Remote and Thermal Sensing

In the last few decades, remote sensing has reached an unprecedented operational level, with applications in earth observation satellites, new optical tools and processing techniques, which have contributed greatly to the scientific community and various industries. Further research in thermal sensing and data can be applied to various fields:
  • Identification of natural and geographic events (large scale fires, volcanology, seismology)
  • Hydrology and Coastal Zones
  • Medical and Veterinary Sciences
  • Intelligence and Military Applications
  • Heat loss from buildings
  • Environmental Modelling

To qualify for the R&D grant, the project must meet the following criteria:

  • Only purpose-driven and applied scientific research proposals will be considered. Basic research is ineligible.
  • Proposals must demonstrate potential long-term social and economic benefits to the country and industry.
  • Projects are expected to be co-funded (there must be a second source of funding).
  • Preference is given to cost effective projects.
  • Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
    1. University and College faculty members. The academic institution must be accredited in, and having a campus located in, the UAE.
    2. Non-profit, non-academic organizations: research labs, and similar organizations associated with education or research activities.
  • A member of the team must be a UAE national.
  • A research proposal must be submitted as per the guidelines.
  • Collaborations with international reputable institution are encouraged and will receive greater priority.

Full Proposal Perpetration and Submission

Letter of Intent: Not required

Full Proposal: Applicants must submit a full proposal through The applicant can download the Proposal Template Here and upload it with the funding application. The required information for the proposal will include:

  • Project description
  • Project deliverables
  • Proposed budget breakdown
  • Project timeline

Required Documentations:

  • A Letter of endorsement from the university or research center which grants the applicant permission to use the facilities.
  • List of participants. The list must include the participant’s full name, UAE ID, nationality, job title, institutional and departmental affiliation, and email address. Participants must register on the platform.
  • Mentoring plan. Proposals that request funding to support postdoctoral researchers should include a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. The mentoring plan must not exceed one page and only one plan may be submitted which covers all postdocs in this single one-page document.

Budgetary Information Funding scheme:

Projects will only be co-funded. A second source of funding must exist when submitting the project proposal.

Anticipated Funding Amount:

The programme intends to support a variety of projects in its first phase, with the majority having small budget classifications (AED 200K-500K) or medium classifications (AED 600k – 800k). There is limited availability for larger projects (Maximum of AED 2 million). Expert reviewers will assess the appropriate funding amount.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals received by the submission deadline will be reviewed by a panel of external experts, if they meet Sandooq Al Watan’s requirements for review. All proposals will be carefully reviewed by the external review panel, and applicants are invited to suggest names they believe are especially well qualified to review their proposal. The external review panel will evaluate the proposals based on the following criteria:

  • Overall Impact
    What is the potential for the proposed activity to

    1. Address a challenge within its own field or across different fields and
    2. Benefit society or advance local economy (Broader Impacts)?
  • Significance
    Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field?
  • Innovation
    To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
  • Approach
    Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
  • Investigators(s)
    How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
  • Emiratization
    Does the project include Emirati individuals as team members?
  • Co-funding partnership
    Has a second source of funding been secured for this project? Is the funding from an industry partner or from a university?
  • International Collaboration
    Does the project include a collaboration with a reputable international institution?
  • Resources
    Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?
  • Budget and Timeline
    Is the budget and the requested period of support fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research?

Post-Review ProcessOn the bases of the external review panel’s evaluation and recommendation, suitable projects will be short-listed for funding. The applicant will be informed of the results and will be asked to attend a formal meeting, as a form of a final evaluation, to discuss the project details or to discuss the external review panel’s comments, if any.

Project Awarding and ReportingFollowing the confirmation of project’s details with the applicants, Sandooq Al Watan will select the projects to be funded.

For all multi-year projects, the principle investigator or primary applicant must submit quarterly progress reports (some projects might require the submission of more frequent reports). No later than 60 days following the end of the project funding period, the principle investigator must submit a final project report, which includes the project outcomes.

    Round One

  • Submission
    Monday 17, Feb 2020
  • Decision
    Thursday 18, Jun 2020

Sandoq Al Watan’s (SAW) Research & Development Grant (R&D) exists to help the people of the United Arab Emirates unleash their fullest potential on behalf of the nation.  The following are SAW’s initial terms & conditions and some terms will be negotiated with the respective party upon awarding. Parties that choose to submit proposals to the R&D program must agree to the following terms & conditions:

1.     By making a submission to R&D, entrants hereby agree to abide by the following terms and conditions, which also encompass any submission criteria outlined throughout the application process or mentioned on any of SAWs web pages in relation to the R&D program.

2.     SAW will not accept responsibility for any submissions that are submitted incorrectly, lost by the submitter, mislaid or delayed.  Any submissions made after the submission deadline will not be accepted, unless we express through written correspondence that we have made an exception.

3.     Submissions must be the entrant(s) own work and SAW reserves the right, using any available method of its choosing, to check all and any portions of submissions for plagiarism.  Any submissions deemed to have been a product of plagiarism, or research misconduct, in whole or in part, shall be disqualified.

4.     All submissions will be reviewed, graded and shortlisted by judging panels chosen at SAW’s preference.  All decisions made by these panel(s) are final.  However, appropriate justification behind decisions may be requested by entrants.

5.     Entrants are responsible for ensuring that they hold full copyright in their own submissions or have obtained the necessary permissions to submit anything that may be copyrighted.  We may also share information, upon approval from the entrants, with other funders, government departments, regulatory agencies, partners and others with a legitimate interest in funding submissions.

6.     SAW reserves the right to terminate an approved Grant at any time prior to the end of the Grant term in the event the work performed is in breach of any terms and obligations agreed upon. In the event of termination, no further Grant payments will be made, the Grantee(s) may be required to return any funds that have been advanced or the entire Grant.

8.     By registering through SAWs R&D or any program under or in connection with SAW, entrants are agreeing to receive occasional updates from SAW on their entries and other projects under SAW.

9.     SAW may, with reasonable time and notice, amend grant amounts and deadlines for upcoming cycles. 

10.  Entrants must get written permission before making any changes to the project or to its aims, structure, delivery, outcomes, duration or ownership.  If these changes are agreed to and approved by SAW, SAW reserves the right to add any additional conditions.  They will be set out in a separate legal agreement, where the entrant may not start any new or changed activity until the agreement has been signed by all concerned parties.

11.  SAW reserves the right to amend the general terms & conditions posted on the website but will provide all entrants with appropriately timed notice before submission begins.

14. Depending on the awarded project, specific terms & conditions will be communicated and negotiated between the parties involved. is a platform that supports UAE researchers by providing them with funding, networking and updates

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