Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF)

Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education, announced this new initiative in his closing address at the Singaporean Researchers Global Summit on 21 September 2021.


SSRC GRF is an engagement tool targeting overseas Singaporeans at an early stage in their careers.

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) is a national scheme that aims to facilitate the engagement of outstanding early- career Singaporean social science and humanities researchers who have been accepted for their doctoral or postdoctoral training at leading overseas research or academic institutions.

The SSRC GRF aims to forge strong professional networks with promising early-career Singaporean social science and humanities researchers. This broadened network of Singaporean researchers based both locally and abroad facilitates a rich exchange of ideas between local and international scholars that strengthens Singapore’s research capabilities.

The SSRC GRF also aims to assist in the development of promising overseas- based early-career researchers with the provision of a small research grant and an opportunity to be mentored by an experienced researcher in the local Autonomous Universities (AUs). This will broaden the potential pipeline of Singaporean researchers who may eventually take up appointments within the local research ecosystem.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Singapore citizens;
  • Outstanding undergraduate academic record (at least a bachelor’s degree with second upper honours or equivalent);
  • Applied or accepted for doctoral or postdoctoral training (or equivalent*) at a leading overseas academic or research institution;
  • Applicants should not be recipients of other scholarships from the Singapore Government.

(*Applicants must provide supporting documents to show that their home university does not offer postdoctoral fellow positions, and their current position could be considered equivalent to that of a postdoctoral fellow.)

Terms of the SSRC GRF

 The terms of the SSRC GRF are as follows:

  • Tenable for a period of two years;
  • Tenable for research in any social science and humanities discipline, although research on local issues of relevance is encouraged;
  • Two categories of award:
    • (A) Up to SGD 10,000 per award for doctoral students and
    • (B) SGD 20,000 per award for postdoctoral fellows.

The award may be used for travel or other research-related expenses;

  • (Specific to NTU) Applicants are required to contact and confirm a NTU mentor prior to submission of the application. The mentor should be an experienced faculty based on the applicant’s proposed area of research, who can provide access to valuable academic and career guidance.
  • Awardees will be required to return to Singapore at least once during the tenure of award to participate in engagement activities within the AU and with SSRC members; and
  • Awardees must comply with reporting requirements stipulated by the host AU.

The SSRC GRF is bond-free, and host AUs are not obliged to hire GRF awardees as faculty members beyond the GRF tenure.

Prospective SSRC GRF awardees may only accept one GRF offer from one host AU at any point in time.

SSRC GRF recipients may reapply for a second award after the term of their first award has been completed. However, an individual will be limited to a maximum of 2 awards in total throughout their career (regardless of category). All applications for the GRF award will compete on an equal basis.

SSRC GRF recipients will inform MOE through the host AU once they receive other scholarships from the Singapore Government post-award, and the awards will be closed with effect from scholarship start date.

SSRC GRF applicants in the last year of their PhD programme may be offered conditional awards should they have an offer for a suitable postdoctoral position which they would assume upon graduation. Holders of conditional awards will inform MOE and the AU should there be any changes to the pre-agreed postdoctoral training plans, for review. 

SSRC GRF applicants who have yet to secure a PhD programme or postdoctoral position may be offered in-principle awards by the AUs. The fellowship will only be confirmed when applicants have secured a place in the pre-agreed PhD programme or postdoctoral position. Applicants should update the AUs on their application status and provide supporting documentation by the acceptance deadline.



SSRC GRF 2024 Call For Applications

Grant Call Timeline

8 July 2024:Call for SSRC GRF applications opens
6 September 2024:Call for SSRC GRF applications closes
End-February 2025:Conveyance of outcome of SSRC GRF call
April 2025 to March 2027Tenure of the 2024 SSRC GRF award


Interested applicants are to read through the documents attached, complete the application form, including all supporting documents, and send their applications via NTU Workday by 6 September 2024, 2359hr, Singapore Time (GMT+8).

Attached are the respective documents for the application:

  1.  Information Sheet
  2.  Application Form
  3.  Non-fundable Items


Contact Details

For information about the call, please email [email protected]