Request for Proposals

*** This Funding Cycle is Now Closed.


The Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at the Georgetown University School ‎of Foreign Service in Qatar invites proposals from scholars and researchers interested in ‎conducting original research on the topic of “Mobility, Displacement and Forced Migration in the Middle East.”‎

CIRS will award research grants to support fieldwork, original empirical research, and analysis on ‎this topic. Click here to view background information.‎‎

Grant Objective

CIRS seeks to stimulate the collection of reliable data and the production of sound analysis on ‎the subject of Mobility, Displacement and Forced Migration in the Middle East. Priority will be given to projects that ‎propose original, empirically-grounded research involving fieldwork on related topics. Award ‎recipients are expected to become active participants in the CIRS research initiative on the issue. ‎This may include travel to Doha for working group meetings, public talks, or authorship of a ‎chapter for an edited volume. ‎ ‎

Duration of Award‎

The awards can last up to a maximum of one year.‎

Funds Available ‎

Proposals will be awarded up to a maximum of US $25,000, based on the proposed nature of the ‎research, fieldwork, and budget submitted. ‎ 

Submission of Proposals ‎

Please send proposals to Completed proposal packets must be ‎submitted by September 15, 2016‎. Proposals submitted after that date will not be considered.

Proposal Details

‎Proposal packets must include the following items:‎

  • Abstract ‎
  • Complete Project Description
  • Detailed Budget and Narrative Budget Description
  • Project Timeline
  • Two Sample Publications
  • Curriculum Vitae of Principal Investigator and other Co-Investigators
  • Contact information for PI’s institutional research administration office (if available)
  • Certification in Human Subjects Research Training (if applicable and available)


The proposal abstract must be a maximum of 250 words. The abstract must include project ‎context (the original thesis of the project, its significance, contribution to existing knowledge in ‎Middle Eastern and Gulf countries, what the proposed project contributes to current literature on the ‎topic), project description, methodology, and objectives. ‎ ‎ 

Complete Project Description

The complete project description must be a maximum of 10 pages, double-spaced, in font no ‎smaller than 11 point. The project description should elaborate on the overall purpose of the ‎research, the specific questions the research proposes to answer, the research methodology to be ‎employed, anticipated project benefits and outcomes, and the schedule of the proposed research. 

CIRS is unlikely to fund research that does not propose original, empirically grounded research ‎involving fieldwork. ‎ ‎

Detailed Budget and Narrative Budget Justification

The submitted proposal must be submitted using the Budget Template detailing the ‎anticipated expenses involved in the research. The proposal should also include a narrative budget justification, an example of which can be downloaded here. Typical items in the budget include, but are not ‎limited to, travel, per diem, printing and production, and supplies and materials. CIRS will not ‎fund conference travel or indirect costs. Travel for fieldwork should be based on economy class fares. Click here to download the Budget Template. To see a sample budget filled in according to the budget template, click here.

Project Timeline

A timeline for the intended research undertaking must be included, with a calendar breakdown ‎of specific milestones.‎

Researchers can expect to commence with the project in the Spring of 2017, given the estimated time frame for completing the institutional contracting process. Please keep this in mind when developing the project timeline. Research can be conducted prior to the full execution of the contract at the receiving institution’s own risk.

Contracting Process and Management

The contract for research will be between Georgetown University and the PI’s research institution and funds will be transferred directly to the researcher’s institution, not to the PI. For unaffiliated researchers, the agreement will be made on a case by case basis between Georgetown University and the individual researcher, and funds will be transferred directly to the individual based on the agreed-upon terms. Once the grant recipient is notified of the award, CIRS will commence the contracting process with the researcher’s institutional research administration office, or unaffiliated individual researcher. The entire contracting process can take up to six (6) months to complete. Research can be conducted before the contract is fully executed at the researcher and their institution’s own risk.

Human Subjects

For proposals involving human subjects research, certification of the Principal Investigator (PI) in ‎Human Subjects Research Training, if available, should be included as part of the proposal ‎submission. If awarded, the Principal Investigator must submit proof of Institutional Review ‎Board (IRB) approval for the project. If the PI has not completed human subjects training at the time of ‎proposal submission, he or she must provide written verification of completion of Collaborative ‎Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training to the Georgetown University School of Foreign ‎Service in Qatar prior to the issuance of a grant. Any human subject research conducted in Qatar must have additional approval from a local IRB. Georgetown University-Qatar’s IRB will provide the approval for research conducted in Qatar at no fee to the researcher’s institution.‎

Frequently Asked Questions

Submission Process & Procedures:‎

How should the proposal be submitted?‎

  • The proposal for the “Mobility, Displacement and Forced Migration in the Middle East” grant should be submitted in electronic format to the Center for ‎International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at (cirsgrants @ ‎

What is the CIRS policy on late submissions?

  • Proposal submissions are due on September 15, 2016. Submissions received after ‎this date will not be considered. ‎

When will a decision be made?

  • The review committee will email award letters by November 2016.

‎Contracting Process:

What type of contract is entered into?

  • The contract for conducting research will be a reimbursement based contract between Georgetown University and the researcher’s institution or unaffiliated researcher.

I’m not affiliated with an institution, can I still submit a proposal and be awarded a grant?

  • Unaffiliated researchers can submit a proposal and are eligible to be awarded a grant.

How long does the contracting process take?

  • The contracting process can take up to six (6) months to complete. This should be taken into consideration when developing the project timeline.

Can I conduct research before the contract is signed?

  • Research can commence prior to the full execution of the contract at the risk of the researcher and their institution. If for any reason the contract is not completed, any expenses incurred must be borne by the institution or individual.

Who should I or my research office contact for questions on the contracting process and grant management?

  • Please contact Elizabeth Wanucha at or +974 4457 8435 for any questions about the submission guidelines, contracting process, and grant management.

Duration & Funding:

What is the maximum period for which funding is available under this grant? ‎

  • The total project period may not exceed more than 1 year.‎
  • Given that the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from ‎application to application, it is anticipated that the duration of each award will ‎also vary. Applicants are invited to submit proposals within a period of ‎performance that does not exceed one year, and it is acceptable for the period of performance to be less than one year.

What is the maximum amount of funding available?‎

  • Awards can range up to US $25,000. ‎

Are grant recipients automatically eligible for a second round of funding?

  • This is a one year grant cycle. There will not be a second year of funding. ‎

Will funds be released to the recipients at predetermined stages set by CIRS, or will they be ‎received as per the recipient’s needs?‎

  • Georgetown University will reimburse the institution or unaffiliated researcher directly for funds ‎expended while conducting research, but those expenditures should remain in ‎keeping with the approved budget and justification. The recovery of such out-of-‎pocket expenditures is achieved through the submission of a properly completed, ‎approved and supported expense reimbursement form. It is critical that original ‎receipts accompany the expense reimbursement form. ‎
  • Expenditures must be reasonable and appropriate and support the research ‎project. The researcher’s institution is responsible for ensuring the grant funds as expended in accordance with the budget guidelines. Keep in mind that these expenditures draw on funds administered by ‎CIRS and Georgetown University, and are subject to related University policy ‎and procedure, sponsor terms and conditions, and legislative compliance. Upon ‎award, the grant recipient will be instructed further on purchasing and ‎reimbursement to conduct the research. ‎

If the funds allocated are not utilized during the period specified in the proposal, can they ‎be carried over into the next year?‎

  • Funds should be utilized according to the given project timeline. Extensions may ‎be considered on a case-by-case basis.‎

When can I expect to do the majority of the fieldwork given the contracting and grant management timeline?

  • The contracting process can take up to six (6) months to complete. Given the awarding date of November 2016, the researcher can expect to conduct the majority of fieldwork in the Spring and Summer periods of 2017, possibly into the Fall of 2017. Given the nature of fieldwork and the possibility of unforeseen obstacles that may require a change in the project’s timeline, CIRS maintains flexibility to ensure the success of the research project.


Do grant recipients have to be based in the Middle East for the duration of the award?

  • Grants will be awarded on the merit of original, empirically-based research ‎undertaken in one or more of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Grant recipients ‎must spend a portion of their time in one or more of the countries in the region ‎conducting primary research. 
  • Recipients are not required to remain in the region beyond the time of their data ‎collection for the purpose of analysis and documentation, though grantees will be required to travel to Doha as needed to attend Working Groups related to the research outcomes. Travel and other costs associated with participation in the Working Groups need not be included in the proposed budget.

What is the minimum time period that recipients are expected to be based in the Middle East?‎

  • The time that a grant recipient must spend in the region will depend on the scope ‎and nature of their research undertaking and their commitments as stated in their ‎proposed work schedule.‎


Are there specific Categories of Expenses that should be followed when preparing the ‎budget? (Personnel, Equipment, Travel, Supplies).‎

What currency should be used for populating the budget template and budget justification?‎

  • USD ($).‎

Can the budget include indirect costs or is it strictly limited to direct costs?

  • No indirect costs will be covered under this grant.‎

Can the cost of equipment (computers, digital voice-recording devices, etc.) and other ‎electronic hardware tools be covered under the grant?‎

  • Equipment having a value per item less than $1,000 will be accepted in the ‎proposed budgets. Items of equipment that are valued at greater than $1,000 will ‎not be accepted. The equipment requested must be justified by explaining how it ‎is necessary to the stipulated scholarly research outcomes. ‎

Can the funding cover “in lieu of” salaries?‎

  • Yes, conditionally: If, for example, an applicant is from a think tank or academic ‎institution which pays 100% of the applicant’s salary, then the applicant should ‎identify the proposed effort to be spent on the project and total payment that ‎equates to the proposed effort.‎

Is there a budget template that applicants should use for submission with their proposal?‎

  • Yes, please click here. ‎For a filled sample budget to use for guidance, click here.


Are the grant recipients required to submit progress reports to CIRS during the course ‎of their research at regular intervals, and if so at which stages of the grant period are the ‎reports due?‎

  • Yes, a progress report must be submitted to CIRS at predetermined intervals of the ‎research undertaking and at the conclusion of the project. Disbursement of funds will depend on the timely submission of requested reports. Grant recipients will be ‎provided with a template for the progress reports. Additional reporting of both a ‎qualitative and financial nature may be required. ‎

Is there a post-award report due, and if so how long after completion of the grant period?‎

  • A Summary Report must be provided no later than 45 days after the completion ‎of the research grant period. Grant recipients will be given guidelines on what the ‎expectations are for the Summary Report.