Grant Calls

NUS Aging Cluster Grant Call: Healthy Aging Throughout the Life Cycle
Asia has witnessed rapid economic growth over the past several decades. This unprecedented growth has increased the standard of living for many, but has been accompanied by significant challenges which include an aging population and a rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Today, NCDs are the top causes of morbidity and mortality in many countries in Asia and are increasing in epidemic proportions. To improve health outcomes over the coming decades and to slow the growth in health spending, innovative strategies are needed to curb the rise in NCDs and the factors that promote them (such as obesity, smoking, unhealthy food consumption and physical inactivity). Strategies will also be needed to improve health outcomes and contain costs for those with NCDs. Moreover, for these strategies to have a significant public health impact, they will need to be effective and to have the potential to have high reach (uptake) among the target population. This suggests they will either need to be low cost or to have a financing model that will make them sustainable in the long term.
The goal of this grant call is to identify and test, via rigorous scientific methods, promising public health/economic strategies to contain the burden of NCDs. If shown to be effective, it is expected that these interventions could be scaled up and translated into practice in the near term in Singapore and/or in the region. 
Examples of relevant studies include those that:

  • Focus on promoting healthy lifestyles of individuals and/or families, such as those that encourage healthy food consumption and/or increased physical activity
  • Test novel strategies to increase uptake of screening programs
  • Promote increased adherence to physician recommendations, such as taking medications as prescribed or seeing the doctor at the appropriate time point


These are just a few examples. PIs are welcome to propose any study that meets the criteria discussed above. As total funding for this call is limited to roughly SGD 1.5M, priority will be given to projects whose expected time to completion is less than 24 months and:

  1. Are likely to promote healthy aging among Singaporeans as evidenced via a rigorous scientific design
  2. Are likely to generate high quality research outputs, including publications in top peer reviewed journals
  3. Provide a clear vision for how the strategy can be scaled up and sustained if shown to be effective
  4. Are likely to better position the PI for future research studies


Who is eligible?


This grant call is limited to Principal Investigators whose primary appointment is in NUS or NUHS. Any researcher in any field, with a primary appointment in one of these institutions is eligible to apply as Principal Investigator (PI). Co-Investigators from other institutions are welcomed. Although research conducted outside Singapore will be considered, priority will be given to those studies that are most likely to improve healthy aging among Singaporeans.
Prospective PIs should send a three page letter of intent to Jane Lim by 13 March, 2014 using the form provided below. Letters of intent will be reviewed by a committee established specifically for the purpose of reviewing these grants. PIs whose research is deemed to be most relevant for this call will be notified within 3 months of submission and asked to submit a full proposal and budget. We expect to announce awards in August, 2014.
To continue to build capacity and encourage multi-disciplinary research, any PI who receives funding via this call will be expected to attend quarterly research forums and/or send a designated Co-Investigator. These forums will be used to discuss ongoing research efforts and to trouble-shoot any issues that have been identified.
Questions about this grant call should be e-mailed to Eric Finkelstein, Research Director of the NUS Initiative to Improve Health in Asia (NIHA), who is overseeing this grant call.