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2010 BMRC Translational Clinical Research  (TCR) Partnership Grant Call in Eye Diseases

Launch date: 19th July 2010
Closing date: 17th September 2010, 5pm


The Singapore Biomedical Sciences (BMS) initiative was launched in 2000 to develop the Biomedical Sciences cluster as one of the key pillars of Singapore's economy, alongside Electronics, Engineering and Chemicals. The second phase of the BMS initiative focuses on strengthening capabilities in translational and clinical research (TCR) and integrating these with basic research capabilities to translate fundamental research discoveries towards health and economic benefits.

As part of A*STAR’s TCR strategy to leverage and integrate the existing peaks of excellence in basic science and translational clinical research, the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) is launching a new competitive funding mechanism – the BMRC TCR Partnership (TCRP).

The aim of this programme is to support research partnerships between BMRC and the clinical community to translate basic and clinical research findings to use in the clinic in specific disease-oriented areas. We are looking to fund cutting-edge research in investigational medicine and early phase clinical trials that will lead to the development of novel therapies, interventions, diagnostics and research tools which can be used for these purposes; especially in projects which are attractive to industry or have as outcomes, future potential for attracting downstream funding, whether from public or private sources.


The pilot 2010 BMRC TCR Partnership will fund research teams of 3 to 5 co- Principal Investigators (co-PIs) working in the area of  Eye Diseases to allow multi-disciplinary teams to tackle more complex clinical problems that would eventually lead to the development of commercial applications across a wide spectrum of industry sectors such as drugs, biomaterials and medical equipment etc. Priority for funding will be given to those applications which have direct translational endpoints with the potential for commercial endpoints and impact on healthcare. Partnerships with industry collaborator(s)1 are strongly encouraged and will be considered more favorably.

A project can begin at any start point, from the point of fundamental discovery to points along the developmental path. End points, if attainable, must be able to attract further funding to meet its original aim to translate research findings to use in the clinic.

BMRC TCRP applicants will need to show their understanding of evidence required to bring a novel idea to clinical use and define these clearly as milestones, outcomes and future value.

Examples of projects that will be favorably considered include:

  • Validating associations between basic biology discoveries and preventive, diagnostic or disease processes.
  • Developing candidate therapies from the drug discovery to first-in-man stage.
  • Developing diagnostics/medical devices candidates from prototype to first-in-man stage

1Industry collaborators will not be eligible to receive any public funding for their participation in the project but must contribute to the proposal.


BMRC has set aside a budget of $20M for the pilot TCRP in eye diseases. Depending on the complexity of the research project, it is envisaged that each project will seek funding in the range of $3 to 5M over a 3 year period. Extension on the period of grant funding will strictly not be allowed.


Each proposal must involve a demonstrable collaboration between 3 to 5 co-Principal Investigators; at least, one of whom is a basic scientist from BMRC and one a clinician from a non-A*STAR public sector entity. All must be independent investigators with strong track records of peer reviewed research publications and grant support. A lead PI should be nominated amongst the co-PIs to coordinate the collaboration and make presentations and submissions of progress and final reports of the research project.

Please refer to Co-PI Eligibility Criteria for more details.

Researchers from SERC can participate as Co-PIs or collaborators.

Researchers from overseas institutions and private biotechnology companies can participate as collaborators2. However, the terms of collaboration with overseas research institutions and private biotechnology companies must conform to both Councils’ prevailing IP policies.

2All collaborators are not entitled to receive (directly or indirectly) any portion of the grant.

Grant Process

Proposals will be put through a rigorous 2-step review process. They will first be evaluated individually by international reviewers, followed by a collective review by a local panel of clinicians, basic scientists and industry players appointed by BMRC.

The grant support is for a 3 year period and the proposal must describe the specific milestones that will be met in each of the 3 years as well as the expected outcomes at the completion of the project. Extension on the period of grant funding will strictly not be allowed.

Successful applications will be closely monitored by a Scientific Review Panel on their progress on yearly basis following the award of the grant.

The research teams will be asked to present updates to the Scientific Review Panel at the end of each funding year. Continued funding will be dependent on the ability of the research team to achieve the yearly milestones. Poor or no progress of these milestones will result in funding being reduced or terminated.


The BMRC TCR Partnership Grant Call 2010 will be launched on the 19th July 2010 and will close on the 17th September 2010 , 5pm.

Applicants are required to submit both a soft (Word format) and hard copy of the grant proposal3. An original application (hard copy) endorsed by the Host Institution must be submitted to BMRC, A*STAR through the Host Institution’s research office.

Applicants can refer to the Details for Grant Call Applications for further grant submission information.

The Grant Application Form can be downloaded here.

Please refer to Frequently Asked Questions for further grant call information.

3Please ensure that both soft and hard copies of grant proposal are aligned. The soft copy will be considered the finalized version for reviewing while the hard copy will be checked for signatories.

Additional queries on the BMRC TCRP can be directed to:

Dr Lee Meng Har
Deputy Director, BMRC

Applications can be addressed to :

Biomedical Research Council
20 Biopolis Way, Centros, #08-01
Singapore 138668
Tel: 68266111 Fax: 64789580


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