Center for the Middle East Student Research Grants

The Center for the Middle East (CME) at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy is now accepting applications for its annual grant program supporting outstanding graduate and undergraduate students conducting innovative fieldwork in the Middle East or North Africa (MENA) in the summer of 2016. The CME will help fund selected research projects from a variety of disciplines; however, preference will be given to proposals investigating the sociopolitical transformation of the MENA region after the Arab Spring, gender issues, the intersection of the economy and politics in the Arab Gulf, and the role of political Islam in shaping the region’s political arena post-Arab Spring.

The CME will fund up to four students per academic year whose projects demonstrate exceptional intellectual and academic merit. Undergraduate students will receive up to $3,000. Graduate students working on their theses or dissertations will receive up to $5,000 to support fieldwork and research-related expenses. Although priority will be given to Rice University students, outstanding proposals submitted by students from other Houston-area colleges and universities also will be considered. Grant recipients are required to submit a post-trip report by Oct. 1 and present their research findings at a CME-sponsored event at the Baker Institute within one academic year of completing their project. For more information on past recipients, click here.

The deadline to apply is May 15. Application and all required materials must be emailed to the attention of Marwa Shalaby at For more information, please contact Ariana Marnicio at

Student participants will be selected based on the following criteria:


  • Overall GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Active enrollment in an academic program (undergraduate or graduate program)
  • Undergraduate students must have a minimum of six credit hours in classes related to the Middle East.
  • Graduate students must be working on research projects or a dissertation related to the proposed fieldwork.


  1. One PDF with the following:
  • A research proposal with clearly stated research question, methodology, budget and preliminary itinerary (no more than 2,000 words).
  • A C.V. or resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Evidence of Arabic, Persian or Turkish language proficiency to collect the required data is preferred.

  2. One letter of recommendation