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Research represents an important commitment of the American University in Cairo, whether as the fruit of individual faculty effort, or part of an externally funded project. One of the objectives of the undergraduate program is to equip students with the attitudes, skills, and knowledge needed to undertake independent scholarly investigation. In most Master’s programs a thesis is required, providing opportunities for students to explore research topics in depth under the close guidance of faculty advisers. The Doctoral program in Applied Sciences and Engineering requires that the candidates complete a dissertation, which results from a concerted research effort by each candidate under the supervision of a faculty advising committee.
Faculty research is heavily encouraged, and is recognized by the university as an important factor in promotion and tenure decisions. For many years the university has offered research and conference grants to full-time faculty to enable them to attend scholarly and professional conferences and to carry out research either in Egypt or abroad. Faculty of professorial rank may apply for a full-year or a one-semester sabbatical leave every seven years to undertake research and writing, and to participate in the intellectual life of other institutions. Administrative support for research is provided by the Office of the Associate Provost for Research Administration as well as the Office of Sponsored Programs.
In addition, several units of the university are devoted exclusively to research, including the Social Research Center, the Desert Development Center, the Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research and the Youssef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center.
Please consult the AUC website for more information about faculty research interests and projects.
Research Support Offices
Office of the Associate Provost for Research Administration
Director: Associate Provost E. Abdel Rahman
The Office of the Associate Provost for Research Administration is committed to promoting and strengthening research across the University.
The Office acts as a catalyst in initiating research activities in addition to providing administrative support to AUC faculty. Interdisciplinary activities such as environmental and developmental studies are encouraged. In consultation with the Research Advisory Council, the Office recommends policy and interfaces with the Senate Faculty Affairs Committee on issues related to faculty research.
The Associate Provost for Research Administration handles all University-funded conference, research, research development, mini and teaching enhancement grants. In 2009-2010, 219 faculty members received support amounting to about $624,298. One hundred and twenty nine faculty members received conference grants, fifty-one received research grants, twenty-six received mini grants, three received research development grants, twelve received teaching enhancement grants, and one received a coordination of conference/workshop grant.
The Office publishes lists of faculty research interests and graduate theses in order to raise the profile of research within the AUC community and to encourage networking and collaborative research, in addition to disseminating AUC’s research activities to other educational entities in Egypt and abroad. The Office sponsors the annual AUC Research Conference, which provides a forum for faculty and graduate students to discuss research issues of common interest. The Office provides administrative support for scholarly seminars and conferences held at AUC. The Office of the Associate Provost for Research Administration collaborates with the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Development in promoting externally funded research and soliciting sponsored projects.
The Office of the Associate Provost for Research Administration also coordinates and administers the activities of honorary degrees, Wisner awards, distinguished visiting professors, and merit awards in research, service, and teaching.
Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies
Director: Dean A. Ramadan
The Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies is dedicated to promoting and strengthening graduate studies and research across the University.
In graduate studies, the Office coordinates graduate student recruitment and admissions, registration, non-academic advising, counseling, orientation and services; administers and monitors fellowships, assistantships, and work-study programs; collaborates with the Office of Student Financial Affairs in developing financial aid programs for graduate students; and coordinates and monitors graduate programs in the University. In consultation with the University Graduate Council, which is composed of the coordinators/directors of the graduate programs in addition to student representatives and chaired by the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Office recommends policy and interfaces with the Senate Student Affairs Committee on issues related to graduate students, and with the Senate Academic Affairs Committee on issues related to graduate programs. The Office works together with the Office of Development and the Office of Sponsored Programs on soliciting external funding for graduate fellowships.
Office of Sponsored Programs
Director: D. Adly
The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) represents the University in matters related to external funding for research, training, and public service projects. It reviews agreements, monitors performance and ensures that both university and sponsor terms and conditions are met during implementation of externally funded programs.
The Office assists faculty in the preparation of proposals, including editing, and budget development in accordance with sponsor guidelines and AUC policy. It also keeps the University community updated on grant opportunities, research funding competitions and other relevant information. Proposal writing workshops are offered by the office to faculty and staff to strengthen proposal writing skills.
OSP provides access to searchable databases of information on potential funding sources, such as the Community of Sciences (COS). COS Funding Opportunities is the largest, most comprehensive database of available funding that provides a full range of Internet-based services for researchers in all disciplines. In addition, proposal writing materials, and aids are available at the office for lending to faculty who require some assistance in proposal writing techniques.
OSP also has a web page on the AUC web site with information on OSP services, upcoming grant opportunities, budgetary information and AUC policies regarding external project approval, administration and implementation.
Undergraduate Research Program (UGR)
The Undergraduate Research Program institutionalizes, supports and expands opportunities for undergraduate student research, entrepreneurship and creative achievement. It nurtures amongst the academic community, across the disciplines, a culture of research and development, and the drive to advance the liberal education outcomes of undergraduate inquiry and critical and creative competence.
Among other programs and services, the Program adminsters a conference and mini-grant program for undergraduate researchers and hosts the yearly EURECA conference featuring student research and creative work.
Director: N. Rizk
Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) was established in 2010. It is a center for academic scholarship, research and policy analysis on access to knowledge for development in Egypt and the Arab world. A2K4D promotes multi disciplinary research meant to further conceptualize and investigate the economic, legal, political and social issues confronting access to knowledge in Egypt and the region. Based on solid theoretical foundations, A2K4D research offers rigorous empirical analysis of public policy in areas as diverse as ICTs, software, health, trade, education, culture and agriculture. A2K4D research will provide policy makers, negotiators and international representatives with well-researched intellectual property alternatives, recognizing the relationship between knowledge and human development. Research would also help devise well thought of business models that address the tension between the interests of knowledge users and producers.
A2K4D will serve as a regional research hub for A2K scholars, working towards developing a strong network of academic researchers with partners from civil society, industry, policy bodies and other stakeholders. A2K4D works in close collaboration with the overall global A2K movement and partners within the Access to Knowledge Global Academy (A2KGA)
Director: B. Korany
To counter the widespread perception of academia as an ivory tower, the AUC Forum was established in 2006 as a unique initiative to increase the interaction and dialogue between members of the community and the university’s scholars on important social and political issues, national and international. The AUC Forum applies respected academic standards to the analysis of policy-oriented issues. In addition, it highlights questions that act as a bridge between the Middle East and the wider world. To this end, the Forum, alone or in collaboration with national, regional and international institutions holds conferences, international workshops and panels on timely topics crucial to the region and the world in the 21st century.
Its work includes, at one end, collaboration with United Nations agencies to discuss global issues and send AUC students for internships in New York. At another end, the Forum invites distinguished Arab speakers to answer questions about their intensely debated published autobiographies to reveal issues of the individual in society across time. Through its activities, the Forum goes beyond conventional wisdom and stereotypes about the region to attract attention to deeper currents of thought and behavior in Arab societies in relation to the rest of the world.
The Forum has already published two books under its name:
- Bahgat Korany & Ali E. Hillal Dessouki (eds.): The Foreign Policies of Arab States; The Challenge of Globalization. Cairo & New York, American University in Cairo Press, 2008 (3rd edition).
- Bahgat Korany (ed.) The Changing Middle East; A New Look at Regional Dynamics. Cairo & New York, American University in Cairo Press, 2010.
The possibility of translation for an Arabic edition is already in progress.
- Book publishing
- Research collaboration
For more information about the Forum, please visit http://www.aucegypt.edu/ResearchatAUC/rc/aucforum
Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment (RISE)
Professor Emeritus: A. Bishay
Director and Professor: R. N. Tutwiler
The Research Institute for Sustainable Environment (RISE) is a research, education, and service unit of the American University in Cairo dedicated to benefitting people and nature through integrated resource management solutions to environmental problems.
Housed on the American University in Cairo’s New Cairo campus, RISE carries forward the legacy of AUC’s Desert Development Center (DDC) which operated from 1979 to 2013. The Institute represents a reaffirmation and strengthening of AUC’s commitment to sustainable environmental education and research in Egypt and the region. Building on the accomplishments of the DDC in natural resource management, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture in desert areas, RISE has the expanded mission to promote sustainability in a diversity of environments in Egypt and the region, including rural and urban, desert and temperate, through applied research, education and training programs. RISE operates a research station and outreach center for educational programs, technical training and community services at Sadat City. On campus, the institute is designed to provide new opportunities for AUC students to learn and engage with the environment and related sustainability issues. RISE research facilities on campus provide students with a Living Learning Laboratory in which to seek solutions to real-life resource and environmental problems
The research programs of the Institute address the management of key resources within the Egyptian environment. These are water in its various forms (Nile water, groundwater, brackish water, treated waste water, etc), land (including both desert land and valley and delta land), plants (predominately agricultural, but also ornamental and landscape plants), and solid waste treated as a resource that can be recycled or reused. The RISE resource management agenda also includes renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and bio-fuels.
RISE promotes sustainable communities, and the social and economic dimensions of resource and environmental management are essential components. All RISE research projects, whether focused on physical, technological, or economic aspects of the environment, must consider how people live in, and interact with, the environment. Understanding human behavior within an environment is basic to determining the present or future sustainability of that environment. RISE research aims to incorporate the understanding that people’s perceptions, understandings, motivations for human action, and social organization are key variables to be considered in finding solutions to resource and environment problems, such as food safety, water scarcity and air pollution.
RISE research also recognizes the importance of interactions and cross-cutting relationships. For example, a key nexus of environmental relationships in Egypt today is the interaction between water, food, and energy. Addressing the issue of a sustainable environment in this context implies a mix of disciplines, scientific approaches, and specialists, including biophysical scientists, engineers and technology experts, social scientists, and policy analysts. RISE has positioned itself within the university community in such a way that it can mobilize and draw upon the intellectual resources that are available in the various departments and schools and in the research centers of the university.
RISE offers a range of opportunities for AUC students and faculty. The Living Learning Laboratory program links RISE research activities with individual AUC courses in a wide range of subject areas. Students earn academic credits in their course work while pursuing hands-on, problem-based, experiential learning at RISE. RISE also offers individual internship opportunities for students through the university’s Career Advising and Placement Services (CAPS), as well as providing volunteer positions promoting a more sustainable university campus and community.
El-Khazindar Business Research and Case Center
Director: M. Mourad
KCC is the first case center in Egypt. It was established in 2007 to publish case studies and other educational services, which provide students with participant-centered learning tools. The center aims at serving its various stakeholders including students, Faculty, industry, and training companies, through providing them with high-quality cases and business research on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Its services are dedicated to improving the quality of business education, connecting businesses and students in the region, and ultimately contributing to the betterment of the society through academic research and practical applications.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research
Director: M. Shahin
The Alwaleed Center for American Studies and Research promotes a scholarly multidisciplinary approach to the study of the United States of America addressing the concerns and needs of Egypt and the Arab world. To this end, the Center’s programs facilitate, encourage, and disseminate objective, in-depth research on American subjects. It seeks to enhance the collection of library materials necessary to support students and scholars from AUC and beyond in serious research on American subjects and to facilitate access to those resources. It organizes conferences, seminars, lectures, short courses and publications designed to contribute to a more sophisticated analysis of America’s varied societies and cultures among academics, professional groups and interested publics in Egypt and the Middle East.
Located at AUC, the Center reaches out to Arab scholars promoting collaborative scholarly activities with research institutions across the Arab world and throughout the globe.
Social Research Center
Director and Research Professor: H. Rashad (Demography)
Habib Ayeb (Geography), R. Hamed (Statistics), Z. Khadr (Demography), R. Langsten (Sociology), S. Mehanna (Political Science), R. Saad (Anthropology), S. El-Saadani (Demography), S. Shawky (Public Health), S. El Sheneity (Statistics), H. Sholkamy (Anthropology), H. Zaky (Statistics)
The Social Research Center was established in 1953 to conduct and encourage social science research in Egypt and the Middle East. The program aims to train researchers, and to guide and assist graduate students, scholars, and organizations engaged in social science research in the area. The SRC cooperates with agencies of the Egyptian Government as well as with universities and research institutes in Egypt and abroad.
The Center’s Program
The Center’s research program is multidisciplinary and combines qualitative and quantitative approaches to inquiry. It strives to inform policy formulation and implementation while contributing to knowledge in the social science disciplines.
Emphasis in the Center’s substantive program is on health and gender and their social structure, social problems, social change, and development.
In the past, SRC has conducted studies of the Nubian communities, before and after relocation; the resettlement of reclaimed land; the historical and ecological development of Cairo; evaluation of urban neighborhood services; social and economic security in Egypt; agricultural marketing; farm mechanization and agricultural labor; patterns of cooperation among farmers; population and fertility, a broad spectrum of development issues, the role of women, urbanization, poverty, social epidemiology, maternal and child health, water and sanitation and the environment.
The recently introduced thematic directions of the Social Research Center include five programs. They are: “Gender and Women’s Empowerment”, “Health Inequities and their Policy Implications”, “Investment Climate Assessment and Economic Development”, “Social Policies and Poverty Alleviation” and “Population Challenges in the Arab Region”.
In addition to its research activities, the SRC organizes training programs in various aspects of research methods and analytical techniques for the benefit of social scientists from the Middle East and North Africa. It convenes conferences, symposia, and workshops on topics included in its research agenda. The Center aims to contribute to developing skills and building institutional capabilities in the region as well as to advancing public debate about priority social issues.
For more information please refer to SRC website at: www.aucegypt.edu/src
The Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender & Women’s Studies
Director: M. Rieker
The Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies [IGWS] is a multi-purpose and interdisciplinary center that serves scholars, activists and policy makers interested in gender and women’s studies in the Arab world, Southern Mediterranean, Turkey, the Caucasus, Iran and Africa. The primary function of the Institute is to serve as resource nexus within and through which research projects, educational programs, conferences, workshops, seminars and policy debates on gender and women’s issues are engaged.
The John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement
Director: B. Ibrahim
The Gerhart center is a resource for the promotion of philanthropy and civic engagement in the Arab world. Established in 2006, the center aims to further the university’s mission to advance social responsibility and active citizenship. Our mission is to promote social change in the Arab region through building a culture of effective giving and civic responsibility.
The Gerhart center’s work on civic engagement includes interfacing with Arab universities to become more engaged with their surrounding communities and promoting cross-cultural understanding and diversity through international programs with a focus on local community service. Moreover, the center encourages and facilitates the practice of community based learning as a fundamental approach to effective teaching and fosters social innovation through student leadership programs, seminars for young professionals, and programs to link government institutions with civil society organizations.
On philanthropy the Gerhart center acts as a catalyst providing technical consulting services to start-up and expanding philanthropic institutions in the Arab region. It also collaborates with the private sector to deepen the understanding of the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Among the key areas of the center’s work is documenting the status of Arab philanthropy while highlighting best practices, and promoting networking opportunities and strategic alliances for enhanced philanthropy in the Arab region and internationally.
The Gerhart center also engages in research and documentation on subjects ranging from motivations of youth activism to mapping of Arab philanthropy and disseminates information widely through a quarterly newsletter, a series of scholarly working papers and website www.aucegypt.edu/research/gerhart/Pages/default.aspx
For information, please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center
Director: Associate Provost E. Abdel Rahman
The Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center (YJ-STRC) was established as a result of the generous support of 1968 AUC graduate Yousef Jameel. The center is interdisciplinary and draws on the expertise of the university’s engineering and science departments. The center supports a variety of nanoscience and technology-oriented projects, which make use of the center’s state-of-the-art equipment.
Research activities are centered around generic imaging, analysis and fabrication equipment and focus on nanostructured materials, surface chemistry, biotechnology and design and fabrication of micro-electromechanical systems. People are the center’s key asset and, therefore, the center aims at attracting high caliber researchers from around the world who, together with the current members, contribute to its research themes and help steer its futures research activities.
The mission and main objectives of The Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center are:
- To establish an internationally competitive research activity at AUC resourced and supported to the highest standards.
- To serve the research interests of the faculty and students in the departments of the School of Sciences and Engineering within the current and projected scope of activities in the Center.
- To interact through cooperative research projects with local regional and international institutions of higher learning and research.
- To forge links with industry.
- To become a recognized Center of Excellence locally, regionally and internationally.
The Center has five main research themes:
- Nanostructured Materials
- Surface Chemistry
The Center offers a limited number of Research Assistantships Graduate Fellowships and Doctoral Fellowships. Research Associates are Co-Principal Investigators who contribute to the Center’s research projects from national or international organizations.
The Center’s laboratories are equipped with state of the art facilities, and include a Central Laboratory and satellite laboratories such as the Biotechnology Lab located in the Biology Department, the Photonics Lab, a Clean Room facility located in the Physics Department, and a Materials Lab located in the Mechanical Engineering Department.
For more information, please visit the center’s website at: www.aucegypt.edu/research/jameel/Pages/default.aspx