Research and Practice Platform

In response to the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the arts and creative sector, Art Jameel introduced a research and practice platform for independent practitioners. The programme was intended primarily for those who work on a per-project basis and whose practices have been affected by programme cancellations and project changes, locally or globally. The micro-fees offered through the platform will further the development of ongoing and upcoming research and projects over the coming months; the programme was open to all practitioners based in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Programme Objectives

  • Support independent artists’ and creative practitioners in the development of compelling and original work, whether existing or new
  • Support artists and creative practitioners whose research towards upcoming projects and new ideas has been disrupted due to current circumstances
  • Support artists and creative practitioners to adapt existing projects and practice for the current environment and think through new mediums of delivery (eg. online) or future offline scenarios
  • Help artists whose ability to teach, participate, curate, write or produce work during this time has been curtailed, due to institutional closures or canceled events, exhibitions and public programmes


Programme Budget

The Art Jameel Research and Practice Platform awards micro-fees of between $1000 to $2000; some projects showing exceptional scope and need may be awarded an extended allocation of up to $3000 (based on budget given in the application and jury discretion).

Art Jameel asks that applicants determine needs bearing in mind that the aim is to award as many applicants as possible within the programme scope.


Timeline and Application Cycles

Applications are accepted from April 1, 2020 to June 7, 2020.

The application process is via a simple, short online form that can be found here. Applications can be submitted in English or Arabic.

Applications are received in three cycles:

  • Cycle 1 concludes within a week from the launch of the application (deadline April 10, 2020)
  • Cycle 2 concludes within a month from the launch of the application (deadline April 30, 2020)
  • Cycle 3 concludes within three months from the launch of the application (deadline June 7, 2020)

While all applicants will receive an acknowledgement that their application has been received, only successful applicants will be contacted.


Awarded applicants are expected to deliver an interim report (of c. 300-500 words with images where appropriate) one month after receiving the invitation to participate, followed by a conclusion report (of 500-1000 words, with images where appropriate), 6 weeks later (or on a date agreed beforehand with Art Jameel).

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applicants must be living and working in the MENA region at the time of application
  2. Applicants should demonstrate that they are active in and committed to their local creative communities
  3. Applicants should demonstrate integrity of purpose and originality of thinking in their work in general and in the projects they are proposing
  4. Applicants should be an individual artist, writer, independent researcher or curator (or an individual representing an artist collective, ensemble or group) and largely working independently; they should be unattached to or directly supported by universities, companies, institutions or organisations
  5. Applicants with current, salaried ‘day jobs’ with companies, institutions or organisations may still be considered, should they demonstrate particular need or exceptional circumstance. This could include, for example, cases where applicants have witnessed a significant drop in primary income that supports their research and practice or have had to take involuntary unpaid leave affecting their arts practice.
  6. Applicants affected by the cancellation of projects and programmes since March 1 or who have experienced a significant drop in upcoming opportunities as a direct result of COVID-19
  7. Applicants with time-sensitive projects affected by cancellation of exhibitions and events


The Research and Practice Platform covers:

  1. Expenses towards research, research materials and access to resources, including those already incurred since March 1
  2. Development of existing work
  3. Preparation and R&D for new work

The Research and Practice Platform does not cover:

  1. Reimbursement for expenses already incurred before March 1
  2. Fees for participation in a residency programme, or other educational and artistic development opportunities. Review our Fellowships Programme F.A.Q.s for residency-related questions
  3. Deposits and registration fees for participation in an exhibition, fair, or other presentation opportunity
  4. Projects taking place in commercial spaces including commercial galleries
  5. Requests to attend, present at, or organise professional training, workshops, lectures, symposiums, conferences, or competitions
  6. Students (high school, undergraduate, graduate, Ph.D., doctoral candidates, and other students enrolled in any degree program at the time of application) are not eligible to apply
  7. Production of any form of commercial products or merchandise (as known at the time of application)
  8. Travel expenses



The applications will be reviewed by a committee of established practitioners who are familiar with the regional cultural ecosystem and the nature of such programmes. In the spirit of discretion during the application review process, the names and identities of the members of the committee may be withheld at least until its conclusion.


The committee will consider:

  • the nature of the project (whether a body of artworks, piece of research or writing, curatorial or research paper for an exhibition, and so on) – its integrity, originality and feasibility
  • adherence of the project to the application criteria
  • the urgency of each request
  • the opportunity for which the practitioner is applying for and the impact a micro-fee would have on the practitioner’s ability to carry out the project
  • the clarity of the written request and supporting documents detailing the status of the ongoing work
  • adherence to criteria set out above



Names, applications and any personal information of the applicants and recipients will be kept confidential to respect the right to privacy of the individuals. Should Art Jameel opt to make a public announcement about the recipients, their consent via the application form is required.