Call for Applied Research Proposals


The Center of Excellence for Water is a USAID funded project awarded to the American University in Cairo with the aim to create the Center of Excellence for Water at Alexandria University and in partnership with Egyptian Ministries and Governorates, US Universities (The American university in Cairo, Temple University, Utah State University, University of California at Santa Cruz and Washington State University), Egyptian Universities (Ain Shams University, Alexandria University, Aswan University, Beni Suef University and Zagazig University), Egyptian Research Centers, and Egyptian and US foundations and the private sector.

The Center of Excellence for Water aims at improving the relevance and quality of water curricula and develop effective / innovative teaching methods for undergraduate, graduate and professionals of water engineering, while elevating water related research capacities and the ability to produce market driven research products towards achieving the Egyptian Sustainable Development Strategy and Vision 2030


It is within this context of elevating water research capacities in Egypt, that the Center of Excellence for Water is pleased to announce the:

First Call for Applied Research Grants”

The related documents to this call are:

  • The Call for Applied Research Grants (this document), which includes details about the different types of grants available, the topics covered by this call, eligibility, how to apply, how applications will be evaluated, and the timelines for selection and awarding of research grants.
  • The Center of Excellence for Water’s (COE) Research Program provides detailed information about the research program which is funded by the COE. It is a must that every applicant checks this document, before applying for a research grant from the Center of Excellence for Water.
  • The Application form for grants can be downloaded from, and should be uploaded on the same portal.

Typology of Research Grants available in this call 

Three kinds of grants are available through this call.  The applicant must state on the Application which award they are applying for. The three kinds of grants and total number available through this call are:

Graduate Student Research Grants (Small Research Grants)

These are grants of up to $10,000 USD for MSc and/or PhD students to conduct research on the topics of interest to this call. The time period for completion of the project is six months from signing the grant contract.

Focused Research Grants (Medium size Research Grants)

These are grants of up to $50,000 for full time faculty at one of the Egyptian Partner Universities. The time period for completion of the project is one year from signing the grant contract.

Collaborative Research Grants (Large size Research Grants)

These are grants of up to $250,000. The time period for completion of the project is 2 years from signing the grant contract. The main aim of those grants is to fund Collaborative Research work between US and Egyptian institutions.

Topics Covered by this Call

Applied water research grants on any of the following four topics will be considered. The four topics are given equal weight, meaning proposals will be ranked by their individual qualities, not by topic.

Desalination Technology:

  • Adopting technologies to local market
  • Innovative integration of desalination systems
  • Developing low-energy desalination technologies
  • Integrated systems to use desalination for food production
  • Innovative integration of desalination and renewable energies
  • Fabrication of membranes, high pressure pumps, etc.

Water Quality & Wastewater Treatment:

  • Developing/adopting low-cost technologies for treating wastewater.
  • Localizing technologies for wastewater treatment.
  • Improving water quality of open channels, lakes, seas, etc.
  • Developing innovative processes for industrial wastewater Zero Liquid Discharge

Hydrological Changes & Groundwater Management:

  • Analyzing the impacts of climate change on hydrology, flash floods and Nile basin
  • Adaptation techniques to face sea level rising
  • Developing adaptation measures for farmers
  • Developing forecasting mechanisms
  • Groundwater fluctuation and salinity
  • Sustainable exploitation of groundwater resources

Irrigation Management:

  • Adaptation of cropping pattern to face water challenges
  • Developing low-cost low-tech farm irrigation technology
  • Maximizing the water efficiency at all levels (farm, conveyance, etc.)
  • Modern agriculture to maximize productivity (aquaponics, hydroponics, etc.)
  • Integrating irrigation and aquaculture systems

How Applications will be Evaluated

A copy of the evaluation grid is available in the Research Program Document.

Grant Proposals will be evaluated by members of the Center of Excellence for Water Research and Policy Committee. The members are leading water scholars from the participating U.S. and Egyptian Partner Universities, as well as government and private sector water leaders. All reviewers will be qualified according to strict conflict of interest requirements. Details of the evaluation process is available in the Research Program document

Timelines for Selecting and Awarding Research Grants

The goal of the first Call for Grant Proposals from the Center of Excellence for Water is to inform all applicants of the funding decision in July 2020, with a grant contract awarded/signed by end of July 2020.

How to Apply:

All application materials are available at the following website:  Complete applications must be uploaded to the website before the deadline of 12 noon, May, 15th 2020.

Need Help?

  • Consult the Research Program document available at:
  • Consult Frequently Asked Questions Document available at:
  • Send an email to:
  • Consult the Facebook page of the project at:
  • The Center of Excellence for Water will hold a Zoom Webinar for all interested persons on April 15th at 5:30PM. Details of the Zoom webinar will be announced on the Facebook page ( during the first week of April 2020
  • The Center of Excellence will hold at least 5 information sessions in Egypt at various locations or webinars. Details of those information sessions will be announced on the Facebook page of the project (