Below are brief descriptions of the various research grants scheme, funds, and research opportunity as the resources to support researchers at School of Computer Sciences, USM under RMK9 or 9th Malaysian Plan. The grants are subject to its availability.
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) provides the ScienceFund that supports R&D projects which can generate new knowledge in strategic basic and applied sciences, and develop new products or processes necessary for further development and commercialisation in specific research clusters (RC). It also aims in generating more research capabilities and expertise within the country. The outcome of research under ScienceFund which has commercial potential can be considered for additional funding under the TechnoFund.
The research activities are focused towards meeting the industrial needs in new and emerging fields of science, engineering and technology in the context of national interest. Under ScienceFund, the 4 clusters identified are: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Biotechnology, Industry, and Sea to Space.
For the first cycle of eScienceFund released in December 2006, School of Computer Sciences, USM managed to secure 18 grants amounting almost RM2.9 Million.
2) Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS)
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has come to an understanding that fundamental research is important. In order to enhance a fundamental research, MOE has received funding for RM30 million to be distributed among institutions of higher learning. As a start, USM has been allocated RM3 million for this purpose. The USM Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) is a competitive grant open to all academics interested in carrying out fundamental research.
Fundamental research is research leading to the advancement of knowledge in the areas of human and natural sciences. The research will focus on:
- accumulation of theories;
- fundamental structures; and
- fundamental processes with the goal of understanding them
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has come to an understanding that fundamental research is important. In order to enhance fundamental research, MOE has received funding for RM30 million to be distributed among institutions of higher learning. As a start, USM has been allocated RM3 million for this purpose. The USM Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) is a competitive grant open to all academics interested in carrying out fundamental research.
Fundamental research is research leading to the advancement of knowledge in the areas of human and natural sciences. The research will focus on appropriateness, effectiveness, and efficiency. These criteria are similar to short-term's criteria, so the difference is only on the focus of research.
3) Graduate Research Fund
This fund is reserved specially for graduate students. The grant is sponsored by IPS, with the intention to support graduate student's research work. A typical usage of this grant is (typical for other disciplines) for purchasing materials/equipments that are essential for the student's research work. Each fund is worth of RM10K (or could be more depending on the areas of research). Supervisors should encourage research students to apply for this grant to partially support their research.
4) USM Short-Term & Incentive Grants
The aim of USM Short-term grant is to encourage staff (including the science officers) who supervises many research students to carry out research work in their respective area for a period of not more than 2 years. Incentive grant is reserved for the new staffs in order for them to start off their research work with a minimal sum of seed money. Both grants are part of USM in-house initiatives to encourage her staff to engage in research work.
These grants are appropriate for the formulation of concepts up to the level of deliverable in the form of prototype. Type of research varies from the creation of new knowledge, process, products or tools to the more focus areas that strengthen USM core R&D activity such as in biotechnology, advance material, health, etc.
Incentive grant on the other hand is more of a token or a seed money for the newly appointed staff to pursue further on work they have done in their doctoral study. With such a limited fund, a staff pursuing on this grant is hoped to produce paper-works either in the form of research's articles (publishable in conferences/journals) or in a form of a more concrete research proposals suitable for submitting to short-term/IRPA type of grants.
There are four (4) main issues that will be assessed for the short-term grant:
- Appropriateness: Timeliness, relevance and potential of the research, as a foresight programmes
- Effectiveness: well defined and measurable targets, specific & clear objectives and methodology, provide high impact.
- Efficiency: Effective utilization of inputs to accomplished the desired outputs
- Economics: The proposed research project must be cost effective, this is crucial since a huge bulk of the funds will go to the remunerations of the contract staffs. The rest of the costs has to be bear by the applicant.
5) Multimedia Grant Scheme (MGS)
MGS is meant for MSC's status company to engage in research and development of products that will results in commercialization. Therefore, the initiator is usually a company but that does not refrain USM from initiating the project and thus seeking the grant. In normal case, a company will approach USM to seek help in the research part of the project, in most of the situation we are selling our research expertise. Anyway, in case a company is seeking a partnership aka collaboration, below are some relevant info.
For further info on the availability of the grant, contact the following address :
Multimedia Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (389346-D),
MGS Unit, MSC Headquarters,
2360 Persiaran APEC, 63000 Cyberjaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan,
Tel: (603) 8315 3000, Fax: (603) 8318 8786
6) Malaysia Toray Science Foundation (MTSF) Awards and Research Grants
The Malaysia Toray Science Foundation (MTSF) Awards and Research Grants are awarded by the Malaysia Toray Science Foundation, a privately-funded charitable organization established in 1993 through an initial endowment of RM4 million with the primary objective of advancing science and technology in Malaysia. These grants are awarded yearly. Malaysian scientists, researchers, educators and teachers residing in Malaysia are eligible to apply for the following prestigious prizes and grants:
Category A - Science & Technology Award
The number of prizes available is two and the amount given is RM30,000 each. This award is given to outstanding Malaysian scientists/researchers.
Category B - Science & Technology Research Grant
Five to ten grants of up to RM60,000 each are available for Malaysian Researchers below the age of 40.
Category C - Science Education Award
This award comprises of the following:
- 5 winning prizes of RM6,000 to RM10,000 each
- 5 runner-up prizes of RM4,000 each, and consolation prizes of RM2,000 each are awarded to Malaysian Teachers of Secondary Schools and Pre-University Colleges.
Applications are to be made to the Malaysia Toray Science Foundation, details of which are available through its website: www.mtsf.org.
7) The Felda Foundation Research Grant
The Felda Foundation research grant is a research grant offered yearly and is opened to the academic staff of the University for research in any field. However, priority will be given to research that will result in new or significant findings and outcome which will benefit the population, industry and the nation. The research may not necessarily involve activities that are conducted by the Felda Group and special consideration will not be given for such research.
The research must be a new project which has not been carried out before by any other Institute of Higher Learning or other organizations in Malaysia, for example MARDI, PORIM, and the private sectors. There is no specific closing date for applications. All applications are to be made by filling in the relevant form in quadruplicate and forwarded at any time for the consideration of the Felda Foundation. Applications must be made through the Head of Department/Dean of Faculty and Director of the Institute of Research Management and Consultancy.