16 May 2024 - 28 Jun 2024

The Open Fund – Large Collaborative Grant (OF-LCG) aims to bring together the best teams from public institutions to advance human health and wellness, as well as create economic value for Singapore and Singaporeans, through the pursuit of excellence in research and its applications. The purpose of the OF-LCG scheme is to support patient-centric translational1 research, underpinned by basic2 and/or applied research3. The scheme will not support pure basic science, pure clinical or pure applied research.

The following categorisation of research activity is based on UK Health Research Classification System (HRCS):
Translational Research: Prevention, Detection and Diagnosis, Treatment Development and Treatment Evaluation
Basic Research: Underpinning and Aetiology
3Applied Research: Disease Management and Health Services

Key Elements

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration across institutions is preferred and encouraged so as 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 policy and practice. They should also provide opportunities for international partnerships and/or industry collaborations.
  • Pathway(s) to impact should be clearly articulated.

Research Themes

The OF-LCG is open to proposals of the highest quality in all areas, typically involving multi-disciplinary teams. To better realise the goals of the Human Health and Potential (HHP) domain in Singapore, the following seven areas have been identified as national priorities for research:

  • Cancers and neoplasms
  • Cardiovascular
  • Eye
  • Infection
  • Mental health
  • Metabolic and endocrine
  • Neurological 

For each grant call, specific therapeutic areas will be selected as the emphasised therapeutic areasThe HHP community is encouraged to address these areas. At the same time, proposals in other areas will also be considered.

Grant Call Frequency

Once a year.

Funding Quantum & Duration

There are 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 30% 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 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 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 focusing on patient-centric translational research, supplemented with basic and/or applied research (including Health Services Research).Proposed research must be well‐differentiated and highly competitive. It should demonstrate a high potential to be world class.
  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 emphasised therapeutic areas would be given priority consideration.
  3. Proposed research team should have established track record and research productivity. Proposed governance to manage the programme should be feasible and sustainable.
  4. Proposed programme should contribute to capacity development of human capital and research infrastructure.
  5. Demonstrate the potential to improve health outcomes and capture economic value* with a clear indication of pathway(s) to impact.

Additional Criterion for Application Seeking Renewal of Funding

  1. For renewal applications, the proposal should demonstrate the good progress made in achieving health and economic outcomes, and demonstrate the potential to leverage these for implementation to achieve greater impact or value capture.

*Translation Pathways to Healthcare and Economic Outcomes are required in the application. For economic value, an industry engagement plan will also be required in the application, and applicants are encouraged to obtain letters of support from the industry.

Emphasized Therapeutic Areas for the May 2024 Grant Call

For this call, two therapeutic areas are selected as the emphasised therapeutic areas:

  1. Mental Health
  2. Neurological
Application Guide and General Guidelines
Application Guide and General Guidelines

Click here to access the:

- Read Me Instructions

- 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.

The research programme should comprise no more than 5 research themes, each led by one or more Theme Principal Investigators (PIs).  All the Theme PIs should form the Leadership Team, and one of the Theme PIs should be nominated as the Corresponding PI. The leadership team shares the responsibility in making the OF-LCG programme a success and is essential for implementing programme strategies and achieving desired outcomes. The Corresponding PI will coordinate the OF-LCG programme, serves as the main point of contact between NMRC and the OF-LCG Leadership Team, and is accountable to NMRC for the proper conduct of the whole programme.  He/ She will work closely with the Theme PIs to resolve any issues which arise during the course of the programme, including the usage of funding, any variations to the scope of the programme etc.

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 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.

  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.


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 28 June 2024 (Fri), 5pm.

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

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

Submission Deadline

  • LOI Application: Thurs, 16 May 2024, 12am to Fri, 28 June 2024, 5pm
  • FP Application: To be advised

Review Panel

The composition of the OF-LCG Review Panel is listed in the table below.





Prof Edward Holmes (Chair)

Honorary Senior Fellow, Agency for Science, Technology and Research


Prof Barry Halliwell

Chairman, Biomedical Advisory Council (BMAC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research

Senior Advisor, Academic Appointments and Research Excellence, Office of the Senior Deputy President and Provost, National University of Singapore


Prof Lee Eng Hin 

Professor & Emeritus Consultant, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National University Health System

Senior Advisor, Division of Graduate Medical Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore


Prof Ivy Ng

Group Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Health Services


Prof Joseph Sung

Senior Vice President (Health & Life Sciences) & Dean of Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University


Prof Tan Sze Wee

Assistant Chief Executive, Biomedical Research Council, Agency for Science, Technology and Research; Senior Advisor, Innovation & Enterprise (I&E) and National Platforms


Dr Andreas Wallnoefer

Partner and Executive Member of the Investment Committee, Jeito Capital SA, Paris - New York


Prof D. Allan Butterfield

The Alumni Association Endowed Professor of Biological Chemistry; Associate Vice President for Research

Director, Redox Metabolism Shared Resource Facility, NCI-Designated Markey Cancer Center

University Research Professor, University of Kentucky


Prof James D. Best 

Professor Emeritus, University of Melbourne; Visiting Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University


Prof Lesley H. Curtis

Professor and Chair, Department of Population Health Sciences, Duke School of Medicine


Prof Nikolai Petrovsky

Director, Diabetes and Endocrinology Department, Flinders Medical Centre

Research Director, Vaxine Pte Ltd


Prof Robert T. Schooley

Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

Co-Director, Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics

Senior Director, International Initiatives

Interim Faculty Director, Global Education, University of California, San Diego


Prof Sir Keith Peters

Emeritus Regius Professor of Physic, University of Cambridge

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.