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Coordinated call: Singapore CREATE Programme Grant Call – Science of Sustainable Cities

Closing date: 
Friday, 29 January 2021

Registration of interest to participate deadline: 29th January 2021

Circulated on behalf of Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore (CARES)

The Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) has announced its latest CREATE (Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise) Programmatic Grant Call for funding cutting-edge collaborative research projects at CREATE on topics of relevance to Singapore. University of Cambridge takes part in CREATE via CARES, the Cambridge-owned research centre in Singapore. Other participants in CREATE include MIT, UC-Berkeley, ETH, CNRS, TU-Munich, Shanghai Jiao Tong, HUJ, National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

1. Award and eligibility

-     The theme for this 2020 CREATE Programme Call 01 is ‘Science of Sustainable Cities’. 

NRF CREATE’s current overarching focus is on research that provides the tools, technologies and perspectives to consider how cities can work better and evolve to be more sustainable, liveable and resilient. Proposals can address the function and design of cities as a whole or constituent subsystems, or specific enabling technologies. Proposals can also contribute to frameworks for the conceptual understanding, planning and design, scientific assessment, and/or benchmarking of cities. Ideally, proposals should include relevant social and behavioural sciences where appropriate. Please see Annex A of the Call Application Guidelines attached for further details.

-     Each award will support up to SGD15-40 million (approx. £8m-£22m) per proposal, inclusive of all chargeable direct, indirect, space and Head Quarters costs (approx. 20%), over a 5-year period with the potential for a second 5 year phase of funding thereafter.

-     Research effort led by Cambridge PIs to take place in Singapore (hosted at CARES or a collaborating Singapore institution), with a possible maximum of 10% of the budget eligible for expenditure in Cambridge if there are strong justification to do so.

-      It is possible to cost Cambridge-CARES PhD Scheme studentships into the proposal for funding to participate in the Singapore research programme for Cambridge students to spend up to 2 years of their PhD at CARES in Singapore.

-      Each application needs two or more Programme Leads with different institutional affiliations, eg. University of Cambridge and another CREATE entity or partner institution (Programme Leads and PIs must be faculty members with PI status in their employing institutions, and other eligible CREATE entities are listed below and in Annex B). Including a Singapore partner is strongly recommended for practical reasons (more details on p1-2 of the Information for Applicants document).

-      Significant individual leadership is expected from the Programme Lead commensurate with the complexity and size of such an international collaborative research programme.

-      All PIs from non-Singapore based universities (including Cambridge) need to confirm at the expression of interest stage that they are willing to complete residency in Singapore of 20% of the grant length of 5 years (i.e. 12 months) and can do so in blocks of 4+ weeks duration, of which one block must be for a consecutive 6 months. The PI residency is a key criteria for this funder and cannot be negotiated or passed to junior researchers for this grant. Financial support for such stays is an eligible cost on the grant.


2. Award Selection Process

Grant awards will be selected through a three-stage process:

  • University Internal Coordination: Expressions of Interest registration with the University of Cambridge Research Strategy Office CARES Coordinator and CARES
  • Whitepapers: Shortlisting by the CREATE Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)
  • Full Proposals (by invitation only): Evaluation by international peer reviewers and the CREATE SAB

Further information (including details on scope, eligibility, deadlines and assessment criteria) can be found in the Information for Applicants and Whitepaper template (both documents attached for reference).


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