- 1- What is the UAE Program for Rain Enhancement Science, and how did it originate?
The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is an international research initiative designed to stimulate and promote scientific advancement and the development of new technology in this area. Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs established this Program and its grant awarding functions as one of the seven pillars of the UAE’s Innovation Strategy.
The Program is managed by the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) as part of its mission to support research in weather modification. The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science offers each winning research proposal in the field of rain enhancement a grant of up to, $1.5 Million (US Dollars), distributed over three years with a maximum annual amount of $550K.
- 2- Why is the Rain Enhancement Program so important?
As water security is an essential element of national security, there is an increasing imperative for countries to strengthen their water resilience by promoting research and development, investment in new technologies, more efficient resource conservation and effective international partnerships. For arid and semi-arid regions, rain enhancement could offer a viable, cost-effective supplement to existing water supplies.
- 3- Why is this program important to the UAE?
The UAE has an arid climate with less than 100mm per year of rainfall, a high evaporation rate of surface water and a low groundwater recharge rate that is far less than the total annual water used in the country. Furthermore, projected population growth and economic expansion will put additional pressure on existing water supplies and rainfall for food and water. Although rainfall in the UAE has been increasing over the last few decades, most of that occurs in the cool season from December to March. During the hot summer months, the monsoon effect in the Arabian Sea leads to a build-up of cumulus clouds in the eastern mountains of the UAE. Existing rain enhancement operations have increased the rainfall potential of these clouds by up to 20%. We welcome new research and the application of new technologies to make these operations more efficient and productive.
- 4- How much grant funding is available?
A grant of up to $1.5 million over a three – year period, with a maximum annual amount of $550K, will be awarded for each winning research proposal in the rain enhancement field.
- 5- How do I apply for the program?
All eligible applicants can submit their initial offers for the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science by following the following three easy steps:
- First step: Register and provide all the details related to the main researcher, and describe the project through the following link: https://apply.uaerep.ae
- The second step: a special password will be sent to your email, and we ask that you use this password to log into your account at https://apply.uaerep.ae
- The third step: submit your initial offer through our website
- 6- Who may submit proposals?
Domestic or foreign, public or private, non-profit or for-profit organizations are eligible to receive this grant and, in rare occasions, individuals. All entities must clearly demonstrate their access to facilities and infrastructure to carry out the proposed project and agree to the fiscal arrangements that the UAE requires to prove the ability to responsibly manage the grant funding.
- 7- Can I also submit my proposal by mail, email or fax?
Only submissions made via the online portal of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science are eligible.
If you have any questions about the application process or the online portal, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com
- 8- Is there a limit on number of pre-proposals per organization?
Single institutions are permitted to submit more than one application for the awards. There are no restrictions to the number of pre-proposals that can be submitted to this program. However, it should be noted that each project has to specify a different Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator.
- 9- Is it possible to submit a joint proposal with NCMS?
Employees of the UAE National Centre for Meteorology are not eligible to apply for this program or to serve as a project Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator individually or jointly.
- 10- Do you encourage cooperative projects between different universities?
Yes, active cooperation among universities and research institutions for the benefit of the project is encouraged.
- 11- Why did I not receive a confirmation after submitting my pre-proposal?
If you have not received a confirmation email after submitting the pre-proposal, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 12- I am having trouble submitting my letter of intent and/or pre-proposal through the website. How do I resolve this?
If you do not receive a success or error message after you click ‘submit’, this means that your information and/or uploaded documents were not sent. If you encounter this problem, please clear your computer’s browser cache, delete temporary files, restart your browser and then try to submit again.
- 13- What do I do if I forgot my password?
Please send an email to email@example.com to receive a new password.
- 14- Where do I find a Conflict Of Interest form?
Applicants must fill in a Conflict of Interest form, which can be downloaded from the website, and submit it along with their pre-proposal and other required documents. A completed Conflict of Interest form is required as a pre-requisite of the technical evaluation of each proposal.
- 15- How will the pre-proposals be evaluated?
The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science will evaluate applications in a multi-phase merit review process. Those judged most promising by the review panel and Program Secretariat will be invited to submit full proposals.
- 16- Are all submissions treated equally regardless of their origin?
The program actively seeks the participation of research and scientific institutions worldwide. The technical committee will evaluate all proposals strictly on merit and according to their scientific potential.
- 17- Do you prefer one particular technology or methodology to others?
We are open to any innovative research and technology ideas related to rain enhancement, provided the solution does not violate environmental regulations.
- 18- Who may serve as Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator?
The Principal Investigator must have substantial research and management experience in the associated field of science and/or engineering to lead the project. Co-Principal Investigators may share the responsibility of guiding the scientific or technical direction of the project. The first name listed on the application will serve as the primary liaison to the Program Secretariat. Employees of the National Centre of Meteorology are not eligible to serve as a project Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator.
- 19- What are the UAE’s achievements in the field of Rain Enhancement?
The UAE cloud-seeding program was initiated in 1990. By early 2001 the program was being conducted in cooperation with well-known organizations such as the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Colorado, USA, as well as the Witwatersrand University in South Africa and the US Space Agency, NASA. The UAE now has more than 60 networked automatic weather stations distributed across the UAE, a sophisticated weather radar network, and six state-of-the-art aircraft for cloud seeding operations. Importantly, no harmful chemicals are used in these operations, relying instead on natural salts such as potassium chloride and sodium chloride.
- 20- What is the role of the NCM?
In 2007, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a Federal Decree Law No (6) establishing the NCM. The Centre collects meteorological and seismic information, monitors the changes that occur in the atmosphere, and provides meteorological services and seismic data for the benefit of the concerned authorities in the UAE. The NCM also exchanges data and information with other regional and international organizations with the aim of staying abreast of new scientific research in the fields concerning the Centre. A Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the Centre’s activities and ensuring that they are aligned with the UAE government’s strategic goals. The NCM is managing the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science in accordance with the strategic guidance and directives of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.
- 21- Does the Program grant deadline extensions?
No, all submission deadlines are final and no extensions will be granted.
- 22- Can the Program Secretariat provide individual support to applicants?
While the Program Secretariat is happy to answer any questions about the submission procedure, the Program Policy does not allow the Secretariat to provide individual support regarding the project ideas, Pre-Proposals or Proposals. In particular, the Secretariat is not allowed to give opinions on the projects or recommendations for collaborations with local institutions.
- 23- How can I learn more about the rain enhancement operations carried out in the UAE by the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM)?
The NCM is happy to offer tours for scientists and researchers who are interested in learning more about the cloud seeding operations in the UAE. Please contact Ms. Kaltham Mangoosh at Kmangoosh@ncms.ae or +971 2 222 7006 for more information or visit the website of the NCM, www.ncm.ae, for news about the operations.
- 24- Should the Conflict of Interest (COI) form be filled in by proposal Primary Investigators (PIs) or proposal reviewers?
The COI form must be filled in individually by both proposal PIs and proposal reviewers.
- 25- What constitutes a conflict of interest?
Possible conflicts of interest are defined as follows:
Individual Conflict of Interest include, but are not limited to:
- Ph.D. dissertation or thesis advisors or advisees
- Collaborators or co-authors, including postdoctoral researchers, for past 48 months
- Co-editors within the past 24 months
- A spouse or close relative
- Any other individuals with whom you believe may present a circumstance where your impartiality may be questioned.
Institutional Conflicts of Interest include, but are not limited to:
- Advisory Committees
- Current or prospective partner or employer
- Stock owned
- Received money in the past year- honoraria or travel expenses, and
- Other recent or on-going financial ties.
For more details on possible conflicts and access to the COI form, please click here.
- 26- What happens if a conflict becomes apparent to a proposal reviewer after being assigned a proposal to review?
The Program Secretariat is aware of the fact that conflicts of interest might become apparent after proposal review assignments are made. The COI form helps the Program Secretariat with initial review assignments and it is critical that COI forms be carefully filled. If a conflict of interest becomes apparent at any time after review assignments are made, it is the obligation of the reviewer to inform the Program Secretariat immediately so that the respective proposal can be reassigned.
- 27- Are the Principal Investigators (PIs) allowed to suggest ad-hoc reviewers for their respective pre-proposals and full proposals?
Yes, PIs may suggest ad-hoc reviewers. However, it is at the discretion of the Program Secretariat to accept these suggestions.
- 28- Can the UAEREP 20% overhead costs limit be waived or modified? Why are the overhead costs limited to 20%?
No, waiving or modifying the 20% overhead cost rule is not possible. The UAEREP 20% overhead costs limit is, for international programs, a limit on the percentage of program expenditure that has limited visibility to the program. For this program, the rate is based on the total direct costs billed to the program.
In other contexts, universities and laboratories applying for grants may negotiate an overhead rate based on a modified total direct cost that often will exclude equipment purchases or rentals, training, off-site expenses, sub-contract expenses exceeding a certain amount, and other items. However, it should be noted that the definition of what is covered in ‘overhead’ is significantly more flexible in this case. Specifically:
The 20% overhead costs limit is measured against total direct costs as opposed to modified total direct costs (e.g. US university F&A rates).
Expenses, which might be required to be included in an institution’s F&A rate by the US government, can be charged directly to the UAEREP program, if the institution is able to reasonably explain the necessity and amount of the charge to the program.
The UAEREP needs insight into the total program costs to ensure that they are reasonable. This is standard practice for international programs. Given the program’s relative flexibility regarding overhead, there should be few, if any, participants subject to institutional policies that cannot accommodate the required maximum rate stated. Further questions regarding overhead should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.