Funding Resources for Scientific R&D

This week, we've compiled for you a list of local and international research and development (R&D) funding agencies offering grants and fellowships to Singapore's scientists and engineers. This list is distilled from various sources with the needs of junior scientists in mind but is by no means exhaustive. Although we'll try to keep the information comprehensive and up to date, interested parties are advised to contact the relevant authorities for the latest information on specific requirements and datelines before putting in applications. An asterisk (*) denotes that the program is available to scientists residing outside Singapore.

Agency for Science, Technology, and Research

Under its International Programmes,* the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR, a sponsor of Next Wave Singapore) conducts a joint research project with various overseas partners to foster scientific cooperation with world-class research organizations. Partners with which A*STAR has signed Memoranda of Understanding are the People's Republic of China, India, Germany, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (Republic of China), and Japan. A*STAR makes regular joint Calls for Proposals from foreign and local researchers.

A*STAR also offers international fellowships for research scientists and engineers in local research institutions, universities, and hospitals to go overseas for research training and experience.

Biomedical Sciences Research Council

The Biomedical Sciences Research Council (BMRC) supports R&D in health care and clinical research and the basic biomedical sciences. BMRC provides seed funding in the form of 3-year project grants for promising early-career investigators to kick-start their research careers, as well as more extensive program grants for established investigators to continue or expand on their existing research. Also offered are cooperative grants for groups engaging in interdisciplinary research and core-competence grants for cohesive research units doing research of strategic importance. Awards are typically tenable for 3 to 5 years at local universities, R&D institutions, and centers.

Science and Engineering Research Council

The Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) promotes public-sector research and development in, not surprisingly, science and engineering. Grants are available for R&D in fields essential to Singapore's manufacturing industry--specifically electronics, information communications, chemicals, and general engineering. Awards are typically tenable for 3 years. The offer is open to all research scientists and engineers from all local universities, polytechnics, and public-sector agencies not related to defense. SERC also funds the Temasek Professorship,* which brings together foreign, world-renowned leaders/professors to spearhead cutting-edge research projects in Singapore. SERC also offers research fellowships* for foreign postdocs and industrial researchers to come and work at local R&D institutes and centers.

National Medical Research Council of Singapore

The National Medical Research Council (NMRC) of Singapore leads, promotes, coordinates, and funds medical research in Singapore. NMRC offers both grants for individual researchers and block grants for research institutions engaged in clinical and related research.

In addition, NMRC offers three categories of research fellowships: senior medical research fellows, medical research fellows and medical research scientists. These opportunities are open to local medical doctors, dental surgeons, and research scientists and are tenable either locally or overseas.

Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA)

In collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS), DSTA offers various research grants and fellowships under the DSTA-NUS Joint Collaboration Programme to support innovative defense and security-related R&D in Singapore. The award is open to all faculties and schools in the NUS, and to all NUS-affiliated research institutes and centers. Collaborative research with a foreign research institution is encouraged and supported, on the condition that substantial research be conducted by the applicant in Singapore.

Korea Science and Engineering Foundation

The Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) offers postdoctoral fellowships* in science and engineering. Primarily meant to facilitate and promote regional cooperation in science and technology in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region, the offer is open to scientists in Singapore and all other APEC member countries to conduct research in basic and applied sciences, including mathematics and engineering science. Research must be conducted in Korea, in universities, research institutions affiliated with either universities or private industry, or government-supported research institutions. Fellowships are tenable for periods of 6 to 12 months.

Nippon Sheet Glass Foundation for Materials Science and Engineering

The Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG) Foundation for Materials Science and Engineering offers research grants* to universities in Malaysia, China, and Singapore to carry out research in the area of inorganic materials. Nippon Sheet Glass and its related companies supply funds for research grants from the interest earned on the NSG Foundation's assets and annual donations. The grants are open to researchers working in the stipulated areas of research.

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization

The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan conducts an International Joint Research Grant Program* to promote the international advancement of industrial technology. NEDO provides grants to international joint research teams that conduct excellent, innovative, and original research in the areas of basic research, energy, international standards development, and the global environment. There are no specific requirements concerning researcher affiliates as long as they have the basic facilities required for the proposed research.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), a quasi-governmental organization dedicated to the advancement of scientific research, offers postdoctoral fellowships to facilitate the exchange of scientific ideas and expertise and promote research collaboration between scientists from Singapore and Japan. Under a memorandum signed with the National University of Singapore (NUS), the NUS-JPSS New Scientific Exchange Programme will support research activities in natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.

JSPS administers a number of bilateral programs for scientific cooperation and exchange with various academic institutions in 38 countries. Similar fellowships* are offered to scientists from the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, France, Germany, and China.

Technische Universiteit Delft

The Technische Universiteit Delft (TU Delft) in The Netherlands offers the TU Delft Research Fellowship in Engineering and Science to young staff members and graduate students of the National University of Singapore with a Ph.D. in engineering or science (for a Senior Fellowship) or a master's degree in a relevant subject with at least 1 year of research experience (for a Junior Fellowship). The fellowship is tenable at TU Delft for a period of 6 to 12 months.

Singapore Cancer Society

The Singapore Cancer Society, a self-funding voluntary welfare organization, provides Cancer Research Grants (for local assignments) and Overseas Cancer Research Fellowship Awards to deserving local research scientists and clinicians. Applicants for the overseas awards are responsible for securing the commitment of their host institutions.

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a nonprofit foundation established by the Federal Republic of Germany to promote international research cooperation, offers the Humboldt Research Fellowships* for scholars not resident in Germany to undertake research in that country. These fellowships are open to all nationalities and academic disciplines. The award is tenable for 6 months to 2 years.

Lee Kuan Yew Endowment Fund

The Lee Kuan Yew Endowment Fund supports the Lee Kuan Yew Postdoctoral Fellowships* for young and outstanding academics in science, medicine, and engineering. The program is open to Singaporeans as well as nationals of other countries.

This fellowship will be held concurrently with the candidate's appointment as a research staff member at any of the faculties or schools in the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, or their affiliated research centers and institutes. It is tenable for up to 3 years in the first instance, with an extension of 2 further years possible. Fellows can then apply for academic positions.

Singapore General Hospital

The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) offers the SGH Endowment Fund (Clinical) Fellowships and SGH Research Fellowships for doctors and related medical scientists in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region who wish to train or undertake research in any one of the clinical departments in the hospital.

Ministry of Education

Singapore's Ministry of Education offers academic research grants for academic staffs at both the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University and their affiliated research institutes and centers. The goal here is to support research in the sciences and humanities. Information on the awards may be obtained internally from the participating facility.

Readers interested in more information and news on international funding may visit GrantsNet, our one-stop resource for funds supporting the biomedical sciences and undergraduate science education.

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