Social Science Research Thematic Grant

Social Science Research Thematic Grant


The Social Science Research Thematic Grant (SSRTG) is the first major initiative by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) aimed at boosting research in areas of strategic relevance to Singapore and Asia.

Launched in May 2016, SSRTG is also the first major grant dedicated to supporting social science and humanities research in Singapore. For a start, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has set aside S$50m for the SSRTG from 2016 to 2020.

Three tiers of funding are available:

Type A: S$100,000 to S$1m for up to 3 years

For smaller-scale investigator-led research in areas of strategic relevance to encourage broader-based research participation in areas of thematic interest

Type B: >S$1m to S$5m over 3 – 5 years


Type C: >S$5m to S$10m over 3 – 5 years

For larger-scale research where research performers are encouraged to collaborate to pursue more ambitious inter-disciplinary research on issues of cross-cutting interests


Principal Investigators (PI) and co-PIs must hold a primary full-time appointment (defined as a minimum commitment of nine months per year) in the eligible Host Institution, at time of application. 

Eligible Host institutions are:

National University of Singapore

Nanyang Technological University

Singapore Institute of Technology

Singapore Management University

Singapore University of Social Sciences

Singapore University of Technology and Design

ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute


Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)


Singapore-Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Centre


Prospective applicants may contact the Office of Research (or equivalent) in their respective Host Institutions for more information on the application process.

The SSRTG allows for joint submissions from eligible Host Institutions, subject to the eligibility of the applicants. Host Institutions that are eligible to apply for and receive the SSRTG may work in partnership or collaboration with any other organisations locally or overseas, subject to the conditions of the SSRTG.

Unless expressly allowed by MOE, the funds or any part thereof shall not be channelled to fund research and development activities overseas. Expenditure on overseas fieldwork must be specifically provided for in the research proposal and approved as part of the grant.


Evaluation Criteria

Submitted proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Relevance: Relevance to the grant call’s thematic focus

Potential Impact: Potential benefits of the research to Singapore

Synergy: Synergies with existing research capabilities in the broader research landscape in Singapore

Capability-building: Potential to boost and catalyse the development of local social science and humanities research capabilities in Singapore

Technical Merit: Scientific and intellectual rigour, potential to create new and important knowledge, appropriateness of the research design and methods, and the effective use of innovative and inter-disciplinary approaches

Quality of Research Team: Capabilities and track record of the proposed research team

Execution: Coherence in the proposed execution plans, feasibility of carrying out the research within the given timeframe, and the cost-effectiveness and value-for-money of the research


Results of the 2022 SSRTG Call will be announced in March 2023.


The 2023 grant call will open in May 2023.