01 Jul 2024 - 29 Jul 2024

The Clinician Scientist Award (CSA) aims to provide salary & funding support for selected outstanding clinician scientists, to enable them to carry out internationally competitive translational and clinical research, to bring bench discoveries to bedside applications.

A) Areas of Research

This programme is open to applications on all research areas. Applicants focusing on translation of research and innovations into healthcare in the following strategic areas (covering both expertise in technology as well as use case areas) will be prioritised: 

  • Medical Technology (MedTech), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science and Digital Health
  • Epidemiology, Population Health and Implementation Science
  • Precision Medicine
  • Healthy and Meaningful Longevity
  • Family Medicine and Primary Care

Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with AI, Data Science and/or Technology talent where possible, and the necessary budget to engage them can be incorporated into the grant applications where needed/applicable.

B) Key Features of Award

  • The Clinician Scientist Award (CSA) has two levels of award:
    • Investigator (INV) Category: This is for a clinician scientist with good track records of research work and demonstrated potential to become leaders in this field. The applicant is required to nominate a mentor at the point of application. The award includes up to $675k grant support, with up to 30% indirect costs^ and between 0.5 FTE to 0.7 FTE salary support for protected time in research over 3 years. The award is renewable once under this category.

    • Senior Investigator (SI) Category: This is for a senior clinician scientist who has demonstrated sustained, high levels of productivity and leadership in this field, and are expected to mentor junior clinician scientists. The award includes up to $1.75M grant support, with up to 30% indirect costs^ and between 0.5 FTE to 0.7 FTE salary support for protected time in research over 5 years. There is no limit to the number of renewals for this category.

      ^Indirect cost is not applicable for budget items such as research scholarship

NMRC Talent Programmes’ Salary Support Policy
  • Salary support will be funded based on the actual time in research between 0.5 FTE to 0.7 FTE for up to three years for INV and five years for SI (i.e. award will be adjusted proportionately). The annual salary cap (including fringe benefits and related allowances) is computed according to clinical grade (Table 1). The Institution will need to top up the difference if the salary exceeds the amount supported by NMRC.
  • Please note the salary support provided is for protected time in research during the awarded duration and is not to be considered as the PI’s remuneration; it refers to the quantum allowable for backfilling and/or to make any other arrangements which may be necessary to free the PI’s time for research. Only applicants who require protected time for research will be awarded salary support.
  • The amount of salary support required for protected time for research and its justification will need to be declared at the point of application. 
  • Should there be a change in the awardee’s clinical grade, Host Institution should write to NMRC for approval for change to the salary support in a timely manner. The request must be submitted along with an official HR letter indicating the awardee’s new position and the effective date. After NMRC’s approval, the revision of the award cap will apply from the month when the request was received or the effective month of new clinical grade, whichever is appropriate.
  • Applicant is required to indicate the salary support required upfront with institution support and subsequent changes may not be entertained. 

Table 1: NMRC’s Annual Salary Cap by Clinician’s Clinical Grade

Clinician’s Clinical Grade

Annual salary cap for 1 FTE

Senior Consultant




Associate Consultant




Note: Full-time-equivalent (FTE) - For a 5-day work-week, 1 FTE is typically 40 hours and 0.1 FTE is 4hrs.

C) Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applicants should hold a clinical qualification (e.g. MBBS, MD, BDS or equivalent), with specialty training beyond medical or dental school (including specialists, family physicians and public health practitioners).i,ii
  2. Applicants who are health science / healthcare professionals with non-medical degrees, such as nurses, pharmacists and other allied health professions listed on MOH’s website in clinical practice, possess PhD or equivalent qualifications are eligible to apply. Those without PhD or equivalent qualifications but possess relevant research track record can be considered for award on case-by-case basis.
  3. Applicants working in human clinical research, including epidemiologists and biostatisticians, and whose research is clinically relevant and has potential health impact, will be considered as exceptions on a case-by-case basis.iii
  4. All applicants must be doing research in clinical settings or doing research with clinical and healthcare applications/relevance.
  5. Applicants with non-medical degrees conducting laboratory-based research are not eligible.
  6. Applicants must have been an independent PI on at least one national or international peer-reviewed research grant, equivalent to an Individual Research Grant (IRG)-level grant.
  7. Applicant must hold the following appointments:
    1. A primary appointment in a local public hospital/public health institutions/national specialty centre/public university/Academic Medical Centre (AMC) and be salaried by the institution;iv and
    2. A regular-rank faculty/academic appointment in one of the AMCs or medical schools within 3 months of award conveyance.v
  8. Applicant must be a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident at the point of application.
  9. Applicant must generally not be beyond the retirement age in the year of grant call.i
  10. All research must be conducted in Singapore at a public research institute, hospital/centre or medical school.
  11. Applicant should not have outstanding reports from NMRC grants and other national grants.
  12. Applicant may only submit one application to the human capital/talent awards (i.e. STaR, CSA, HCSA, CIA and TA) for each round of grant call.
  13. Applicant is only allowed up to 2 resubmissions following an unsuccessful first submission.
  1. Recipients of NMRC Human Capital Awards (i.e., STaR, CSA, HCSA, CIA/CIDA) and Transition Award are exempted.
  2. Clinicians with recognised specialty training are:
    1. Clinicians who are accredited by the MOH Specialists Accreditation Board (SAB), Dental Specialists Accreditation Board (DSAB) and Family Physicians Accreditation Board (FPAB).
    2. Clinicians who do not fulfil the above but are able to demonstrate completion of specialist training in countries which do not have specialist boards/colleges and are holding consultant positions as a specialist may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  3. Applicants who are submitting on an exception basis are to submit their CV (with track records including publication records and grants held as PIs/Co-PIs in the past 5 years) to the Secretariat to determine their eligibility prior to submitting a full proposal.
  4. A*STAR CS scholar from the National Science Scholarship (NSS) (MBBS-PhD) or NSS (MD-PhD) schemes and fulfil the following may apply:
    1. hold a primary appointment in a public health institution (PHI), Academic Medical Centre (AMC), or medical school; or
    2. hold a primary appointment in A*STAR and a joint appointment in the PHI/AMC/medical school, and the grant application is supported by the PHI/AMC/medical school. The PHI/AMC/medical school is to consider if the applicant is able to demonstrate that he/she can act as a bridge between A*STAR and the healthcare system.

    The grant application must be submitted through the PHI/AMC/medical school as the host institution.

  5. An applicant without regular-rank faculty/academic appointment pledged by the AMC/medical school can be considered, if there is a support letter from the institution CEO/MD, and co-signed by the cluster GD Research or equivalent authority. The letter should highlight the existing framework and governance within the PHI that allow sustained research career and opportunities available to the applicant, as well as the availability of a conducive and facilitation structure where high quality research can be undertaken. In particular, the PHI could include specifications on the expected time commitment for research, teaching, mentoring and/or other services (e.g. overseeing research facilities, technical implementation/improvement) by the applicant, and how these areas would be evaluated as part of the applicant’s annual performance assessment. PHI could also comment on the applicant’s strategic fit to the institution in the long term and if there will be research funding and infrastructure available to support the applicant’s research career.

D) Review Procedures

The applications will be evaluated through a one-stage review process by the CSA Review Panel.

The assessment criteria will be broadly as follows:

  • Track Record of PI will be the highest priority
  • Scientific excellence and potential to bring bench discoveries to bedside applications
  • Feasibility of study in local context
  • Productivity
  • Overall Impact in local context
  • For INV: Mentorship training plan, suitability and track record of mentor

The review process will take about 4-5 months after the application closes. Eligible applicants will be invited for an interview.

E) Submission Deadline

It is mandatory for all applications to be submitted and endorsed by the Host Institution’s Research Director via IGMS by 29 July 2024, 5pm (Singapore Time). Late or incomplete submissions from individual applicants without Director of Research’s (DOR) endorsement on the IGMS will not be entertained.

Please download the Application Guide and Application Templates (for reference) for more information. 

F) Review Panel

The composition of the CSA Review Panel (2023 – 2026) is listed below:

 S/N Name Institution
 1 Prof Chng Wee Joo
National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
 2 Prof Tan Eng King
National Neuroscience Institute of Singapore
 3 Prof Chong Yap Seng National University of Singapore 
 4 Prof Thomas Coffman  Duke-NUS Medical School
 5 Prof Salvatore Albani Duke-NUS Medical School
 6 Prof John Chambers Nanyang Technological University 
 7 Prof Hsu Li Yang  National University of Singapore
 8 Prof Andrea Britta Maier National University of Singapore
 9 Prof Marco Peres  National Dental Centre Singapore
 10 A/Prof Mythily Subramaniam Institute of Mental Health
 11 Prof Joseph Sung  Nanyang Technological University
 12 A/Prof Steven Thng  National Skin Centre
 13 A/Prof Wee Hwee Lin National University of Singapore
 14 Prof Tina Wong Singapore National Eye Centre
International Panel Members
 1 Prof Peymane Adab University of Birmingham
 2 Prof Ian Barr University of Melbourne
 3 Prof Richard Birtwhistle Queen’s University
 4 Prof Hayden B Bosworth Duke University
 5 Prof Carol Brayne University of Cambridge
 6 A/Prof Wee Bee University of Oxford
 7 Prof Bernard Cheung  University of Hong Kong
 8 Prof Pratap Challa Duke University
 9 Prof Josip Car King’s College London
 10 A/Prof Esther WY Chan
University of Hong Kong
 11 Prof Riccardo Dolcetti University of Melbourne
 12 Prof Le Wei Dong Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences
 13 Prof Leung Ting Fan Chinese University of Hong Kong
 14 Prof Nicholas Glozier University of Sydney
 15 Prof Thomas Gasser University of Tuebingen
 16 A/Prof Maria Horne University of Leeds
 17 Prof Wong Kwong-Kwok University of Texas
 18 Prof Alice PS Kong  Chinese University of Hong Kong
 19 Prof Lanjing Zhang Princeton Medical Center
 20 Prof Andrew Lotery University of Southampton
 21 Prof Lam Chiu Wa, Linda  Chinese University of Hong Kong
 22 Prof He Mingguang Hong Kong Polytechnic University
 23 Prof David Newby  University of Edinburgh
 24 Prof Stanton Newman  University of London
 25 Prof Stephen J Polyak  University of Washington
 26 Prof Aristidis Veves Harvard Medical School
 27 Prof Michael Weller  University Hospital Zurich
 28 A/Prof Jean F Welter Case Western Reserve University
 29 Prof Patsy Yates  Queensland University of Technology

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.