The BA has always been a vibrant center of scientific and intellectual debate. At present, the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina is looking to revive its past historical scientific mission so it can be recognized again by scientists all over the world as one of the best global linkage venues to eminent researchers and scientific institutions.
The Center for Special Studies and Programs (CSSP) aims to help researchers and scientists get the best support needed to advance their work through international collaboration.
As we move on into the 21st century, the CSSP takes steps to tackle the challenges in Egyptian science and technology by planting the seeds for future advancement, improving the quality of life and economic competitiveness. The increasing importance of science and technology and their role in human development compels us to encourage public awareness and promote scientific excellence.
The establishment of productive, mutually beneficial relationships between Egyptian and foreign science and technology communities is very important. This is intended to encourage the use and development of complementary experience and skills between the Egyptian researcher and the foreign researcher. As junior researchers become involved in collaborative research projects, we guarantee the emergence of generations of outstanding scientists, thus contributing to the wealth of the nation.
Professionals and scholars such as PhD holders, who obtained their degrees abroad, face one of three options that ultimately lead to brain drain:
First, they can remain in the foreign country and continue their pursuit of their professional and academic careers, provided they can secure funding for their research;
Second, they can return to their original Egyptian institutions where research funds are scarce and hence risk the loss of the knowledge they acquired;
Third, they might pursue a commercial career in Egypt while using their acquired knowledge professionally and in this case, development is solely dependant on their own financing or provided by multinational corporations where they could end up working.
The Research Grants program initiated by the CSSP, seeks out the generation of creative and innovative research. CSSP recognizes the existence of a pool of untapped potential available in young researchers all over Egypt eager to collaborate with international institutions, however lack the process needed for such collaboration.
The objective of the Research Grants program is to support outstanding young postdoctoral Egyptian researchers who perform cutting edge research and undertake collaborative investigation approaches across the science and technology spectrum, by offering them postdoctoral research grants as well as help them establish connections with Egyptian and international scientists as well as researchers.
In Egypt, there are more than 35,000 researchers of which 31.7% are PhD holders. Yet only 0.2% of the Egyptian national income is being spent on scientific research. 2004/2005 Statistics show that only 22,203 researchers were registered for PhDs at Egyptian universities and 3,984 PhD holders graduated in the year 2003/2004.
The CSSP offers a number of post doctoral research grants to Egyptian scientists and researchers, below 35 years of age, who have completed their PhD within the past 5 years, or are expecting to complete it within the year of the grant announcement. The applicant must be working at a public/private academic or research institution in Egypt and currently engaged or can arrange to work on a joint research project with foreign counterpart(s) at a university or a research center abroad.
The Research Grants Program started in the year 2004. The year 2006 witnessed the announcement of the winners of the second round. To this date, a total of 18 researchers have been granted the BA Research Grants. The third round (BA/CSSP Research Grants 2006) has also been announced.
The grants cover research in all fields of Natural sciences, Mathematics and Information Technology. However, we envision supporting more research areas of which mainly are Social Sciences and Humanities.
The BA research grants offer Egyptian scientists the opportunity to advance their career in their own institutions. In addition, the CSSP organizes a number of workshops and lectures each year covering an array of career development skills, with special focus on scientific research and development. With special concern to post-doctoral scientists, CSSP recognized the hurdles they face in translating their scientific research into doable commercial ventures hence organized series of lectures and workshops that help them acquire this.
Researches should be conducting a research in one of the following areas of study:
- Agricultural Sciences
- Biology and Biotechnology
- Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Earth Sciences
- Engineering Sciences and Technologies
- Information Technology and Bioinformatics
- Medical Sciences
- Physics and Biophysics
- Pre-University Education
The whole application procedure for the Research Grants takes place online.
Several standards apply to candidates willing to apply to the grants. The eligibility requirements are:
- Egyptian Scholars must have completed their PhD within the past five years or will be achieved by end of the application year in one of the available fields of study
- The candidate must be currently working at a public/private academic or research institution in Egypt and the research must be conducted in Egypt.
- The candidate must be currently engaged or can arrange to work on a joint research project with foreign counterpart(s) at a university or a research center abroad.
- The candidate must not exceed 35 years by the application year.
- The candidate must have a valid local TOEFL with a minimum score of 500.
The “Administrative Regulations” for the Research Grants Program can be downloaded in Pdf format.