Dubai Future Foundation to offer US$540,000 worth of international research grants

Following on SpaceTech Asia’s latest feature article, Space Startups and Funding, we’re happy to share that the Dubai Future Foundation has just launched the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Space Challenge, which will offer a total of 2 000 000 AED (approximately US$540 000) worth of seed grants to researchers with a PhD degree (or equivalent) or early career researchers enrolled in a PhD study.

The grant is open to all nationalities and aims to discover “ambitious space settlement concepts”. It is also multidisciplinary and must cover at least one of the following topics:

  • Space Settlements
  • Terraforming and space ecology
  • Economics and business models
  • Governance and legislative issues

Each grant will be worth up to 60 000 AED (approximately US$16 000), with a period of up to 6 months, and up to 30 grants will be offered. To receive the grant, applicants will be expected to submit a final summary of 10-15 printed pages, which will then be subjected to peer reviews by other grant applicants. As such, each grant applicant will be expected to review 3 other proposals.

Interested applicants can apply from now till April 10, and winners will be announced on May 10. The challenge, which is co-organized by Guaana and the Dubai Future Foundation, requires that all winning proposals will be made publicly available, including scores, comments and reviewer identities.

The challenge is part of the UAE’s space efforts, and is held in conjunction with its recently-announced UAE Mars City and the Mars 2117 Project.

“The space race calls for hard work, research, and creativity. It requires us all to work together to achieve what no country alone has accomplished so far: landing a person on the red planet, building a city on the moon, and far beyond,” said UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, “The Mohammed bin Rashid Global Space Challenge is an open and sincere invitation to all scientists and experts to join the efforts to help humanity reach the stars.”

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