1. Background

The Arab region is undergoing a decade of profound change and challenges. Noticeable progress in some countries and some sectors is clouded by the spiraling into social unrest, economic instability and violent conflict in others.  With a growing frequency, yet unmet expectations of governance outputs across all sectors, results destabilization. Increasing knowledge about land and the way it is accessed, used and governed is key to understand the socio-economic transformations, societal changes and the various types of conflicts occurring in the Arab region.

Knowledge creation and research on different land-related key topics is a cornerstone of the BMZ-funded “Arab region programme on good land governance in support to inclusive development, peace and stability”, as part of the Arab Land Initiative. Implemented by different regional and country-level partner organizations, in collaboration with the Global Land Tool Network / UN-Habitat, the programme aims at improving the capacity of regional and national stakeholders in the Arab region to manage and administer land, peri-urban and rural land, to achieve inclusive social and economic development. As key part of the programme, the Urban Training and Studies Institute (UTI) based in Cairo, Egypt, in collaboration with the Global Land Tool Network implements different activities aiming to create, foster and diffuse capacities, training and knowledge related to land governance. Encouraging and supporting quality research based on solid methodologies for improved data collection and increased empirical evidence is one of the objectives of this collaboration.


  1. Objectives and scope of the research grant

This call for proposals for research grants addresses students and young land professionals interested in conducting research on land governance-related topics in one or several countries of the Arab region. The objectives of this call are to foster the interest in land-related research and to gather innovative ideas and approaches. By supporting and motivating future academic and professional leaders in the field of land governance. The research grant will increase the information and empirical evidence on land-related issues in the region and foster the interest and engagement of students, young professionals and scholars in producing land-related research and become part of land sector networks in the Arab region.


  1. Who is eligible to apply for the research grant?
  1. Master and PhD students (social science, economics, law, multi-disciplinary land-related programmes, etc.)  with interest in land management and land-related topics in one or several countries in the Arab region;
  2. Land professionals and land practitioners with expertise and/or field experience on land related projects in the Arab region.
  3. Young scholars working in universities or other relevant research institutions conducting research dealing with land-related topics in the Arab region;

Additional eligibility criteria:

  1. Female applicants are particularly encouraged to apply.
  2. Applicants must be nationals or resident of a country of the Arab region;
  3. Applicants must be maximum 45 years old;
  4. Applicants can apply individually or in group (max. of 3).


  1. Thematic areas

Land governance is a cross sectoral topic that relates to different aspects of the social and economic life of societies, touches upon different sectors including planning, economy, human rights, governance, law, etc. - and has technical, social, economic and political dimensions. This call for research proposals invites applicants from different backgrounds to submit their proposals focusing on one – or more than one – of the following topics:

  1. The nexus between land and conflict;
  2. Land and socio-economic development;
  3. Women and land;
  4. Youth and land;
  5. Land, natural resources (including water, minerals, extractives, etc.)
  6. Land and climate change (incl. land degradation, etc.);
  7. Land administration;
  8. Land policies, laws and regulations;
  9. Land-based investment, land markets, land value, land transactions;
  10. Monitoring land governance and land tenure security;
  11. Urbanization, planning, taxation and development control;
  12. Innovative land management tool;


  1. Research proposals

The submissions should contain:

  • The name(s) and titles of the applicants;
  • Copies of the ID(s) of the applicant(s);
  • Proof of residency in Arab Country (incase if non-Arab Candidate) 
  • The themes of the proposed research (selected from the list above);
  • The proposed title of the research paper;
  • The geographical focus (one or more than one country in the Arab region);
  • The outline (or table of content) of the research paper;
  • An abstract describing the proposed research (max 2000 words).

Submissions should be done in Word and PDF format and written in either in English, French or Arabic.

Submissions should be sent by 15 July 2020 to the following email address:


  1. Submission Dates and Details
  • Submission of Research proposals (as mentioned above) by 15/07/2020.
  • A first review of the abstracts will be conducted.
  • The selected candidates will be informed by 31/08/2020
  • Submission of full research paper by 30/11/2020 (for selected candidates only).


Selected candidates should submit full research papers that includes;

  1. An executive summary of 4 pages;
  2. Body of the research of max 50 pages;
  3. Conclusions and recommendations (max 6 pages).

Word Count for full research paper min. 5000, max.10000

Paper format

8.5" x 11”-page size

1" margins

11 point Times Roman

Line Spacing: Multiple 1.15

The final research papers will be reviewed by an expert committee and uploaded on websites of; GLTN; Arab Land Initiative; and UTI.

There is a possibility to further support the grantees for the attendance of relevant international conferences to present the research results; e.g. the World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, or the Second Arab Land Conference, etc…


  1. Research Grants

Accepted research proposals will be funded a total grant of USD 4000 as follows;

  • USD 1,500 will be paid to the selected researcher after the selection.
  • The remaining USD 2,500 will be paid to the researcher after the submission of the final research paper.


  1. Contacts

For further information or questions, please contact:

Dina Naguib, UTI:

El Habib Benmokhtar, UN-Habitat :

Ombretta Tempra, UN-Habitat: