Translational and Clinical Research (TCR) Flagship Programme
TCR Flagship Programmes provide significant levels of funding to build up a critical mass of experienced high-level researchers to facilitate a broader research platform, and increase collaboration both locally and internationally. These programmes aim to establish Singapore as a global leader in the study of key strategic medical research fields by integrating, coordinating and leveraging the full spectrum of research capabilities in Singapore from basic science to clinical research in a comprehensive manner.
The TCR Flagship Programme grant was launched as a strategic initiative in BMS initiative Phase II (spanning from Years 2006 – 2010) to bring together the best complementary research strengths in hospitals and national disease centres, universities and A*STAR Research Institutes to focus on disease or research themes of strategic importance. Individual programmes can receive up to a maximum of S$25M in funding, inclusive of indirect costs, and must be led by a well-qualified clinician-scientist, who served as the Lead Principal Investigator. Three thematic grant calls were conducted and led to the funding of five programmes in the niche areas of Gastric Cancer (Oncology), Eye Diseases, Schizophrenia (Neuroscience), Dengue (Infectious Diseases) and Metabolic Diseases. All five programmes were funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF).
Since its inception in 2007, the TCR Flagship Programme Grant has been revised to match the needs of Singapore’s research landscape in BMS Initiative Phase III (spanning from Years 2011 – 2015). One of the key changes is the grant funding structure. Unlike the previous tranche, the new TCR Flagship Programme Grant, offers two tiers of funding for over 5 years, to provide existing programmes renewal opportunities and to allow for the funding of new programmes.
- Tier 1 which is capped at S$9M inclusive of indirect cost and;
- Tier 2 which is capped at S$25M inclusive of indirect cost,
The new programmes will continue to be funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF). Funds will be drawn from the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2015 Open Collaborative Fund (OCF) budget where S$175M is allocated for the TCR Flagship Programmes.
The first, of a series of three grant calls scheduled for RIE 2015, was launched in December 2011. It was an open grant call and a total of four awards- two Tier 1, which are new programmes, and two Tier 2, which are renewal applications- were given out. All four programmes were featured in the 9 Nov 2012 press release for the BMS International Advisory Committee (IAC) Meeting chaired by Sir Richard Sykes in November 2012.