Human Potential - Prenatal / Early Childhood Grant Call 2021


Human capital is Singapore's most valuable resource. With persistently low birth rates, an ageing population and a declining workforce, a national priority for Singapore to optimise each individual's potential from young and throughout life. 

There are many opportunities to optimise Human Potential throughout the entire life course, but interventions' nature and relative impact are likely to differ at various stages. There are three (3) strategic focus areas in which the HP programme is centered around:

1. Prenatal and early childhood focusing on improving child's physical, cognitive and socio-emotional development and maternal health and well-being to optimise developmental outcomes and set the right trajectory for an individual's life course.

2. Function and performance during peri-pubertal, adolescence and adulthood with a focus on Science of Learning (SoL) to improve learning outcomes and upskilling of workers; and

3. Healthy and meaningful longevity detects and prevents or delays physical and cognitive decline and transforms the ageing experience.

This grant call concerns ‘Prenatal and early childhood’, within the life course from preconception, pregnancy to early childhood (-1 to 6-year-old). A large body of evidence has demonstrated that early life development is critical in realising an individual's full developmental potential. The early years are crucial for rapid brain development with the greatest plasticity and capacity for change and physical, socio-emotional, cognitive and motor development. Interventions at this critical window of early life can most successfully safeguard and optimise life course trajectories compared with interventions in adulthood.


Child health, learning and well-being

1. Physical Health
2. Cognitive & Intellectual Development
3. Socio-Emotional Development and Mental Wellness

Maternal health and well-being

1. Metabolic Health
2. Mental Wellness


Funding Quantum is up to $1 million for Investigator Research Projects and up to $5 million for Collaborative Proof-of-Concept (POC) / Pilot studies (inclusive of 30% indirect cost) over a three (3)- year period.


Research proposals should have clear vision towards and potential for translational impact to address important gaps in national policy and practice in health, education and social services. Grant call will prioritize applications in areas that provide evidence for innovation in policy/practice/service in early childhood development and maternal outcomes. 

Applicants are encouraged where possible to leverage existing HBMS, Social Science and SoL research capabilities in the proposals to strengthen utility and impact. Applicants are also encouraged to partner relevant public or private sectors to facilitate downstream translation or deployment (if applicable).


1.   Grant proposals should only be submitted by One Lead Principal Investigator (PI).

2.  The Lead PI must have

  • a minimum of 0.7 FTE primary appointment in a Singapore publicly funded research or tertiary institution and be salaried by the institution;
  • a laboratory or research programme that carries out research in Singapore.
3.  Collaboration with foreign organisations and experts in the capability of a Co-investigator or a Collaborator is allowed, but no funding will be allocated to the foreign Co-investigator/Collaborator operating out of Singapore.



Grant Call Launch 11 Oct 2021
For All Applicants & Interested Parties:
Letter of Intent (LOI) 
Submission Deadline8 Nov 2021
Review and ShortlistingNov 2021
Notification of Shortlisting Outcome to all Applicants29 Nov 2021
For Shortlisted Applicants Only:
Full Proposal
Submission Deadline27 Dec 2021
Review and Shortlisting
 27 Dec 2021 - 11 Feb 2022
Funding DecisionEnd Feb 2022
Letter of Award
1 Apr 2022


Call for proposals has a two-stage process. Lead PI must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), and shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal.

All proposal should only be submitted through the Integrated Grant Management System (IGMS) website (

The grant call will open on IGMS on 11 October 2021 and close on 8 November 2021, 0900hrs. Late submissions will not be accepted.


For general enquiries, please refer to “Prenatal / Early Childhood Grant Call Information Sheet - APPENDIX 2 – Frequently Asked Questions”.

If you require further clarification, you may reach us at
Please allow up to three (3) working days for us to provide a response.

For any queries on the use of IGMS or technical issues please contact the IGMS helpdesk at:

Tel No: (65) 6556 8807 or (65) 6556 6971