01 Jul 2024 - 29 Jul 2024

The Open Fund - Individual Research Grant (OF-IRG) is provided to support the conduct of research proposals in basic, translational and clinical research that are relevant to human health and potential, including research that looks at the causes, consequences, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.

Research Theme

OF-IRG is open to applications in all research areas. Applications are assessed based on scientific merit at the international level and relevance to Singapore, but should prioritisation be required between meritorious applications, the following seven disease areas have been identified as national priorities for research:

  1. Cancers and neoplasms
  2. Cardiovascular
  3. Eye
  4. Infection
  5. Mental health
  6. Metabolic and endocrine
  7. Neurological

Evaluation Criteria

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

  1. Quality of the science
  2. Capability of the research performers to conduct the research
  3. Objectives of the research programme in context of HHP goals*

The HHP Domain’s vision for RIE2025 is to be a leading hub that transforms and protects health, advances human potential and creates economic value through excellence in research and its application for Singapore, Asia and the world.

Eligibility Criteria for IRG

Only one Principal Investigator (PI) is allowed per application. Applicants applying as Principal Investigator are required to fulfil the following criteria at the point of application:

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

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

c)       Is an independent investigator (with PI status in institution) 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.

d)      Has a laboratory or clinical research program that carries out research in Singapore

e)      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.

f)       Has no outstanding report from previous BMRC, NMRC grants, and other national grants.

g)      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.

Grant Call Frequency

There will be two grant calls per year (January and July).

Funding Quantum

The OF-IRG will provide a funding quantum of up to S$1.625M (inclusive of up to 30% indirect costs^) and up to 5 years.

^Indirect costs is not applicable for research scholarship budget

Submission Mode and Deadline

It is mandatory for all applications to be submitted and endorsed by Director of Research (DOR) online via IGMS by 29 July 2024, 5pm. We will not entertain any late submissions or submissions from individual applicants without HI DOR endorsement.

Please download the OF-IRG Application Guide for more information.

Review Panel

The composition of the OF-IRG Local Review Panel (2023-2024) is listed in the table below.

S/N Name Institution
1 Prof Chng Wee Joo (Co-Chair) Director, National University Cancer Institute
Group Director of Research Office, National University Health System
2 Prof Lim Kah Leong (Co-Chair) Professor and Vice Dean (Research), Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University
3 Prof David Lye Director, Infectious Disease Research and Training Office, National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), Tan Tock Seng Hospital
4 Prof David Silver Professor and Deputy Director, Signature Research Program in Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders, Duke-NUS Medical School
5 Prof Dean Ho Head, Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Singapore
6 Prof Derek Hausenloy Director, National Heart Research Institute Singapore (NHRIS)
7 A/Prof Herbert Schwarz Associate Professor, Deputy Head of Department, Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
8 A/Prof Jonathan Loh Director, Cell Fate Engineering and Therapeutics Lab, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR
9 Prof Leopold Schmetterer Scientific Director and Head of Ocular Imaging, Singapore Eye Research Institute
10 A/Prof Tam Wai Leong Deputy Executive Director, Laboratory of Translational Cancer Biology, Genome Institute of Singapore, A*STAR
11 Prof Nicholas Barker Research Director, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR
12 Prof Peter Preiser Associate Vice President (Biomedical and Life Sciences), School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
13 Prof Salvatore Albani Director, Translational Immunology Institute at SingHealth-Duke-NUS Medical Centre
14 A/Prof Su I-hsin Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
15 Dr Tan Gek Yen Gladys Director, Biological Defence Programme, Defence Medical & Environmental Research Institute, DSO National Laboratories, Defence Science Organisation
16 A/Prof Wang Mei Casey Associate Professor, Laboratory of Cancer Molecular Pharmacology, Duke-NUS Medical School
17 A/Prof Yu Fengwei Senior Principal Investigator, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory
18 A/Prof Zeng Li Assistant Director, Research (Research Program), National Neuroscience Institute
19 Prof Ben Berkhout Professor of Human Retrovirology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
20 Prof Chen Ting Professor, Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, China
21 Prof Chris Denning Director, University of Nottingham Biodiscovery Institute, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UK
22 Prof David Brooks Professor of Neurology and PET Clinical Science, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, UK
23 Prof James A. Ross Professor Emeritus (Liver Cell Biology), University of Edinburgh, UK
24 Prof John Marshall Professor and Deputy Centre Lead, Centre for Tumour Biology, Barts Institute of Cancer, Queen Mary University of London, UK
25 Prof José M. Matés Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Málaga, Spain
26 Prof Kofi E. Aidoo Emeritus Professor, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
27 Prof Kwok Wai Lo Professor, Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
28 Prof Mauro Pistello Professor of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy
29 Prof Mok Chi Chiu Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong
30 Prof Richard James Honorary Research Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland
31 Dr Simon Langdon Reader, Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre, University of Edinburgh, UK
32 Dr Stephane Germain Group Leader, College de France, France
33 Prof Wang Haibo Deputy Dean, Precision Medicine Research Institute First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, China

Applicants are not allowed to approach any of the panel members to discuss or solicit information related to their application review or funding decisions. NMRC may impose a suspension and/or debarment on such applicants.