About WEP


The Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) is a two-week program unlike any other. Designed and produced by KAUST, WEP takes place during an interlude in the academic semester in January and encourages students, the KAUST community, and guests to step out of their daily routine and into a curated program of expansive thinking. Our theme changes annually and is chosen collaboratively, with input from students, faculty, community members, alumni, and industrial partners. This collaboration, from students to industry professionals to members of the community, means we are uniquely placed to tackle global problems.

The whole University is involved in this exciting program, which features keynote lectures, workshops and courses, distinguished lectures, exhibitions, science fairs, entrepreneurship programs, and more. Since 2010, WEP has proudly hosted Nobel laureates, CEOs, ministers, elite athletes, academics from leading universities, eminent international speakers, artists, and distinguished local and regional leaders and decision-makers.



WEP is a two-week mandatory program specially designed to inspire students to unleash their creativity. While the theme differs from year to year, it must include both technical and artistic components. WEP requires students to experience fields far different from their own, supporting them to understand how their work is connected to real-world problems. It shows them how they can impact others and how others can impact them, often in surprising ways.

All students (MS & Ph.D.) have to participate in the KAUST Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) for credits once during their studies at KAUST. Credits will only be granted during a single WEP program, and students must register for 30 credit offerings and all mandatory keynote lectures. Students who do not complete their attendance requirements for WEP do not graduate



The 2022 Winter Enrichment Program at KAUST will run from January 9 to 20. Our theme is Resilience. WEP 2022 will be a hybrid program consisting of BOTH virtual and physical events on campus.

At this extraordinary time in history, WEP 2022 will explore tipping points: stress events such as climate change, pandemics, resource shortages, and rapid population growth. What causes these tipping points? How can we predict when they will occur? And how can we adapt, recalibrate and bounce back stronger when they do?

Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity, to weather challenges, setbacks, and unforeseen circumstances. The global COVID-19 pandemic has tested people and systems the world over. But humanity has proven resilient in a time of exceptional adversity. It is with cautious optimism that we have chosen the theme for WEP 2022.

We hope this theme will provide an opportunity for the global community, regardless of our perspectives and background, to come together collaboratively to address various global adversities we all face. Should you choose to sponsor WEP this year, you will be sending a clear message about your organizations' priorities for tackling these vital issues.

Find out more


WEP's theme changes each year and is built in collaboration with KAUST students, faculty, community members, alumni, and industrial partners, who are invited to submit proposals each year. During a very competitive selection process, the WEP Review Committee, chaired by the WEP Chair, considers the scientific and technological aspects of the proposals, as well as their potential to enrich and inspire participants. In line with KAUST mission to be a source of inspiration and innovative thinking for aspiring scientists, academics, scholars, and entrepreneurs both nationally and internationally, the Chair of the Program and the Enrichment Office strive to choose a stimulating theme that opens new perspectives to the future.

Previous themes:

  • WEP 2014-International Year of Chemistry
  • WEP 2015-International Year of Light
  • SEP 2015-Pulse Food
  • FEP 2015-Big Marine Animals on the Move
  • WEP 2016-Sustainability and Climate Change
  • SEP 2016-Exploring Innovation
  • FEP 2016-Food for All
  • WEP 2017 Pushing the Limits:  Challenging Engineering & Science
  • SEP 2017-Pioneers
  • FEP 2016-Designing Tomorrow
  • WEP 2018-Human-Machine Future
  • SEP 2018-City of the Future
  • FEP 2018-Marine Biodiversity
  • WEP 2019-TIME
  • WEP 2020-Personalized Medicine
  • WEP 2021-Connectivity

Watch our past keynote lectures.  

Stay tuned!

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