Internal grants are derived from the University’s annual budget and other internal resources, as well as unconditional research donations made to the University by outside bodies, without stipulating specific restrictions on the research topic. Internal grants are used to support academic research which is expected to yield original results or findings that generate new knowledge and to develop concepts consistent with the research and educational objectives of the University. Results obtained are also likely to generate interest in a subsequent research project of a broader scope to be considered from other funds.
The University may allocate a budget to match funds from other institutions to form a Joint Grants Fund to jointly support a research program. This type of research grant is governed by a signed research agreement with the other institution.
The generous funds donated by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos are used to support long-term, multidisciplinary strategic research projects of importance to the Sultanate. The aim of such projects is to generate new knowledge and discoveries leading to substantial socio-economic benefits to the Omani society in the long run. Researchers are expected to obtain major results and identify anticipated direct benefits to prospective users. This type of research is expected to help the University build an infrastructure for “centers of excellence” in vital areas, in addition to making a solid contribution to the advancement of University’s academic programs. This type of research should generally go along with the Sultanate's long term planning goals.
Research Council Grants
Faculty are encouraged to seek funding from The Research Council. Under this scheme, projects may be funded through the open research grants or strategic grants. Open research grants are funds for academic research. They are considered a key driver of wealth and social progress and are instrumental in producing new knowledge leading to future applications, markets or social understanding. Strategic grants support strategic research activities and aim to gain or consolidate leadership in key areas. They must relate to themes identified by the Research Council as the most important fields of knowledge, where research capacity and excellence are particularly important to improve Oman’s ability to address the social, economic, public health and environmental challenges of the future.
External grants are received from sponsors, such as national, regional and international agencies, industry, individuals and philanthropic organizations, to support academic research in certain specific fields. The Deanship of Research gathers information on such donations and disseminates it to Colleges and Research Centers, for circulation to researchers. In some cases the researcher may apply directly to the sponsor. However, the Deanship’s approval has to be obtained.
Industry and business from the private and public sectors stand to benefit from University’s know-how and technical facilities through consultancy activities sponsored by them. This typically involves applied research for problem solving and in some cases systematic development of new knowledge for the benefit of the sponsor, to address current problems (threats), create new opportunities, or sometimes encounter unexpected discoveries. The experience gained contributes to the advancement of the University’s research capabilities and academic programs, making them more relevant to addressing major social and economic problems of the Sultanate, while building stronger research ties with various sectors. It also creates an innovative and entrepreneurial environment at the University for generating intellectual property, with commercial potential that would promote a new knowledge-based industry, create local employment, and bring additional revenues to the University from licensing royalties. In addition, in some colleges these activities improve the prospect for future employment of research students by sponsoring organizations. Besides expertise, the nature of the project may also require the use of University facilities.