Encouraging Conference Attendance by Academic Staff

Conferences are venues for the exchange of knowledge and experience. KAU encourage its academic staff to attend international conferences to enable them to meet with prominent scientists and witness presentations of the results of the latest research. Several hundred academic staff members are sponsored annually to participate in international conferences, to present academic research papers, and to network with international scholars. In many cases, ongoing and mutually beneficial collaboration between KAU scientists and others emerge from these events. KAU's encouragement of its academic staff's participation in such events has resulted in the name of KAU being widely recognized and acknowledged by the international scientific community. This recognition and acknowledgement has resulted in many members of this community showing willingness to cooperate and work on joint research projects with KAU.

Scientific Research Funding

One important factor that affects the dissemination of the culture of scientific research among academic staff is the availability of funds enabling academic concepts and ideas to be explored, investigated, and realized through conducting research. A prime factor in ensuring funding is that would-be researchers are required to provide substantive evidence that proposed work is eligible for publishing in ranked ISI journals or their academic status equivalents.

Several hundred research projects are funded every year under different schemes. In addition, KAU acts as a mediator between its scholars and other organizations which provide funds for scientific research, such as King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, and SABIC Company. These bodies support approximately one hundred KAU research projects annually. This policy, in conjunction with the prize policy, has resulted in a dramatic increase in the volume of publications and citations of KAU in ranked ISI journals. Figure 5 shows the increase in KAU publications and citations for the last fifteen years.

Fig. 5 KAU published papers and citations in ISI ranked journals

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