The Heritage Research Grant (HRG) aims to encourage heritage-related research projects for the documentation and preservation of Singapore’s heritage.
The HRG funds research projects on Singapore’s tangible and intangible heritage as well as the relationship between heritage and identity in Singapore.
There are five research topics for the 01/FY2020 HRG Grant Call:
- Singapore Pre-History and History: This topic invites proposals for research on Singapore 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)
- 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
- 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, sporting sites, 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.)
- 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)
- Historical attachment of ethnic communities to certain geographical locations and a sense of community
- Cultural production and practices of ethnic communities (i.e. food, traditional arts and crafts, significance of key communal events)
Comparative Studies of Singapore and Southeast Asia: Singapore and Southeast Asia
This topic invites research proposals that explores Singapore history and heritage within the broader Southeast Asian context. Some examples include:
- Singapore’s pre-modern role as an Asian port city of the maritime trade routes and the thalassocracies of Srivijaya and Majapahit
- The colonial built heritage of Singapore and Malaysia
- Singapore’s intangible cultural heritage connections to post-1945 Southeast Asia
The HRG aims to encourage high quality, rigorous research including applied research to solve practical problems in heritage conservation, policy making or museum management.
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 1-year projects, the maximum quantum is S$75,000.
The HRG is open to academics and researchers from or endorsed by:
- Local institutes of higher learning (IHLs), think tanks / research institutions; and
- Non-profit organisations (NPOs) registered with:
- The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as a company limited by guarantee;
- The Registry of Societies (ROS) as a registered society; or
- The Commissioner of Charities (COC) as a charitable trust
Applicants should have a strong track record in academic research and demonstrate a keen interest in Singapore’s heritage.