The Sultan Program in Arab Studies

The Sultan Program in Arab Studies is made possible through a generous endowment from the Sultan bin AbdulAziz Al-Saud Charity Foundation. The Sultan Program supports teaching, research, and public outreach on topics related to the Arab and Arab-Islamic world, with the overarching goal of promoting a deeper understanding of this important region at UC Berkeley and beyond. The program encompasses the social sciences, humanities, and professional fields, with a special emphasis on anthropology, sociology, architecture, history, literature, political science, and urban studies.

Program Components and Eligibility

Grants are currently offered in the following categories:

1. The Graduate Fellowship

UC Berkeley graduate students conducting research on topics related to Arab Studies may apply for fellowships to be used for travel, fieldwork, and/or dissertation writing. While the fellowship is primarily intended for students who have advanced to candidacy within the last three years, advanced pre-dissertation work may be accepted under exceptional circumstances. The maximum pre-dissertation fellowship is $4,000; the maximum dissertation fellowship is $10,000.

Students who are currently receiving the Dissertation Completion Fellowship are not eligible for the Sultan Graduate Fellowship.

2. The Undergraduate Fellowship

UC Berkeley undergraduates working on projects and theses related to Arab Studies may apply for scholarships to support research or conference travel, overseas or domestic summer Arabic language study, and/or internships. The maximum undergraduate scholarship is $1,200.

3. Other Scholarly Initiatives

The Sultan Program accepts proposals from UC Berkeley faculty, students, and affiliates for collaborative and public outreach activities related to the Arab world, including conferences, workshops, multi-media projects, websites, and radio and television projects. The maximum grant in this category is $5,000.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Awards will be announced in mid-spring semester 2020. Grant recipients are required to provide a short report and financial accounting within three months following the conclusion of the grant term. Further dissemination of materials produced under the auspices of this program may also be carried out by the CMES.

To Apply

Submit an application via email to with a concise proposal in a single PDF file with your name on every page of the application, including all of the following: 

1) One-page executive summary specifying the program category to which you are applying
2) A detailed project narrative, not to exceed six double-spaced pages, outlining all proposed activities during grant term and their relevance to Arab Studies
3) Current Curriculum Vitae
4) A complete budget clearly indicating the amount of funding requested from the Sultan Program and other funding applied for and/or received for the same project
5) Two letters of recommendation, including one from your advisor, for Graduate and Undergraduate Fellowships applicants only.

For additional information about the Sultan Program, please contact CMES at