2013 MOE AcRF Tier 3 Grant Call


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The MOE AcRF Tier 3 programme-level funding scheme will enable high-impact, multidisciplinary research performed at the University to be carried out in a comprehensive and organized manner. It will allow the emergence of game-changing science by bringing together collaborative teams of experts to develop integrated solutions for scientific issues.


AcRF Tier 3 funding serves the following objectives:


a) Support for the best ideas

AcRF Tier 3 funding will fund new, high impact R&D areas, to allow the best scientific ideas to flourish.


b) Synergy

AcRF Tier 3 funding will build upon intra-university and inter-university synergies to consolidate research expertise in research programmes to enhance the concentration of complementary research expertise and avoid fragmentation of intellectual and financial critical mass


c) Talent

AcRF Tier 3 will attract, support and retain world-class investigators to conduct high quality and high impact research in Singapore.

d) Sustainability of research

AcRF Tier 3 will ensure funding sustainability for longer term investigator-led research and allow universities to built up substantial expertise in key thematic areas.


e) Capacity Building

AcRF Tier 3 will augment research capacities of Singapore's institutions of higher learning. Successful proposals will be committed to build capacity by grooming and retaining research talents, and by uplifting standards of overall research.



An AcRF Tier 3 programme will be defined by international standards of excellence. The research agenda of an AcRF Tier 3 programme should demonstrate the potential of being able to position Singapore at the forefront and leading edge of the specified research field globally. It will consist of one or several research groups of a high international standard with clear common goals. It can also include individual top researchers who do not belong to any group. Several research groups could approach the same subject or problems from different viewpoints, as long as the objectives are shared and the there is sufficient cohesion and communication.


Each AcRF Tier 3 programme cluster is expected to be embedded within existing university departments, research centres or Research Centres of Excellence (RCE), hereafter referred to as the "host department".


An AcRF Tier 3 programme will be headed by a lead PI who should be a researcher of the highest quality, with outstanding scientific and leadership credentials. He will be actively involved in the overall management of the programme and accountable for the programme and its deliverables.


Senior PIs will be designated as group leaders to coordinate research projects within the programme cluster. PIs will lead research groups to undertake these research projects. A research group may consist of post-doctoral researchers, postgraduate research students and technical support staff.



Funding Information


      Grant Type             Project Duration             Funding Quantum     
Type A 5 years S$5 to S$10 Million
Type B 5 years S$10 to S$25 Million


The funding quantum is inclusive of 20% IRC.





  • PIs must be full-time faculty staff based in local universities.
  • Researchers at A*STAR research institutes, hospitals and CREATE must hold joint appointment and spend >75% of time in the local universities to qualify as PIs.
  • Collaborators may be based overseas.
  • Research funded under AcRF Tier 3 must be conducted in Singapore universities.
  • Multi-Faculties cross-disciplinary proposals are strongly encouraged as long as they are well-coordinated with a clear leader.  



Schedule of Annual Call


There is 1 call a year.



Application Procedure


1st Stage: Whitepaper


1) Submission of Whitepaper


• A White Paper of up to 6 (six) pages is expected. Only CVs (2 pages per PI, Co-PI or collaborator) and references (up to 2 pages per White Paper) may be attached as annexes. Please refer to the attached MOE AcRF Tier 3 RFP, Sections 8.1 & 8.2 for more details.


• If a whitepaper exceeds the page limit, it may be returned without review.


• The cover letter for each whitepaper should indicate if the proposed lead PI and Principal Investigators (PIs) have agreed to disclose their identities to the Academic Research Council (ARC) members for review.


• Do refer to the MOE submission guidelines for more details.


(Note:  Kindly note that the 2012 MOE Tier 3 RFP guide is attached above for preparation of the whitepaper. An updated 2013 version of the MOE Tier 3 RFP guide will be disseminated at a later date.)


2) SoM Internal evaluation process


• YLLSOM is allowed to only submit a maximum of 4 proposals (can be a combination of Type-A & Type-B).


• Multi-Faculty cross-disciplinary proposals are strongly encouraged so long as they are well-coordinated with a clear leader. These proposals will not count towards the quota above.



3) Timeline


Dates Description Documents Required

01 Mar 13 (Fri), 12noon





(Compulsory) Submission by PIs to NUHS Research Office (Grant_RO@nuhs.edu.sg ) for internal review to shortlist the whitepapers


Due to the tight timeline, we will not be able to provide any extension.


1 soft copy of the following:
i. Whitepaper with Cover Letter and Annex (CV & References)




06 Mar 13 (Wed) NUHS Research Office will inform the applicants if they are shortlisted.

14 Mar 13(Thu), 12noon


Shortlisted applicants to improve their proposals and resubmit to NUHS Research Office (Grant_RO@nuhs.edu.sg)


1 hardcopy and 1 soft copy of the following:
i. Whitepaper with Cover Letter and Annex (CV & References)
ii. NUS Grant Endorsement Form
18 Mar 13(Mon), 12 noon RO to submit endorsed applications to DRA


 4) NUS Internal evaluation process


• The NUS Evaluation Panel will review the shortlisted whitepapers and select up to 3 whitepapers for Type-B and 5 whitepapers for Type-A to submit under NUS to MOE.



2nd Stage: Full Proposal (by invitation only)


 Full proposals will be evaluated by the ARC with input from external reviewers. Type-A and Type-B proposals will be ranked separately. The ARC will recommend supported Type-A and Type-B proposals to MOE's Academic Research Board for funding approval.



Kindly Note:


If the proposed study would requires biospecimen or tissue banking, please contact Dr Eng Chon Boon (chon_boon_eng@nuhs.edu.sg) from the NUHS Tissue Repository. The tissue repository will assist in biobanking budgetary. Kindly visit http://medicine.nus.edu.sg/tissue/Cost%20Recovery%20Schedule.pdf.


Contact Us


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any enquires.


Mr Chia De Qing

Tel : 6772 3708

Email : medcdq@nus.edu.sg  



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