Guide to National Arts Council Research and Development Grant Scheme 


1               As outlined in the Renaissance City Report (RCP), a key strategy for developing a strong arts and cultural base is research and documentation. $500,000 per year has thus been allocated to the National Arts Council (NAC) to fund arts research projects. The objectives of this funding scheme are:


               to support well-defined research projects on Singaporeís arts and artists which are critical to Singaporeís cultural development, that will lead to significant advances in creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding and are of interest and value both to the research community and to the wider public in Singapore


               to improve the breadth and depth of our knowledge of the arts in Singapore both past and present


               to disseminate the research outcomes both to the arts and research community and to as broad a public as possible.


2               The NAC has therefore set up an Arts Research & Development (R&D) Panel of prominent academics and artists (please refer to Annex A) to:


 advise on, identify and prioritise the R&D needs in Singapore

         assist the Council in assessing the R&D proposals received

        assist the Council in identifying suitable candidates for carrying out research or      documentation projects

         advise the Council on strategies to encourage arts and cultural research

          promote dialogue and exchange on arts and cultural issues

          support documentation of arts development.



3        The Panel and NAC support three broad categories of research:

a)            Academic-oriented research, including documentation

b )           Market-oriented, including audience surveys

c )           Practice-oriented research

How the Scheme Operates


Who can apply?


4        The Research Funding Scheme is open to those whose projects fulfil the schemeís objectives. 


5        To apply, you should be an individual or group who has demonstrable ability to carry out or direct research, through to its completion.



 How does the Panel define research?


6        NACís definition of research is primarily concerned with the definition of research processes, rather than outcomes. This definition is built around three key features and your application must fully address all of these in order to be considered eligible for support:


          it must define a series of research questions that will be addressed or problems that will be explored in the course of the research. It must also define its objectives in terms of answering those questions, or reporting on the results of the investigation

          it must specify a research context for the questions to be addressed or problems to be explored. You must specify why it is important that these particular questions should be answered or problems explored; what other research is being or has been conducted in this area; and what particular contribution this particular project will make to the advancement of creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in this area

          it must specify the research methods for addressing and answering the research questions. You must state how, in the course of the research project, you are going to set about answering the questions that have been set, or exploring the matters to be explored. You should also explain the rationale for your chosen research methods and why you think they provide the most appropriate means by which to answer the research questions.


7        This definition of research provides a distinction between research and practice. Creative output can be produced, or practice undertaken, as an integral part of a research process as defined above; but equally, creativity or practice may involve no such process at all, in which case they would be ineligible for funding from NAC.


8        The research outcomes should be recorded in a form that is intelligible and accessible to as wide a public as possible. 


How much can I apply for?


9        The R&D Funding Scheme is designed to support both small and large-scale projects of various lengths and costs. You can apply for awards up to a sum of $100,000.  The maximum length of an award is 3 years.


When can I apply?


10    There will be two funding rounds with closing dates set at 30 May and 30 November of each year. Awards will be announced in August and March and your work on the project should normally start within three months of the award being announced. Payment of award will be within four weeks after you have been notified.


11    R&D Funds cannot be awarded for work that has already been completed.


Can I submit more than one application to the same scheme?


12    You should not normally submit more than one application in any one round. If you choose to do so, you should demonstrate the scope and extent of your involvement in each of the projects.


Can I apply to other funding bodies for the same project?


13    You will need to provide information about any funding for the same work, or related work, that you are receiving or for which you have applied. You must keep NAC informed of the progress with any such applications. Please note that projects already receiving funding from other NAC departments (e.g International Relations, Singapore Festival of the Arts, Arts Education Programmes) will  not be funded.


How do I apply?


14    You should complete the prescribed Arts Research & Development Funding Scheme Application Form available from NACís office or from the NAC website


15    You must ensure that the original signed copy of your application reaches NACís office by 5pm on the closing date. Applications received after that deadline will not be accepted. Please note that we do not accept e-mailed or faxed applications, including those which are submitted pending the arrival of the completed application form, and we will dispose of them immediately. Please note also that incomplete application forms will not be accepted and will be returned to you.


How will my application be assessed?


16    In assessing all applications, the following factors will be considered:

  1. research priorities of the Singapore art scene
  2. impact and contribution of research findings to the Singapore art scene
  3. demonstration of good planning, sound budgeting and effective use of resources


What kind of research project will not qualify for funding?


17    Research projects that do not have a clearly-defined arts component, including those that are primarily aimed at promoting religious or social causes other than the arts


18    Any activity that runs contrary to the laws of Singapore and national interest.


How will I know whether or not my application has been successful?


19    If you are successful, you will receive a letter stating that you have been awarded funds from the Arts R&D Funding Scheme, and informing you of the overall cash limit for the duration of the award.


20    The acceptance form must be signed by you or by someone with the appropriate authority to commit your institution to the terms and conditions of the award.  Once the form has been returned and the award thereby formally accepted, we will arrange payment to you electronically.


21    If you are unsuccessful, you will be notified in writing as well.


Terms & Conditions for Successful Applicants


22    The applicant is required to submit a half-yearly programme report for awards of more than one-yearís duration, and a detailed report within 2 months from the end of the research project. Failure to submit an end-of-award report will seriously jeopardise future applications to the scheme.


23    NAC should be informed of any changes to the proposed research project


24    The Councilís support should be acknowledged on all published materials


25    The Council reserves the right to review, withdraw or suspend funds in full or in part if any of the instructions are not complied with, or if it identifies serious shortcomings in the projectís progress or management.


26    The Council reserves the right not to disclose reasons for approving or disapproving an application. Late, illegible and incomplete applications will be returned.


Enquiries on the scheme  should be addressed to:


National Arts Council

Special Projects Division

Arts Research & Development Secretariat

140 Hill Street

#03-01 MITA Building

Singapore 179369

Tel : 6746 4622


Annex A


Arts Research & Development Panel Members Ė November 2001 to November 2003


Name Designation

Professor Bernard Tan


Dean of Students, Office of Student Affairs

National University of Singapore

Professor Eddie Kuo

(Deputy Chairman)

Dean, School of Communication Studies,

Nanyang Technological University

Mr Chua Ek Kay

Visual Artist & NAC Council Member

Mr Jamaludin Jalil

Assistant Ballet Master, Singapore Dance Theatre

D K K Seet

Senior Lecturer, Dept of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore

A P Kirpal Singh

Associate Professor, Singapore Management University

A P Lily Kong

Dean, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences,

National University of Singapore

A P Saranindranath Tagore

Associate Professor, Dept of Philosophy,

National University of Singapore

Mr Kenneth Tan

Chairman, Singapore Film Society

A P Kelly Tang

Associate Professor, Visual and Performing Arts, National Institute of Education

Professor Yu Chun Yee

Vice-Principal (Academic),

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts