Heritage Research Grant

The Heritage Research Grant (HRG) aims to encourage institutes of higher learning (IHLs), think tanks, heritage NGOs, academics and researchers to embark on heritage-related research projects for the documentation and preservation of Singapore’s heritage.

The 02/FY2019 HRG Grant Call is open for application between 26 August and 7 October 2019.


What does the Grant support?


The HRG funds research projects on Singapore’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage as well as the relationship between heritage and identity in Singapore.

There are four research topics for the 02/FY2019 HRG Grant Call. Please refer to the table below for more information on the research topics.




Singapore Pre-History and History

This topic invites proposals for research on Singapore Pre-History and History. Interested researchers should propose specific case studies that could include:


  • Pre-historic Singapore (e.g. pre-historic archaeological materials in Singapore)
  • Pre-colonial Singapore (e.g. impact of trade flows, religion, Western expansion in Southeast Asia, historical context behind Stamford Raffles’ 1819 arrival in Singapore)
  • Colonial Singapore (e.g. Inter-ethnic interactions in commercial activities, shipping lines in Singapore, picture postcard producers, Empire Day and other colony-wide celebrations, river settlements in Singapore)
  • World War II (e.g. larger narratives of World War II in Singapore, significance of the Malay Regiment, accounts by wartime survivors and prisoners of war)
  • Post-independence Singapore (e.g. public housing, economic development, industrialisation, labour relations, visual culture, defence, diplomacy, socio-economic microhistories, public histories, roles of social and/or collective memory in the development of Singapore’s nation-building narratives)
  • Singapore Identity and Culture (e.g. foodways, languages, HDB living, cultural diversity, tourism connections, urban studies, social value of museums)
  • General museological studies (e.g. history of museums in Singapore, history of private Singapore art collections, development of the Raffles Library and Museum collections, development of the colonial museum network in Southeast Asia)


Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. Projects may utilise historical, archival and other relevant methodologies to explore the topic of Singapore History.


Intangible Cultural Heritage

This topic invites proposals for research related to the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) of Singapore. Interested researchers should refer to the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Singapore (, that could include:


  • Oral Traditions and Expressions
  • Performing Arts
  • Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
  • Knowledge and Practice concerning nature and the universe
  • Traditional Craftsmanship
  • Food Heritage


Researchers may propose research to demonstrate the value of intangible cultural heritage in Singapore’s context, or explore case studies that could deepen understanding of specific ICH practices in Singapore.


Tangible Heritage

This topic invites proposals for research on historic and heritage buildings, structures and sites. The proposal’s focus should be primarily on Singapore, although research on overseas tangible heritage could be considered if the research is able to link the research outcomes to Singapore.


Some potential case studies include:


  • Cities/Urban studies (e.g. architectural history of Singapore, modern architectural heritage of Singapore)
  • Recreation and entertainment heritage (e.g. history of amusement parks, cinemas and theatres in Singapore)
  • Archaeological sites (e.g. archaeology methodology, archaeology ethics, archaeology mapping, pre-colonial archaeology, colonial archaeology, peoples’ archaeology, archiving and database management etc.)


Researchers are encouraged to adopt a cross-disciplinary approach for their proposed research. For example, researchers could explore the use of technology (e.g. digital data management, GIS Technology, aerial photography, etc) that supports the research objectives and enhances the quality of the research.


Ethnic Heritage

This topic invites research proposals that documents and examines the tangible and/or intangible cultural heritage of specific communities/sub-communities in Singapore. Interested researchers should propose specific case studies that could include:


  • Mixed Communities (e.g. early development of mixed heritage communities in Southeast Asia like the Straits Chinese, Arab/Jawi/Chitty Peranakan communities, influence of intermarriage and the formation of trade alliances, history and development of related ethnic associations and societies)
  • Impact of ethnic heritage on policy studies, communications, sociology, psychology, geography, political science, etc.



Please note that the above list is not exhaustive. Projects may utilise historical, archival and other relevant methodologies to explore the topic of Ethnic Heritage, or explore other case studies that could deepen understanding of ethnic heritage in Singapore.


The HRG encourages applicants to take an inter-cultural and cross-disciplinary approach for their proposed research topic. For example, a research project that focuses on intangible cultural heritage and its links to tangible heritage buildings and spaces would be encouraged.


Who is this Grant for?


The HRG is open to researchers from or endorsed by local institutes of higher learning (IHLs), research institutions, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Applicants should have a strong track record in academic research and demonstrate a keen interest in Singapore’s heritage.

The HRG funding quantum is capped at $150,000 per research project, and the grant supports research costs including manpower costs, costs associated with conducting fieldwork, as well as any indirect/ancillary research costs charged by the applicant’s institution.

For more information, please refer to Heritage Research Grant Application Guidelines.

Applicants may also wish to consult the list of successful Heritage Research Grant Projects in FY15-18.



How and when to apply?


HRG Grant Call 02/FY2019 is now open. All applications should be aligned to the proposed research themes for each grant call. The research themes for this grant call are as attached here.

To apply, please download the Heritage Research Grant Application Form.

The schedule for this round of grant call is as follows:

Start of

Grant Call

Closing Date

for Application


of Results

Projects Starting


26 August 2019

7 October 2019

End November/Early December 2019

December 2019/January 2020


Please note that all applications must be received by NHB no later than 7 October 2019 (Monday).

Please send your application to, indicating your name and institution/organisation in the subject line of the e-mail.

You may also mail your application with supporting materials/documents in one (1) package to:

Heritage Research Grant Secretariat
Heritage Research and Assessment Division
National Heritage Board
61 Stamford Road (Stamford Court), #03-08
Singapore 178892

Alternatively, you may drop them off at the National Heritage Board from Monday to Friday, between 9am – 12 noon and between 2 – 5pm.

Who may I speak to for assistance?


If you have any queries or wish to discuss your application, you are welcome to contact the HRG Secretariat through email at or call Mr. Sim Tng Kwang at 6332 7955.