The Singapore Millennium Foundation Research Grant is awarded through a competitive grant call, which is open for applications once a year from November to January.

The research areas supported centre on three key themes: Learn Well (e.g. studies on learning and pedagogy), Live Well (e.g. studies on food supply and resiliency and biomimetics) and Leave Well (e.g. studies on palliative care and good end-of-life).

This year, the Foundation has identified specific interest areas within each theme, to address emerging needs and challenges in our local community.

  1. Clinical trials for affordable and accessible treatments, which may find less commercial support.
  2. Interest areas under each theme:
    1. Learn Well – Effective Language Acquisition in Early Childhood, and Dealing with Learning Difficulties
    2. Live Well – Healthy Food, Healthy Earth
    3. Leave Well – Palliative Care on the Dementia Continuum, and Palliative Care in Pediatric and Young Adult Populations

Read the press release and download application forms.

Terms and Conditions

The closing date for submission of proposals for the 9th grant call is 31 January 2019.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Application and Funding

What types of projects does the Singapore Millennium Foundation Grant support?

The Temasek Foundation Innovates’ Singapore Millennium Foundation Grant Programme seeks to support novel and innovative projects with a clear and direct impact to Singapore society. We are interested in projects that address the following research areas:

Learning & Pedagogy
The grant is open to any project that pertains to pedagogy and learning, including special education, early childhood education and education that is conducted outside of the formal school curriculum.

For this grant call, we have particular interests in:

  1. Effective Language Acquisition in Early Childhood: Specifically we would like to understand language acquisition and development in a localized context, especially in children in the early years.
  2. Learning Difficulties: Specifically we would like to understand learning and pedagogy surrounding children with learning difficulties, in specific risk populations, and/or children with diagnosed conditions.

Palliative Care & Clinical Trials for Accessible and Affordable solutions
The grant is open to any project that pertains to palliative care, including palliative care for all age groups and to conducting clinical trials of treatments that are accessible and affordable.

For this grant call, we have particular interests in:

  1. Dementia: Specifically, we are interested in research on social or medical aspects of palliative care in patients in the Dementia Continuum.
  2. Paediatric and Young Adult Patients: Specifically, we are interested in the social or medical aspects of palliative care in these vulnerable populations suffering from life limiting illnesses.
  3. Clinical Trials for Affordable and Accessible Solutions: Specifically, we are interested in trials on accessible and affordable treatments which may find less support, such as alternative wound care, or the scientific validation of “folk remedies” with potential wide-spread impact.

Food Supply Resiliency & Bio-Mimetics
This grant is open to any project that pertains to food supply resiliency, addressing industry-wide challenges and issues beyond specific food types, and bio-mimetics.

For this grant call, we have particular interests in:

  1. Healthy Food: Specifically, we are interested in understanding the nutritional aspects of food, including how to produce food that has optimal nutritional value, and the scientific basis for various views on how food should be consumed for maximum health benefits.
  2. Healthy Earth: Specifically, we are interested in research surrounding soil as the basis for sustainable agriculture and the production of healthy food.

What is the funding quantum supportable for each project?

Each proposal can be funded up to $750,000 for 3 years. An additional year of funding of up to $250,000 (“Booster Grant”) may be applied for, if an interdisciplinary collaborator, social enterprise partner or commercial partner is identified before the end of the initial grant term.

The maximum quantum notwithstanding, project budgets that exhibit financial prudence stand a higher chance of being selected, as financial prudence is one of the evaluation criteria of the review process.

What is the eligibility criteria for the principal investigator (PI) who will lead the project?

Although it is common for the proposed project’s PI to prepare the grant application, do note that the actual applicant for the grant is the PI’s host institution, which subsequently appoints the PI to lead the project.

All researchers affiliated to a Singapore-based institution and conducting work in the specified research areas above are eligible to apply through their institution. This includes new researchers in a particular field.

What is the definition of early career researchers?

Broadly, early career researchers are PIs who are relatively new in their research journeys. A PI applying as an early career researcher will need to provide a brief description in the application form on why the PI believes that he or she is an early career researcher.

What is the purpose of a mentor for early career researchers?

An early career researchers is eligible to work with a mentor. A mentor has experience with both the subject matter and the management of a large research project, and hence can provide valuable guidance to the PI throughout the duration of the proposed project. The appointment of a mentor is entirely optional.

What is the eligibility criteria for mentors?

A mentor can be based overseas or in Singapore. A mentor can be from an applicant’s host institution, but need not be. Both the mentor and host institution must agree to the appointment of the mentor for the duration of the project.

What is the eligibility criteria of Co-PIs, Co-Is and Collaborators who make up the main project team?

All other main project team members that include Co-PIs, Co-Is and Collaborators can be from Singapore or overseas institutions. All roles of the project team must be clearly indicated on the application form.

Are there any restrictions on hiring of manpower for the grant?

We have a strong preference for manpower hired under the grant to be Singapore-based. This is for alignment with the Temasek Foundation Innovates’ broader objectives of nurturing research talent and manpower capability development in Singapore. In the event that a Singapore-based staff cannot be found, our approval should be sought prior to hiring the non-Singapore-based manpower. In such a case, the justification for using the non-Singapore -based manpower must be clearly stated, in particular how this person would contribute unique and critical capabilities to the project team.

I am a previous or current grantee of the Singapore Millennium Foundation Grant. Am I allowed to apply again?

Yes. You are allowed to apply for grant funding even if you are a previous or current grantee or a previous unsuccessful applicant. This information has to be stated in the grant application form. Your proposal will undergo the same review and evaluation process based on the merits of your new application.

What is the timeline for application and when can I expect to receive the results of my application?

The grant call typically opens on 1 November each year and closes on 31 January of the following year. Results of your application will be known 6 to 7 months following the closing of the grant call.

Does the grant funding cover indirect costs incurred for research?

The grant does not provide additional funding for indirect costs. All project funding must be used for direct project costs.

Are e-signatures on hardcopy proposals allowed?

E-signatures on application forms are allowed. Hardcopies of the application forms will still need to be submitted to the Foundation by the stipulated deadline.

Is there a page limit for the grant proposal?

There are no page limits to each section unless otherwise stated on the application form. All sections should be clearly described and points detailed sufficiently. This will further assist in the review process.

Joint Applications

Are joint applications by two host institutions allowed?

Yes, the grant programme allows for a maximum of two host institutions to make a joint application. The joint application must be signed by both host institutions and must be submitted via a single application form. Each host institution must also appoint a principal investigator (i.e. the project will have two principal investigators).

For joint applications, how is the budget approved and managed?

The project budget will be approved as a lump-sum. It will be tracked based on the four categories of manpower, equipment, overseas travel and operating expenses, but will not be segregated between the two joint host institutions.

In other words, when a claim is made, the amount will be checked against the category only and the host institution making the claim is not taken into account. Therefore, both host institutions need to mutually agree which institution would be claiming for which item before making a claim. This is done via the claims cover sheet tabulation that both host institutions need to sign off. Please refer to the “Claims Process” questions & answers below.

Booster Grant

What kind of partner must I engage to be eligible for the Booster Grant?

To be eligible for the Booster Grant, any partner that helps bring your research closer to deployment and wider impact is acceptable. This requirement has been left flexible, so as to encourage such partnerships. You simply need to explain how the partnership is intended to achieve the above objective in the Booster Grant application and provide documentary proof that there is a formal relationship between you and the partner.

What kind of documentary proof of the partnership is acceptable for the Booster Grant application?

A formal document needs to be signed between you & the partner. This can be in the form of a Letter-of-Intent (LOI), an Memorandum-of-Understanding (MOU), a contract and so forth. An email exchange is not sufficient.

I found a partner right from the onset of the project. Can I immediately apply for an additional year of funding in my initial application?

Yes. The additional year of funding is meant to encourage any form of partnership that can bring your project close to field application. This incentive does not discriminate against finding such a partner earlier, including identifying such a partner before the project begins.

How is a partner designated under the Booster Grant different from a joint applicant?

A partner is not an applicant of the grant and does not receive any funds under the grant. In contrast, a joint applicant is an applicant of the grant and receives fund under the grant. A joint applicant is responsible and liable for the commitments under the grant.

Is the budget from a Booster Grant segregated or co-mingled with the budget from the main grant?

The budget approved under a Booster Grant is co-mingled with the budget approved under the main grant to maximize allocation efficiency, as both budgets are intended to work in tandem to achieve the outcomes of the project. The combined budget is managed and tracked as a single unit.

Can the booster grant application be submitted any time of the year?

An application for a booster grant can only be submitted during an open grant call cycle (typically November to January). All applications will need to be submitted through your institutional research office or admin departments.

Clinical Trial Applications

Which application form do I use for a Clinical Trial proposal?

For all clinical trial applications, please use the form “A2CT - Clinical Trial Application Form”. This clinical trial application form contains specific sections that differs from the general application form.

What topics does the Clinical Trial Focus Area cover?

For the 9th Grant Call, we are interested in Clinical trials for Affordable and Accessible solutions. Examples of these trials could be in the areas of alternative wound care solutions, scientifically validated traditional and folk remedies, and alternative uses of generic drugs.

Is there a separate progress reporting template for Clinical Trial projects?

Please use the Progress Report template (Annex A1), unless otherwise informed. In the event that a Clinical Trial-specific Progress Report template is made available by Temasek Foundation Innovate, please use that specific template instead of the general Progress Report template.

Selection and Award of Proposals

How are proposals reviewed and selected?

All submitted proposals will go through a multi-stage shortlist and review process. The projects are first shortlisted by an internal grant review subcommittee comprising experts in the respective focus areas. The shortlisted proposals are then sent for external peer review by subject matter experts. You may propose appropriate peer reviewers as a part of your application. Following the peer reviews, a final recommendation of the selected projects will be made by the internal grant review subcommittee to the Temasek Foundation Innovates Board, which has the final and full discretion to approve the supported projects.

The review of your application is guided by the main principles below. The order of presentation below does not imply any order of importance of the principles and a balance of multiple factors will be taken in to account during deliberation at the full discretion of the internal grant review subcommittee:

  1. Impact of the Proposed Research to the Singapore society or industry, by addressing current problems and challenges defined by a user, practitioner or user institution.
  2. Innovation and Novelty of the Proposed Research.
  3. Profile of the Principal Investigator, although given that the intent of this grant programme is to fund nascent research areas, our Foundation does expect some applicant researchers to be relatively new.
  4. Competency of the Research Team.
  5. Commercialisation or Deployment Potential, especially if evinced by an existing or a planned collaboration or partnership with an interdisciplinary collaborator or a social enterprise partner or commercial partner.
  6. Robustness of the Execution Plan for the Proposed Project, including whether the proposed objectives are achievable in specified timeframe.
  7. Appropriate Level of Funding Requested, based on the scope and the objectives of the proposed project.
  8. Contingency Measures.
When does my ethics approvals (if applicable) need to be submitted?

Where applicable, ethics approval(s) need to be submitted prior or together with the first progress report and claims request, which is typically within the first 6 months of the start date of the project. The first disbursement will only be made after the ethics approval(s) had been submitted and duly reviewed by Temasek Foundation Innovates.

Claims Process

How should claims be submitted for projects with joint host institutions?

Each host institution prepares its own itemized claims form and supporting documentation. However, both host institutions then collates and tabulates the total on a single claims cover sheet and sign off jointly. In this way, the host institutions are kept aware of each other’s claims and can resolve any conflicting claims prior to submission.

How are claims processed for projects with joint host institutions?

Assuming the documentation for a submitted claim is in order, the final amounts will be checked against available budget in the relevant category (i.e. manpower, equipment, overseas travel, or operating expenses). The categories are not further segregated by the host institution, hence as long as the items are allowed and there is budget, the claim will be processed. The intent is to provide the host institutions with maximum flexibility in jointly carrying out the project.

Do note that each host institution will be kept aware of the claims made by the other host institution because every quarterly claim cover sheet must be signed off by both host institutions.

The amounts claimed by each of the joint host institutions will be paid out directly to the host institutions. This removes the need for either of the host institution to need to further transfer grant funds to the other host institution.

CONTACT INFORMATION & FURTHER INFORMATION

For further information on the management of awarded grants, including reporting requirements and funding guidelines, please refer our website at www.temasekfoundation-innovates.org.sg.

If you have further queries or need further clarifications, please contact us at admin.smfgrant@temasekfoundation.org.sg.