle Applicants; one from the UK and one from a partner country (e.g. UK-Oman).

Trilateral applications must have three Principal Applicants; one from the UK and two from different partner countries (e.g. UK-Oman-Kuwait)

  • Principal Applicants must be Leading Researchers or Established Researchers as defined by the EC here
  • Further eligibility criteria apply, please read the Guidelines document available from the Downloads section below.


7 October 2016, 16.00 UK time

How to apply

  1. Download and read fully the Guidelines document from the Downloads section below. 
  2. Complete the online application form here. A Word Docx version of the application form is available from the Downloads 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 spreadsheet, please try using a different browser (Google Chrome) or email to receive a copy