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Post-doctoral Summer Research (PDSR) Programme - 2014

The British Council in Saudi Arabia has developed a research collaboration programme, enabling Saudi specialists to work alongside their UK counterparts. The PDSR programme is supported by BAe Systems Saudi Arabia.  The PDSR Programme is managed by the British Council, supervised by the Ministry of Higher Education. The level of the BAe Systems Saudi Arabia contribution to the PDSR Programme in 2013 is £155,000.

The PDSR Programme is unique to Saudi Arabia. It was designed to introduce staff at Saudi universities and other research institutions - most of whom have carried out post-graduate studies in the USA - to UK research methods and facilities for research, and also to increase awareness of the range and quality of British Higher Education.

A researcher nominated to receive an award under the PDSR Programme will make contact with an appropriate centre for research in the UK. The British Council can give advice in identifying the institutions and individuals with relevant research interests. Arrangements are then made by the researcher for an attachment to the UK institution, lasting between 8 and 12 weeks from June to September.  Since our policy is to make the maximum use of the grant and to minimise our administrative costs, it has been agreed here that all arrangements for finding a host institution in the UK, travel, accommodation etc. will be the responsibility of the researchers concerned.

The individual researcher receives a grant of £5,250 (£4,250 to be paid before departure to the UK and £1,000 on submission of the final report), towards the cost of travel and other expenses related to the attachment.

Receiving institutions in the UK are requested to waive (or reduce) any bench fees. In exceptional cases, where this is not possible, the British Council may consider making an additional payment - up to a limit of £350 for the whole period.  Researchers should be aware; however, that the awards are not appropriate for supporting projects that will require substantial amounts of consumables or the hire of specialist equipment.

Approximately 20 such awards have been made each year since 1991, using funding from BAe Systems Saudi Arabia and under the administrative management of the British Council.  The programme for 2014 will include 26 awards.

In almost every case, results from the research collaboration are published in the relevant specialist journal. Other outcomes have been joint working-groups, seminars and staff exchanges.

Overall, the Programme demonstrates an excellent partnership between advanced research capacity at UK institutions and the special interests and requirements of Saudi researchers.