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Research chairs are distinguished scientific initiatives with fixed time frame of 4 years, subject to renewal. They are assigned to distinguished scientists in  specific scientific fields to undertake in-depth research and practical application that can tremendously benefit the economic and social sectors by increasing its effectiveness and competitiveness.

The research chairs at universities are an important means of updating scientific research systems in significant scientific fields. Those fields upgrade and improve their ability to innovate and develop their outputs in community service in a way that increase the pace  of national development.

Many countries around the world have endeavoured to establish research chairs and encouraged institutions to invest in them. In the year 2000 Canada established nearly 2000 research chairs and allocated $ 900 million. Japan in 1987 approved a program of research chairs. The United States and the European Union governments have set up ambitious programs for scientific research chairs.

In view of the success recorded in running Research Chairs abroad and in fulfilling the vision of the "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques", and His Highness the Crown Prince and the Second Deputy Premier  in advancing higher education and scientific research and making the Kingdom a knowledge based society, King Saud University decided to launched its  " Research Chairs program" in various fields of science and strategic technology in 2007.