Summer Course 2018


The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is pleased to announce an opportunity to study marine science in the Red Sea in the summer of 2018. We are now accepting applications for the course to be held in summer 2018 ( July 21 - August 10). Please note the application deadline of March 23rd, 2018. Click HERE to apply, or read below for more information. 

The ​program will expose students to several aspects of Red Sea marine science, including genomics, ecology, biological oceanography, and microbiology. The course includes fieldwork, labwork, lectures, and data workshops. The course will be taught be a group of KAUST faculty who have expertise in these fields, tentatively including Profs. Christian Voolstra, Manuel Aranda, Xelu Moran, Burt Jones, Michael Berumen, and Takashi Gojobori. Read more about these individuals ​here​. 

Each faculty member will present lectures giving an overview of their methods and recent work employing these techniques. This will be followed by opportunities to get hands-on experience with the techniques and associated data analysis, and, where relevant, sample collection in the field. Particular emphasis will be given to work done in the Red Sea, an exciting and dynamic system with untapped scientific potential.  

Each of the broad themes (i.e., genomics, microbiology, ecology, biological oceanography) will be represented throughout the course. The course intends to provide a fairly general introduction to each of these topics, although students will be exposed to cutting-edge current research carried out in these fields. Students will also be familiarized with the research facilities of the Red Sea Research Center and KAUST core labs, including the Biosciences Core Laboratory and the Coastal and Marine Resources Core Laboratory. Ship scheduling permitting, students will participate in a sampling trip aboard KAUST’s 35m (115’) research vessel, the R/V Thuwal.

Applicants are requested to indicate their primary field(s) of interest. During the 3-week course, there will be periodic sessions during which students will be split into smaller groups to have in-depth exposure to topics, equipment, and experts in their field of interest. 


Current undergraduate and Master’s students, as well as recent graduates from these levels, are eligible to apply. Our intention is to identify individuals with potential to become KAUST graduate students and to familiarize those individuals with KAUST facilities and faculty. (Therefore, current PhD students and postdocs are not eligible to apply.) The ideal candidate will have a strong background in core biological sciences, preferably also with at least one specialized course, such as ecology, zoology, genetics, oceanography, or marine biology. We plan to admit ~16 students for the course.


Successful applicants will receive full funding for travel, accommodation (private bedroom and bath in a shared residential suite), academic credit, and a stipend for the three-week period of study at KAUST. There are no fees associated with the course. Housing will be provided on the KAUST campus and students will have full access to KAUST recreational facilities. Students will also get a tour of Jeddah, including the historic old city, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Jeddah fish market. 


Successful applicants will need to be available for travel to arrive in Saudi Arabia on 20 or 21 July and will depart from Saudi Arabia on 10 or 11 August. (Note these dates are subject to slight adjustment.) All flight arrangements will be made by KAUST. It is the responsibility of the student to have her or his own passport (valid until at least 2019). KAUST will assist with obtaining a visa for Saudi Arabia.


Applications will require one letter of recommendation (preferably from a professor or other academic supervisor) to be fully considered. When completing the online application form, the applicant will need to provide the name and email address of the recommendation writer. The application system will then request that the recommendation writer upload the letter directly. To ensure confidentiality of the letter, we strongly prefer to receive the letter directly from the writer – not from the applicant. To avoid delays in letter submission, students are encouraged to submit their application materials in advance of the deadline and should confirm that their letter writer will be able to submit the letter by the deadline. 


The deadline for applications (including the recommendation letter) is March 23rd, 2018. 


KAUST will award 3 credits upon successful completion of the course.


To apply for the 2018 KAUST Red Sea Summer Course, click HERE​.


To read more about the Red Sea Research Center, click HERE.