Open Fund - Large Collaborative Grant
30 Aug 2018 - 16 Oct 2018

The OF-LCGs aim to support the best teams of researchers from public institutions to advance human health and wellness, and create economic value for Singapore and Singaporeans, through the pursuit of excellence in research and its applications. They represent a unique opportunity to bring together investigators from across all of Singapore with the clinician scientists and clinical investigators in the hospitals and Academic Medical Centres.

Key Elements
  • Collaboration within as well as between the basic and clinical research communities is strongly encouraged. Interdisciplinary collaboration across institutions is important to integrate, coordinate and leverage on the full spectrum of research capabilities in Singapore from basic science to clinical research. 

  • LCG programmes should aim to make significant contributions to the advancement of study of therapeutic areas and help establish Singapore as a global leader. 

  • They should facilitate the discovery and application of basic science ideas relevant to the advancement of health (as well as the translation of clinical findings into practices and policies if any); and provide opportunities to support industry sectors integral to HBMS economic strategy, namely PharmBio, MedTech, Food & Nutrition and Personal Care. Pathway(s) to impact should be clearly articulated.

Research Themes

The OF-LCG is open to proposals of the highest quality across the breadth of disciplines relevant to its mission articulated above. To better realise the goals of HBMS in Singapore, the following five therapeutic areas have been identified as national priorities:

  • Diabetes mellitus and related metabolic/ endocrine disorders
  • Infectious diseases
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Neurological and sense disorders
  • Cancers

Themes in these therapeutic areas will be set to focus on issues of particular national interest. Please click here for the HBMS Disease Taskforces’ Reports.

For each grant call, themes will be set in two/ three therapeutic areas. The HBMS community is encouraged to address these themes. At the same time, proposals in other areas will also be considered. Particularly, the Committee will be keen to consider areas or research technologies that can be developed and applied in more than one disease area, and which can help Singapore advance human health and wellness and create economic value for us.

Grant Call Frequency

Once a year.

Funding Quantum & Duration

With effect from the May 2018 grant call, there will be two funding tiers for application:

  • Tier 1: Up to $10mil inclusive of indirect cost over up to 5 years
  • Tier 2: Up to $25mil inclusive of indirect cost over up to 5 years

Indirect cost is provided at a fixed percentage of 20% of the project’s qualifying direct cost.

Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

Review Process

The OF-LCG comprises a 2-stage review process:

  1. Letter of Intent (LOI) stage: Applications submitted will be put through an internal review process with the OF-LCG Review Panel (OF-LCGRP) that is made up of local and international clinicians and basic scientists, as well as industry experts appointed by NMRC.

    The shortlisted LOI applications will be invited to submit full proposals.

  2. Full Proposal (FP) stage: Full proposals submitted will be evaluated by the international domain experts followed by the OF-LCGRP. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a rebuttal to address the issues raised by the international reviewers, and will subsequently be interviewed by the OF-LCGRP.  The OF-LCGRP will do a collective review/ranking of the proposals and make funding recommendations to the OSFC-select for endorsement.  The number of awards given out for the grant call will depend on the quality of the proposals and the amount of funding available.

Evaluation Criteria 

Selection of successful proposals would be based on the following evaluation criteria:

  1. High‐quality scientific research spanning basic science to clinical translation.
  2. Proposed research topic should address issues of national importance.  These should typically be challenges that no single institution or discipline can solve and require collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches.  Provided they are scientifically meritorious, proposals which address the set themes in the therapeutic areas would be given priority consideration.
  3. Proposed research must be well‐differentiated and highly competitive.  It should demonstrate a high potential to be world class.
  4. Demonstrate the potential to improve health outcomes and capture economic value* with a clear indication of pathway(s) to impact.

 *An industry engagement plan will be required in the application, and applicants are encouraged to obtain letters of support from the industry.

With effect from the May 2018 grant call, there is a new section 1.5.2 on ‘Translation Pathway to Healthcare and Economic Outcomes’ in the application form. On the ‘Economic Outcomes’ section, as we would like to ensure there is an effective effort on the applicants’ end to develop the strategy for commercialisation, applicants should seek advice from industry-partnered entities (e.g. NHIC, BMS-IPO) to ensure that the strategy is viable and how to strengthen their proposed commercialisation strategy/plan.

Set Therapeutic Areas and Themes for the May 2018 Grant Call

For the May 2018 OF-LCG grant call, themes will be set in the following 5 therapeutic areas:

  1. Diabetes Mellitus and Related Metabolic/Endocrine Disorders
  2. Infectious Diseases
  3. Cardiovascular diseases
  4. Neurological and sense disorders
  5. Cancers

1. DIABETES MELLITUS AND RELATED METABOLIC/ENDOCRINE DISORDERS 

Set themes

Focus area and challenge statement

Primary Prevention of Diabetes

Focus area:

To reduce preventable cancers and optimise treatment for cancer patients in Singapore.

 

Challenge statement:

To utilise basic, translational, clinical and implementation science approaches to enable the identification of at-risk individuals, early detection of cancer and stratification of cancer treatment (e.g. through the identification of biomarkers). Due consideration should be given to the cost-effectiveness of the approaches, and the attractiveness of such approaches to industry. This is in support of long-term goals of reducing the national incidence of late-stage cancer by 10% by 2025, and increasing the survival rate of cancer patients in Singapore by 20% by 2030.

 

2. INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Set themes

Focus area and challenge statement

Infectious Diseases including pandemic/ Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) (e.g. Respiratory Tract Infection (RTI), Antimicrobial Resistance & healthcare-associated infection, Dengue & vector control)

Focus area:

Determining and breaking the development of transmission and/or resistance chain.

 

Challenge statement:

To utilise basic, clinical, public health and translational research to build capabilities to understand the factors influencing the transmission and to develop measures for early detection, prevention of transmission and control of the diseases. This will support the national goal in reducing the ID case counts and their associated socioeconomic costs for Singapore.

 

 

3. CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES

Set themes

Focus area and challenge statement

Macrovascular Diseases: Myocardial infarction and chronic coronary heart disease, Stroke or Aortic and Peripheral Arterial Disease

Focus area:

To better understand, delay the onset and reduce complications of macrovascular diseases

 

Challenge statement:

To utilise basic, translational, clinical and implementation science approaches to improve the understanding of basic mechanisms that contribute to the origin and complications of macrovascular diseases as well as identify targets and ways to mitigate them. Due consideration should be given to the cost-effectiveness of the approaches, and the attractiveness of such approaches to industry.

This is in support of long-term goals in

Myocardial infarction and chronic coronary heart diseaseon

  • delaying the average age of onset of acute coronary syndromes and acute heart failure events by 5 years within the next 5-10 years;

  • reducing 30-days post-MI mortality by 30% over the next 5 years and

  • doubling survival from Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest over the next 5 years from 11% to 22%.

Strokeon

reducing the incidence of stroke by 20% in 10 years;

  • reducing mortality and morbidity from stroke by 20%.

Aortic and Peripheral Arterial Diseaseon

  • delaying the average age of onset of aortic and peripheral artery disease by 5 years within the next 5-10 years;

  • reducing the number of surgical arterial interventions required for macrovascular disease by 20% within the next 10 years, and

  • establishing accurate documentation of the disease burden.

These goals are also aided by efforts from MOH and healthcare institutions to promote screening of CVD risk factors (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, BMI, sex, age, obesity, diet, lipids) from age 40 in Singapore.

 

 

4. NEUROLOGICAL AND SENSE DISORDERS

Set themes

Focus area and challenge statement

Age-related neurological and eye disorders (e.g. Vascular Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease,

Glaucoma)

 

Focus area:

To improve disease diagnosis, reduce incidence and progression and develop new therapies to enhance quality of life from age-related neurological and eye disorders

 

Challenge statement:

To utilise basic, translational, clinical and implementation science approaches to improve the understanding of basic mechanisms behind age-related neurological and eye disorders so as to improve disease diagnosis, reduce incidence and progression, and develop new therapies that enhance quality of life. Due consideration should be given to the cost-effectiveness of the approaches, and the attractiveness of such approaches to industry.

 

This is in support of long-term goals of (i) reducing the disease burden and hospital readmission rate of age-related neurological disorders by 10-20% in 10 years; (ii) reducing the prevalence of age-related blindness and vision loss by 20% within 10 years in the national population, and reducing complications of eye diseases by 20% within 10 years in the at-risk population in Singapore.

 

5. CANCERS

Set themes

Focus area and challenge statement

Precision Methods for prevention, disease detection and treatment stratification, (e.g. in Breast cancer, Gastrointestinal (colorectal & gastric) cancer, Haematological cancer, Liver cancer, Nasopharyngeal cancer)

Focus area:

To reduce preventable cancers and optimise treatment for cancer patients in Singapore.

 

Challenge statement:

To utilise basic, translational, clinical and implementation science approaches to enable the identification of at-risk individuals, early detection of cancer and stratification of cancer treatment (e.g. through the identification of biomarkers). Due consideration should be given to the cost-effectiveness of the approaches, and the attractiveness of such approaches to industry. This is in support of long-term goals of reducing the national incidence of late-stage cancer by 10% by 2025, and increasing the survival rate of cancer patients in Singapore by 20% by 2030.

Metastasis and Resistance (e.g. in Breast cancer, Gastrointestinal (colorectal & gastric) cancer, Haematological cancer, Liver cancer, Nasopharyngeal cancer)

 

Focus area:

To develop novel understandings of and therapy for Asia-prevalent cancers.

Challenge statement:

To utilise basic, translational, clinical and implementation science approaches to understand the major factors mediating drug resistance and metastasis, and develop novel therapy to mitigate them so as to improve the survival of cancer patients. Due consideration should be given to the cost-effectiveness of the approaches, and the attractiveness of such approaches to industry. This is in support of the long-term goal of increasing the survival rate of cancer patients in Singapore by 20% by 2030.

Enhancing Cancer Immunotherapy, (e.g. in Breast cancer, Gastrointestinal (colorectal & gastric) cancer, Haematological cancer)

Focus area:

To improve outcomes of Asia-prevalent cancers using immunotherapies.

Challenge statement:

To utilise basic, translational, clinical and implementation science approaches to improve patient selection for immunotherapy, so that patients receive maximum benefit from the therapy (e.g. through the development of new targets for immunotherapy or overcoming resistance). Due consideration should be given to the cost-effectiveness of the approaches, and the attractiveness of such approaches to industry. This is in support of the long-term goal of increasing the survival rate of cancer patients in Singapore by 20% by 2030.

 

Application Guide and General Guidelines

Application Guide and General Guidelines

Click here to access the:

- Application Guide

- IGMS User Guide

- Application Templates

General Guidelines

Since the May 2017 OF-LCG grant call, there will be a change in the “Lead PI” terminology to “Corresponding PI” who will continue to be the main point of communication between NMRC and the OF-LCG leadership team. The OF-LCG leadership team comprises the Corresponding PI and the Theme PIs. The change aims to clarify the roles of the team members. The purpose is to encourage close collaboration within the team and ensure that recognition of achievements is attributed fairly to all individuals who have contributed to the programme.

General Guidelines and FAQ

Click here to access the general guidelines and FAQ

Eligibility Criteria

Only one Corresponding Principal Investigator is allowed per application, and there is no cap placed on the number of Theme PIs per theme. However, a cap of 5 themes applies. 

The Corresponding PI and Theme PIs are required to fulfil the following criteria at the point of application:

  1. Holds a primary appointment in a local publicly funded institution and salaried by the institution.

  2. PIs should have PhD or MD/MBBS/BDS qualifications (exceptions would be made on a case-by-case basis).

  3. Is an independent PI with a demonstrated track record of research, as evidenced by the award of nationally competitive funding (international funding to be considered on a case by case basis), substantial publication record in the past 3 years, or PI status in research institutes.

  4. Has a laboratory or clinical research program that carries out research in Singapore

  5. Holds a minimum of 9 months employment (per calendar year) with local Singapore institution(s). Upon award, the PI must agree to fulfil at least 6 months of residency in Singapore for each calendar year over the duration of the grant award.

  6. Has no outstanding reports from previous BMRC, NMRC grants, and other national grants.

  7. For proposals involving patients, the PI should be SMC registered; or should be able to demonstrate ability to access patients through SMC registered Co-Is or collaborators.

THE CALL FOR FULL PROPOSAL APPLICATIONS WILL BE OPEN FOR SHORTLISTED LETTER OF INTENT APPLICATIONS ONLY, TO BE SUBMITTED VIA IGMS.

Submission Mode and Deadline

Submission Mode

All applications must be submitted by the Corresponding PI and endorsed by the Corresponding PI’s Host Institution through IGMS by 16 October 2018 (Tue), 5pm.

Internal Host Institution submission deadline may apply, please check with your Research Office for more information.

The following will be rejected:

  • Incomplete applications e.g. missing documents such as re-submission materials required and missing progress/ final reports for renewal applications, missing signatures, sections left blank, missing CVs, etc.
  • Outdated application templates.

No late submission or revision to the submitted application will be entertained after the closing date.

Submission Deadline

  • LOI Application: Fri, 4 May 2018, 12am to Mon, 25 June 2018, 5pm.
  • FP Application: Thu, 30 Aug 2018, 12pm to Tue, 16 Oct 2018, 5pm.

Contact for Queries

Please contact Gillian at Gillian_neo@Moh.gov.sg or Rane at Rane_tan@moh.gov.sg for further clarifications.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2018