29 Nov 2021 - 24 Jan 2022

The Open Fund – Young Individual Research Grant (OF-YIRG) aims 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. The OF-YIRG is a mechanism to allow new investigators to obtain a first independent national level grant. Investigators with substantial research experience will not be accepted under this category.

Research Themes

OF-YIRG 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

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:

  1. Holds a primary appointment in a local publicly funded institution and salaried by the institution from time of award.
  2. PIs should have PhD or MD/MBBS/BDS qualifications. (Exceptions would be made on a case-by-case basis).
  3. Has a laboratory or clinical research program that carries out research in Singapore
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Additional Eligibility Criteria for Young IRG:

  1. Applicants who are applying for the Young IRGs are strongly encouraged to work with a mentor for guidance in their research. This mentoring will provide support for a period of supervised research leading eventually to the investigators conducting larger scale research projects independently.
  2. Applicants must have completed their PhD or MBBS/MD/BDS within the past 7 years and past 10 years respectively (whichever date is later).
    • Exceptions would be considered on a case-by-case basis to grant a one-year extension to the 7-year post-PhD and 10-year post-MBBS cap eligibility criterion for applicants who declared that their productivity have been affected by COVID-19
    • PIs are strongly encouraged to submit DOR-endorsed request with justifications through the HI ORE preferably 3 weeks before grant call closing deadline for NMRC’s assessment on eligibility.
  3. Applicants must not have received external competitive funding exceeding $500,000 (direct costs only) within the last 5 years to conduct their own research project as the PI.
  4. Awardees of the following grants will not be eligible for YIRG:
    - A*STAR Investigatorship
    - NRF Fellowship
    - MOE Tier 2 and 3 grants
    - MOH/NMRC IRG-equivalent grants
  5. Applicants must indicate how the proposed area of work would be distinct from their current supervisor’s existing research.The applicant’s current supervisor should not be a co-investigator on the proposal.
  6. Upon the award of the YIRG, the Office of Research will be required to provide written confirmation from either the applicant’s Head of Institution or supervisor to describe the steps the institution will take to demonstrate its commitment to his/her career development. This must include provision of appropriate space to carry out the work proposed, but may also include investment in the equipment necessary to establish the laboratory, access to shared institutional resource, provision of mentorship and career development support etc.

Grant Call Frequency

There will be two grant calls per year (May and November).

Funding Quantum

The OF-YIRG will provide a funding quantum of up to $325,000 (inclusive of up to 30% indirect costs^) and up to 3 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 the Host Institution’s Director of Research (DOR) online via IGMS by 24 Jan 2022, 5pm. We will not entertain any late submissions or submissions from individual applicants without HI DOR endorsement.

Please download the OF-YIRG Application Guide and Templates for more information.

Review Panel

The composition of the OF-YIRG Local Review Panel (2021-2022) is listed in the table below.

S/N Name Institution
1 Prof Chng Wee Joo (co-Chair) NUHS
2 Prof Tina Wong (co-Chair) SERI
3 Prof Reshma Taneja NUS
4 Dr Xia Yun NTU
5 Dr Iain Tan NCC
6 Asst/Prof Polly Chen CSI
7 A/Prof Koji Itahana Duke-NUS
8 A/Prof Deng Lih Wen NUS
9 Prof Hui Kam Man NCC
10 A/Prof Joanne Ngeow NTU
11 A/Prof Ye Lei NHC
12 A/Prof Zhong Liang NHC
13 A/Prof Mark Chan NUHCS
14 A/Prof Heng Chew Kiat  NUHS
15 A/Prof Kevin Pethe NTU
16 A/Prof Justin Chu NUS
17 A/Prof Tan Yee Joo NUS
18 Dr Ng Oon Tek TTSH
19 A/Prof Florent Ginhoux SIgN
20 Prof Salvatore Albani KKH, Duke-NUS
21 A/Prof David Leavesley SRIS
22 A/Prof Sun Lei Duke-NUS 
23 Asst/Prof Li Yinghui NTU
24 Dr Khoo Chin Meng NUHS
25 Asst/Prof Adrian Teo IMCB
26 Asst/Prof Tee Wee Wei NIMCB
27 A/Prof Shawn Je Duke-NUS
28 A/Prof Helen Zhou Juan  Duke-NUS
29 Asst/Prof Foo Jia Nee NTU
30 A/Prof Yu Fengwei TLL
31 Dr Loo Lit Hsin BII
32 A/Prof Chen Nanguang NUS
33 Dr Shyam Prabhakar  GIS
34 A/Prof Kwoh Chee Keong  NTU
35 A/Prof Chew Sing Yian NTU

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.