Frequently Asked Questions on NMRC Terms & Conditions & Policies
About Grant Administration:
- When should I start my research after I am awarded with a NMRC grant?
Commencement of research should start as soon as the relevant ethics approvals have been obtained. NMRC will not be able to disburse any funds until we are in receipt of the copy of the ethics approval. In addition, NMRC will reserve the right to withdraw the grant if the project does not commence within 6 months of the date of Letter of Award.
- Must I sign the Letter of Acceptance? What is the implication by signing the Letter of Acceptance?
The Letter of Acceptance must be signed to confirm the acceptance of the award and to legally bind the Host Institution and the PI to NMRC's Terms and Conditions and policy documents.
- Do I need to submit ethics approval at the point of application?
No, you are given up to 6 months to submit your ethics approval. However, if your project does not commence after 6 months, NMRC may withdraw your grant if there is no satisfactory explanation for the delay.
- Must I inform NMRC if my research involves human subjects?
Yes, there is a need to indicate as such in the application form and to follow up with all necessary ethics approval before any work can commence on the subjects.
- Shall I inform the participant when I collect patient data for research?
Yes, you must inform the participants and obtain their consent for the use of the data for the specified purpose. You should also ensure that the data is protected as part of the ethical requirement. Please adhere to your institution's IRB regulation on this matter.
- Can I collaborate with researchers in another institution?
Yes, but NMRC will liaise with only the PI and his Host Institution for grant administration matters, holding them accountable to NMRC's T&Cs. In addition, a collaboration agreement should be signed between your host institution and the collaboration institution (if either or both of the institutions are not covered under the Master RCA).
- Is the Third Party Collaboration policy document applicable to overseas collaboration?
Yes, this policy document is applicable to both local and overseas collaborations. As stated in Clause 4.3 of the Third Party Collaboration document, NMRC reserves the right to terminate our Agreement with the Host Institution if the Third Party Agreement is not acceptable. e.g if there is adverse impact on NMRC / Government.
- How often do I need to submit a progress report on my research?
Annually, due on the letter of award date.
- Will my research finding be an intellectual property of my research team?
The first rights will belong to your institution, which will have its own comprehensive agreement on the sharing of IP generated revenue.
- Do I need NMRC's approval if I wish to include industry players or new collaborating institutions? What should I look out for?
No approval is required, but you are required to inform NMRC of industry's involvement either in the application form or in writing (letter). You are also required to highlight any issues that contradict NMRC's T&Cs (e.g. on IP, data sharing and confidentiality issues, etc). NMRC reserves the right to reject such involvement within a stipulated time-frame.
- Can I submit similar applications/ proposals to NMRC and other agencies to increase my chances?
You are not encouraged to submit similar applications to different agencies. Please check with your institution's policy as this may constitute a breach in research ethics. In submission to NMRC, you are required to submit a declaration in the application form under "Other Sources of Funding". Failure to do so may result in a rejection of your application.
- When am I required to submit my application through NRF's RITA System?
For TCR, EDG, NIG and any other NRF funded programmes, unless specifically stated otherwise by NMRC.
- Can I extend the grant period? How long can I extend it?
Yes, for the 1st year extension, PI has the discretion to extend the grant and inform NMRC 3 months before the expiry date. For subsequent extension, NMRC's approval is required.
- Can I transfer my research grant to another person?
Yes, but the host institution will need to support this in writing and a letter of acceptance by the new PI must be forwarded to NMRC for approval.
- Can I transfer my projects to another institution if I’m taking up a new appointment/ new job? If yes, what should I do?
Yes, but you will need the endorsement of both the current and new Institutions Research Offices in writing. In the letter to NMRC, issues such as the transfer of IP, asset and other matters must be addressed. The new Institution must accept the risk involved for these new projects. The exception to this rule is for New Investigator Grants which is specific to the individual
- What do I have to do when the grant period expires?
PI is required to submit a final report no later than 3 months, and update NMRC of any publications even after the project has lapsed. Failure to submit final reports will affect future grant applications.
- Can I make changes to the scope of my project (i.e aims, sample size, etc)?
Yes, but these changes must be approved by NMRC and it may be subject to review by the respective scientific review panels.
- At which stage should I keep NMRC inform if I am currently in the midst of commercializing my patents?
At the finalization stage of the negotiation stage so that NMRC will know how the potential revenues from the IP are to be split and utilized.
- Do I have to acknowledge NMRC funding in all my papers and presentation? Whom should I acknowledge if it is a NRF funded project?
Yes, NMRC funding has to be acknowledged in all publications and presentations. For NRF funded projects, NRF should be acknowledged instead, but PI should still keep NMRC informed and forward a copy of the publication to NMRC as per NMRC funded projects.
- Will NMRC demand any intellectual property rights derived from the research grant?
No, NMRC will not demand any IPR under the T&Cs, unless such rights are required for utilization during national emergencies, or when it is to be used for specific research purposes.
- What is the role of host institution in the grant administration?
They are responsible and accountable for the governance of the research and funds in accordance with the Agreement. They must provide the necessary support to the PIs for their research work, e.g. providing lab space and time to do their research.
About Grant Finance
- Can I vary my research budget?
Yes. Institution Research Directors can approve up to 10% (cumulative) of the total approved budget, subjected to NMRC’s funding regulations. NMRC must be kept informed on all variations. For approval above 10% of the total budget, NMRC's approval is required. The grant variation form must be completed for such purpose.
- How shall I spend my research fund? Can I get money in advance?
Monies should be spent as detailed in the budget and approved in the Letter of Award.. Advancements are not given.
- Can I claim to NMRC directly?
You are required to submit all claims through your institution Finance Office.
- Will the equipment purchased under my grant be dedicated to my research?
Yes. Any other uses, e.g. for revenue generation, must abide with NMRC's Ownership & Use of Assets Policy.
- As a PI, can I make claims to the Indirect Research Cost portion of the grant?
PI needs to work with RDO for Indirect Costs. Reimbursement is given to Institutions capped at 20% of claimed amount.
- Do I need to return any revenue generated through the lease of equipment to NMRC?
No, the revenue should be used by institution for the promotion of research activities. NMRC needs to be informed of the projected usage of this revenue.
- Who has ownership over any equipment purchased under NMRC Grant? Host Institution, PI or NMRC?
Host Institution, but any changes are subjected to NMRC's approval for equipment up to 5 years old. For equipment more than 5 years old, Host Institution has full ownership.
- Do we need to have NMRC's approval for any disposal or write-off of assets? Do we have to return the revenue from the sale of fixed asset?
Yes, NMRC's approval is required if 1) research is still on-going; or 2) purchase price of Asset is $100,000 and no more than 5 years of age. NMRC may elect that the revenue from the sale of Asset be remitted to NMRC; otherwise the revenue shall, as far as is reasonably possible, be used for research purposes.
- Can my collaborating institution submit their claims to NMRC directly under my project's account?
No, NMRC will liaise with only one PI, and one Host Institution (as declared in the LOA).
- How should institution use the IRC portion of a grant?
This should be worked out with the PI of the project. Institutions are required to submit an IRC policy framework to NMRC, and update NMRC if amendments are made. The IRC policy is required before NMRC disburses any IRC to the institutions.