Edition 187 - November 2016

Big boost for Singapore’s social sciences & humanities– shifting for challenges of a transformed city-state

Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE), has this month, announced a significant boost for the city-state’s social sciences and humanities disciplines. Ready to spill out 350 million Singapore $ (about 231 million EUR) over the next five years for research in these fields, this funding represents a 45% increase in spending (according to The Straits Times and University World News), that is to put social sciences & humanities in the spotlight of research endeavours

This lift in funding comes in the frame of the newly established Social Sciences Research Council this January, which has the mission to provide direction and strategy for Singapore’s social sciences and humanities field and tackle those very challenges a transformed socio-economic national landscape faces, as well as greater Asia. With a view to promoting research with a local character through local expertise, among the key priority areas are: ageing societies, social mobility, identity in multi-ethnic contexts, life quality in urban living.

Under Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, greater emphasis on build scholarly capacities in the humanities and social sciences has been on the rise, supporting Singapore to move beyond a core focus on areas of sciences and technology. Apart from strengthening the viability and attractiveness of academic careers in social sciences for local talent, cooperation with the brightest of minds across the globe on key challenges is to be supported, by encouraging collaborations with top institutions and institutes in the field, Europe and world wide.

The SSRC in its inaugural call, that closed this August, received 70 proposals from various institutions for its Thematic Grants. The grant’s funding is structured in two tiersInvestigator-led projects with a duration of up to three years can receive between 100 000 – 1 million SG$ (66 000 – 660 000EUR) in support, and large-scale interdisciplinary research may receive between 1 million to 10 million SG$ (660 000 – 6,6 mill EUR) for projects over three to five years.  

Streits Times - MOE to put in $350 million for social sciences and humanities research over next five years

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