3 Open Study/Research Award
Accepted Degree Levels
Grant PeriodFlexible Start
Grant Length10 Months
Oman is an Arab country located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. It is an absolute monarchy ruled by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik. Modern Oman is a young, growing country where the total population is 4.7 million, approximately 50% of which is under the age of 25. Oman is an increasingly urban country, with about 86% of the population living in cities. Close to half of the population lives in the Muscat (the capital) metropolitan area and half of that population are third country nationals—primarily from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh—who perform most of the clerical, construction, and service sector jobs in the country. Oman has a developed economy that is reliant on the oil and gas sector, and it continues to pursue a diversification strategy to expand other critical industries such as tourism, manufacturing, logistics, mining, and fisheries. Oman is a Muslim nation, with many observing the Ibadhi sect of Islam (practiced only in Oman and Zanzibar—a former overseas holding of Oman). There are also Sunni and Shia followers in the country, as well as Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. Oman is a highly literate country with a literacy rate of 95.7%; before 1970—when Sultan Qaboos took the throne—Oman had only three formal schools in the entire country, with under 1,000 students. Today, Oman is one of the most stable partners the U.S. has in the Middle East and Arab World. As such, the goal of the Fulbright program is to continue to strengthen the U.S.-Oman relationship through educational and cultural partnerships.
Fulbright grants typically begin September and end June per the academic calendar, but flexible start and end may be possible subject to the approval of the U.S. Embassy in Muscat.
All grantees are required to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation in the United States in June or July as a condition of their grants.
The U.S. embassy will provide a security briefing upon arrival.
Applicants at all degree levels will be considered. Ideal applicants should propose a distinctive research project relevant to Oman that can be reasonably accomplished in 10 months. Although applicants are not required to have prior experience in Oman or in the Middle East, those who possess previous cross-cultural experiences and appropriate language skills may have a more enhanced research experience. There is a strong preference for those who have not previously held a Fulbright grant and who intend to promote long-term connections with Oman post-research.
Accepted Degree Levels
Foreign Language Proficiency
Though not required, proficiency in Arabic is recommended to better carry out the proposed research. Spoken Arabic is helpful but not required. The local dialect is a mixture of Gulf and Modern Standard Arabic. English is the medium of instruction in all public and private colleges and universities. Courses in the Colleges of Arts, Education, and Islamic Sciences are often taught in Arabic.
Fulbright Proposal Types
No affiliation letter required at deadline
It is strongly recommended that applicants list preferred host institutions for their projects in their applications. Applicants may also provide an affiliation letter. However, no affiliation letter is required and all host affiliations must be approved by Oman's Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as such, the Government of Oman and the host institutions will make the final selections and placements, which will require additional time. The U.S. Embassy in Muscat will facilitate the final arrangements in placing grantees at the appropriate academic institution.
Potential host institutions include:
- Sultan Qaboos University
- Modern College of Business and Science
- National University for Science and Technology
- University of Nizwa
- Dhofar University
- Sohar University
- A’Sharqiyah University
Please note that the Fulbright Program in Oman will not communicate directly with the universities and colleges or facilitate communications for applicants. However, the program team can answer general questions about Oman, universities, and colleges. Applicants may communicate with the higher education institutions directly. Applicants who are interested to connect with potential contacts at host institutions can email Hala El Bingawi, Cultural Affairs Assistant, at ElBingawiHM@state.gov for additional information and guidance.
The host institution will not provide housing but the Embassy's Public Affairs Unit will assist grantees in locating nearby and appropriate housing. All housing must be approved by the Embassy's Regional Security Office (RSO).
Dependent financial support includes a modest increase in the monthly stipend. However, grantees must receive approval for dependents and must independently cover costs for dependent travel and school enrollment.
Grantees may consider enrolling their school-aged children in private international schools that offer courses in English at the grantees’ expense. Local schools can only accommodate Arabic-speaking students. Applicants interested in bringing school-aged dependents can contact Hala El Bingawi, Cultural Affairs Assistant, at ElBingawiHM@state.gov for additional information.
Field of Study Restrictions
Proposals in all fields are welcome, with the following caveats: any subject related to politics is not recommended; and projects focused on social anthropology, religion, media, and governance may present issues depending on the specific nature of the proposal. Candidates with such proposals are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy early in the application process.
Research Clearance/Visa Requirements
Individual academic institutions are not able to grant permission for off-campus fieldwork. Students wishing to conduct field research will need permission from, and should seek affiliation with, the pertinent ministry dealing with their project area. Allow plenty of time for such clearances.
Grantees will be requested to send their passport copies, photos, and curricula vitae to the U.S. Embassy before their arrival, and the Embassy will forward the documents to the host institutions in order to facilitate the visa issuance process.