The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies created the Arab Prize in the Social Sciences and Humanities in order to nurture Arab scholars, both those living in Arab countries and those living abroad. It aims to promote the production by them of innovative scholarship which is relevant to the progress of Arab societies at a time when the Arabs’ societal structures are undergoing vast transformations in the transition towards democracy, full independence and integration. The Committee responsible for the Prize selects those research themes that it deems to have merited special attention from research. A panel of referees judge the papers submitted within each of the themes, deciding the recipients of the Prize before each Annual Conference on the Social Sciences and Humanities.
In any one year, up to eight Prizes are awarded in each of the broad categories: social sciences, and the humanities. Within each of these two categories, two Prizes are set aside for established scholars while another two are awarded to young and aspiring researchers under the age of 40. The Prizes also come with a monetary award of US$ 30,000 for the established researchers, and $25,000 for younger researchers. The total value of Prizes awarded in any given year is then $220,000.
Candidates for the Prize must use their submissions to answer a question posed by the Committee in each of the specific categories in which they are contesting. Each of the submissions must include a coherent statement of the research problem, a hypothesis, and an explanation of the methodology used to arrive at a conclusion.