Grant for social science, humanities research

Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung (left) with Dr Elvin Ong, a recipient of the overseas post-doctoral fellowship under the Start scheme, at the award ceremony yesterday.
Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung (left) with Dr Elvin Ong, a recipient of the overseas post-doctoral fellowship under the Start scheme, at the award ceremony yesterday. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Selected researchers from autonomous unis here can get up to $1m over five years

University researchers can start applying for a new grant to help fund their social science and humanities research projects.

The newly launched Social Science and Humanities Research Fellowship will provide selected researchers with a grant of up to $1 million for their research projects, over the course of five years.

This was announced by Education Minister Ong Ye Kung at the award ceremony for the Singapore Teaching and Academic Research Talent (Start) scheme yesterday.

In his speech, Mr Ong said universities play an increasingly important role in helping to discover solutions to new problems. He said there was a need to continue developing the research ecosystem, and highlighted the importance of having more interdisciplinary research, to tackle multifaceted real-life problems.

"Therefore, besides science, technology, engineering and mathematics research, which tends to require more funds, we also need to place emphasis on social science and humanities research," said Mr Ong.

The grant is open to faculties of autonomous universities here who have completed their PhDs or equivalent degrees. Recipients should be nominated by their universities.

During the ceremony, 14 students were awarded scholarships given out by Start. The scheme, which began in 2015, helps support students who wish to pursue an academic career at autonomous universities here. It gives out scholarships and awards to undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD holders.

Dr Elvin Ong, 33, a recipient of the overseas post-doctoral fellowship, is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, but will return to work as an academic at the National University of Singapore.

Dr Ong, who studied comparative politics, looks forward to expanding on his doctoral dissertation while at UBC. His dissertation was on Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan coalition. "(The scholarship) will buy me time, space, and provide me with the resources to further deepen and strengthen my research," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2018, with the headline 'Grant for social science, humanities research'. Print Edition | Subscribe