Grants

14 Jun 2021 - 12 Jul 2021

The NMRC Research Training Fellowship (RTF) is awarded to outstanding and talented clinicians and health science / healthcare professionals for research training to have qualifications and skills to become Clinician Scientists.

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 Productive Longevity
  • Family Medicine and Primary Care

B) Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applicants must be medical doctors/dental surgeons (i.e., with MBBS/MD/BDS degree) who are registered with the Singapore Medical Council/Dental Board. Residents who wish to pursue research training in the midst of their clinical training will be required to submit additional documents. Medical / House officers are not eligible to apply.
  2. Health science / healthcare professionals with non-medical degrees, such as nurses, pharmacists and other allied health professions listed on MOH’s website and possess PhD or equivalent degrees are eligible to apply. Those without PhD or equivalent degrees may apply for training leading to a formal postgraduate degree.
  3. Applicants must be Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents at point of application.
  4. Applicants must hold a primary employment in a local public hospital/public health institution/national specialty centre/public university/Academic Medical Centre (AMC) and be salaried by the institutioni.
  5. Applicants must remain employed in a public institution in Singapore during and throughout duration of the award. They will also be required to serve a bond with the Government of Singapore upon the completion of their training.
  6. Applicants should not have outstanding reports from NMRC grants and other national grants.
  7. Applicants are only allowed up to 2 resubmissions following an unsuccessful first submission.
Notes:
  1. 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.

C) Types of Awards

Applicants may apply for (i) local/overseas formal research training or (ii) local/overseas research attachment. Applicants are encouraged to apply for local training if expertise is available locally so that knowledge acquired is applicable in the local context.

i) Local/Overseas Formal Research Training

The curriculum of the formal programme leading to a postgraduate degree or qualification can be research-based or course-based.

Applicants are advised to apply to the training institution and liaise the necessary arrangements for the research training or degree programme concurrently with this fellowship application to avoid delay in the submission of the application and commencement of training. 

All applicants must provide a write-up on their research area/focus, to justify how the curriculum/training will enable them to pursue a career as a clinician scientist and to include a 5-year career plan post-training.

For formal course-based training which does not require a research project, applicants need not submit a research proposal.

All applicants are also required to nominate a research supervisor/mentor to provide guidance during and after training.

Components of Award:

  • Award value of up to S$500k per awardee for over 2-3 years (extendable to 4 years for PhD degree). Clinicians pursuing overseas full-time PhD training may request for up to S$800k.

  • Salary support in accordance to the MOH HMDP terms and NMRC’s Annual Salary Cap based on clinical grade (Table 1)
    • For full-time training, the awardee can be allowed up to two clinical sessions (8 hours) per week to maintain clinical competence where necessary based on institution’s arrangements
    • For part-time training, the awardee may request for salary support for the time required for research training only. The host institution is to provide salary for the remaining time (i.e. clinical duties).

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

Clinician’s Clinical Grade

Annual salary cap for 1 FTE

Senior Consultant

S$300,000

Consultant

S$200,000

Associate Consultant

S$150,000

Registrar

S$120,000


  • Maintenance allowance and others (e.g. return air travel, health insurance) in accordance to the MOH HMDP terms and institution’s existing guidelines for awardees pursuing overseas training.
  • Tuition or course fees charged by the training institution
  • Overseas conference support of up to $6K per year. Allowable only if the awardee is a speaker or presenting a poster at the conference on a topic relevant to the research project under the award. Costs related to conference e.g. maintenance allowance should be indicated as “overseas conference support” under “overseas travel (OT)” vote on IGMS and budgeting should be done in accordance to MOH HMDP terms.
  • Eligibility to apply for a research seed funding of up to $30k for duration of 2 years (subject to the approval of a research proposal) via IGMS upon completion of training.

ii) Local/Overseas Research Attachment

Applications for research attachments that encourage collaborations between local institutions, or local institutions with overseas institutions will be prioritised.

All applicants must provide a write-up on their research area/focus, to justify how the curriculum/training will enable them to pursue a career as a clinician scientist and to include a 5-year career plan post-training.

All applicants are also required to nominate a research supervisor/mentor to provide guidance during and after training.

Components of Award:

  • Award value of up to S$500k per awardee of up to 2 years.
  • Salary support in accordance to the MOH HMDP terms and NMRC’s Annual Salary Cap (Table 1).
  • Maintenance allowance and others (e.g. return air travel, health insurance) in accordance to the institution's guidelines for awardees going on overseas training.
  • Overseas conference support of up to $6k per year. Allowable only if the awardee is a speaker or presenting a poster at the conference on a topic relevant to the research project under the award. Costs related to conference e.g. maintenance allowance should be indicated as “overseas conference support” under “overseas travel(OT)” on IGMS and budgeting should be done in accordance to MOH HMDP terms.
  • Awardee who is supported for 12 months or more for training will be eligible to apply for research seed funding of up to $30k for duration of 2 years (subject to the approval of a research proposal) via IGMS upon completion of training.

D) Bond

Recipients of the RTF are subject to signing a bond to serve the Government of Singapore or as directed by the Government of Singapore. The bonding policy of the NMRC is in Table 2 and Table 3:  

  • The bond period imposed will run consecutive to any other existing government bonds. Existing institutional bonds may be served consecutive or concurrent according to institution’s guidelines. 

  • Unless there are pre-existing government bonds to be served, the bond must kickstart immediately after completion of the Fellowship training. For training leading to formal degrees (e.g. MPH, Master’s Degree and PhD), the completion of the Fellowship training refers to the conferment date. For other formal training, the completion of the research training refers to the attainment of the formal qualifications. For research attachments, completion of the Fellowship training refers to the completion of the research proposal proposed.
  • The length of the bond period is determined by the nature of training (i.e. location of training, part/full-time training and type of training):

Table 2. Bond service duration for training in local institutions 

Training Category Duration Bond Duration (Years)
For full-time studies/ attachment For part-time studies/
attachment
Local Research Attachment not leading to a degree Up to 2 months Nil Nil
> 2 months to 12 months

1 0.5
> 12 months to 24 months

3 1.5
Local Training leading to Master's Degree Up to 12 months 3 1.5
> 12 months 4 2
Local Training leading to PhD Up to 48 months 5 2.5

Table 3. Bond service duration for training in overseas institutions

Training Category Duration Bond Duration (Years)
For full-time studies/ attachment For part-time studies
Overseas Research Attachment not leading to a degree Up to2 months Nil NA
> 2 months to 12 months

1 NA
> 12 months to 24 months

3 NA
Overseas Training leading to Master's Degree Up to 12 months 3 1.5
> 12 months 4 2
Overseas Training leading to PhD Up to 48 months 7 3.5
*For other training types which are not listed, please check with NMRC on the bond duration

E) Review Procedures 

All applications are reviewed by the Scholarship Administration Panel which will provide award recommendations. The review process takes about 4 to 5 months after closure of the call and applicants may be called up for interviews as part of the review process. 

F) Application Procedure and Closing Date

It is mandatory for all applications with the endorsement from the Host Institution's Director of Research (DOR) to be submitted to NMRC via IGMS by 12 July 2021, 5pm (Singapore Time). Late/incomplete submission or submissions from individual applicants without Research Director’s endorsement on the IGMS will not be entertained.

Click here to download the application templates and IGMS user guide. Please read the instructions and ensure all sections are completed.

For Residents, please include approval received from the Residency Advisory Committee (RAC), Programme Director (PD) and DIO. The endorsed revised training plans (if applicable) from the PD is also required.

For more information, you may contact us at MOH_NMRC@moh.gov.sg.

G) Review Panel

The composition of the Scholarship Administration Panel will be listed here at a later date.

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.