King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

From 2018-2023, the Global Studies Institute supported a strategic institutional partnership between the University of Oregon and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Our joint programs include a GlobalWorks International Research Internship as part of the KAUST Visiting Student Research Program, support of a year-long KAUST faculty mentorship program developed in partnership with our Global STEM Education Program, and faculty research seminar exchanges.

Know, Understand, Experience*: Islam, Middle East & Global Science

The University of Oregon and KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) are seeking nominations of students to participate in a short-term scientific and cross-cultural program.

Program Dates in Saudi Arabia: September 10-19, 2023

Pre-Departure online program: August 21-September 1, 2023

Cost: Program fees, travel, and lodging will be fully-funded at no cost to eligible students.

Application: Online student application due by May 6, 2023. (Faculty online nominations)

Learning goals

Students will…

Cross-cultural understanding

  • Evaluate and dismantle US stereotypes and own cultural biases about Saudi Arabia and the Muslim world.
  • Appreciate history, culture, and geopolitics of Saudi Arabia.
  • Visit locations of cultural and historical significance, engaging with local communities.


  • Learn about scientific research and life at KAUST.
  • Practice scientific, communication, and professional skills required for success in graduate school.

The program will be co-led by an University of Oregon faculty member and the KAUST team.

For questions, please contact Elly Vandegrift, Program Director Global Science Education Initiatives, University of Oregon.

* The UO’s “Know, Understand, Experience" (KUE) series of study abroad programs open awareness and challenge stereotypes of less well known and often misunderstood places and cultures.

Program flyer

GlobalWorks International Internship at KAUST

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) offers funded internships in laboratory research for both undergraduate and graduate students from around the world, including University of Oregon students. Interns at KAUST will have access to close faculty mentorship, cutting-edge laboratory equipment, and excellent amenities for 8-12 weeks during the summer.

Learn More

Past KAUST Collaborations

KAUST Poster Competition

University of Oregon students (left to right) Sanjana Basak, Will Jackson, Hannah Lewack, and Ellis Mimms for excellent work presenting their undergraduate research at KAUST international poster competition.

Four students presenting poster
University of Oregon Participants:
  • Sanjana Basak, ‘24, a Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholar, is developing a targeted gene therapy for treating late-onset Fuchs’ Dystophy (FECD), a disease that results in loss of vision. 
  • Will Jackson, ‘23, who won second place at the competition, participated in the UO Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR). Jackson’s  work focuses on prion proteins that are best known as the agents of deadly brain disorders like mad cow disease. But prions aren't all bad. He is studying ways prions actually benefit cells in which they’re found. 
  • Hannah Lewack, ’23, a recipient of a Peter O’Day Fellowship and a SPUR awardee, researches what mating in worms can tell us about the genetics of healthy aging and disease prevention. 
  • Ellis Mimms, ’22, a McNair Scholar, uses data collected at Pine Mountain Observatory to create new computer code and software with the goal of improving analysis of vast amounts of astronomical data and calibrating the systems and telescopes at the observatory. 

KAUST Faculty Mentorship Program

A 9-month Faculty Mentorship Program that paired junior faculty with more senior faculty to build a network and community of support. Developed and led by Elly Vandegrift, program director of global STEM education initiatives for University of Oregon Global Studies Institute.

Faculty presentation

Through mentorship, faculty will….

  1. Support early-career faculty across all aspects of their professional development to build success for faculty at KAUST.
  2. Support mid-career faculty with specialized challenges such as leadership and changing projects.
  3. Build strong supportive networks for faculty across the university to improve collegiality, campus-life, and research productivity.
  4. Understand mutual mentoring opportunities for expertise and experience of early-career faculty to be infused into the institution.

KAUST Seminar Series

Dr. Carlos Duarte, a faculty member of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, gave a virtual seminar for the University of Oregon's Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) in Charleston, OR on April 20, 2021. Find the entire OIMB seminar schedule here.  

Carlos Duarte mapping

Reversing the Loss of Coastal Habitats

Carlos M Duarte, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

Distinguished Professor Carlos M. Duarte is the Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology at the KAUST in Saudi Arabia. Duarte’s research focuses on understanding the effects of global change in marine ecosystems and developing nature-based solutions to global challenges, including climate change, and develop evidence-based strategies to rebuild the abundance of marine life by 2050. 

Seminar Abstract: A range of cumulative pressures escalating since the onset of the industrial revolution have led to an estimated loss of about half of the global extent of coastal habitats, including mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, saltmarshes, coral reefs and oyster reefs, with kelp forests now being impacted by ocean warming, which is impacting also heavily coral reefs, and less intensely, seagrass meadows. As we lost these habitats, we increased our awareness of the many services and benefits they deliver, providing a motivation to avoid further losses and increase restoration efforts. There is, therefore, evidence that declining trends are either slowing down, or reversing altogether for some key coastal habitats, but challenges exist on how restoration can scale up to reverse the cost of coastal habitats.