|ScienceFund; Guidelines for Applicants|
|CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO SCIENCEFUND|
|CHAPTER 2: PROJECT APPLICATION|
|CHAPTER 3: PROJECT EVALUATION|
|CHAPTER 4: DISBURSEMENT OF FUND|
|CHAPTER 5: PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING|
MINISTRY OF SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION,
GUIDELINES FOR APPLICANTS
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation,
Level 3, Block C5, Parcel C,
Federal Government Administrative Centre
Tel: 603 – 8885 8842 / 8852 / 8145 / 8758 / 8778
Fax: 603 – 88892994
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO SCIENCEFUND
1.1 DEFINITION OF SCIENCEFUND
ScienceFund is a grant provided by Government to carry out R&D projects that can contribute to the discovery of new ideas and the advancement of knowledge in applied sciences, focusing on high impact and innovative research.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF SCIENCEFUND
The objectives of ScienceFund are :
i. to support research that can lead to the innovation of products or processes for further development and commercialisation; and/or
ii. to generate new scientific knowledge and strengthen national research capacity and capability.
The outcome of research under ScienceFund which has commercial potential can be considered for additional funding under the TechnoFund.
1.3 RESEARCH PRIORITY AREAS
ScienceFund focuses on the following areas:
i. Life Sciences;
ii. Computer Sciences and Information and Communication Technology (ICT);
iii. Agriculture Sciences/ Agricultural Engineering;
iv. Environmental Sciences;
v. Advanced Materials Science;
vi. Chemical Sciences;
vii. Physical and Mathematical Sciences;
ix. Medical and Health Sciences; and
x. Social Sciences and Humanities.
Project proposals eligible for consideration must fall under research priority areas as in Appendix I: Table 1. Consideration for funding will also be given to identified Flagship Programmes as in Appendix I: Table 2.
1.4 ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
1. This fund is open to all research scientists and engineers who are employed on a permanent or contractual basis from the following organisations:
i. Government Research Institutions (GRIs);
ii. Government Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Agencies; and
iii. Public and Private Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) with accredited research programmes.
- Expatriates working under contract with any of the above institutions are eligible to apply. However, the project must have a permanent Malaysian co-researcher from the same institution, well-versed with the project, to ensure its completion in the event the expatriate’s contract is terminated.
- The service of a contract researcher must be valid during the period of research proposed and contractual documents must be furnished as proof of employment for the period.
2. The following organisations are not eligible for ScienceFund:
i. Private Research Institutions (PRIs) in the private sector;
ii. Other department/agencies that carry out research under their purview; and
iii. Research Institutions (RIs) with internal research funding such as Cess Fund.
Note: These organisations can participate by collaborating with the eligible institutions.
3. Project proposals substantially similar to proposals submitted to any other government funding agencies.
4. Researchers can lead only one (1) project at any time. Researchers have to submit the End of Project Report (EPR), before submitting a new application.
1.5 SELECTION CRITERIA OF THE PROJECT
· Scientific and technical merit: The project must be scientifically sound, technically feasible with achievable milestones, and has the potential for further development and commercialisation.
· Research competence: The research team must have the knowledge and competency to carry out the research successfully to completion.
· Innovativeness of the research.
· High impact research: Clear and measureable expected output, outcome and impact in line with National Key Economic Areas / National Key Result Areas (NKEA/NKRA).
1.6 LOCATION OF RESEARCH
The research project under ScienceFund must be carried out in Malaysia.
1.7 PROJECT DURATION
The project duration is up to 30 months.
Note: Researchers/Institutions are obliged to provide additional and current information from time to time upon written requests by MOSTI.
1.8 RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PROJECT LEADER
The successful implementation of the project is the responsibility of the project leader. Project leaders have to ensure that the projects are carried out effectively to meet the specified objectives and milestones within the specified timeframe and funding allocated.
1.9 SCOPE OF FUNDING
ScienceFund covers preliminary research leading to laboratory proof of concept or towards the development of new products or processes.
The quantum of fund approved will be determined based on the merit of each application.
The funding can be utilised for the following categories:
Wages and Allowances for Temporary and Contract Personnel (V11000)
- Includes wages and allowances for temporary and contract personnel who are directly engaged in the project. Only two (2) temporary or contract personnel will be funded for each project.
- The maximum wages/allowances for temporary or contract personnel are up to RM 2,500 per month/per head inclusive of deductions for SOCSO/EPF. The allocation cannot be used for tuition fees.
Travel and Transportation (V21000)
Includes travel and transportation expenses for domestic and overseas trips directly related to the project.
Overseas trips must meet the following criteria:
- Only oral presentation at conferences or seminars on the findings of the project;
- When domestic facilities and expertise are inadequate to conduct a portion of the research. However, the venue must be suitable in terms of facilities, expertise and technology transfer;
- The project leader or collaborator or team member is only allowed to go once for the duration of the project;
- Travel is limited to economy class using the shortest direct routes by either MAS or Air Asia except under extenuating circumstances;
- The project leader or collaborator needs to send application for approval and a copy of abstract/paper that is going to be presented to MOSTI before attending the conference; and
- The allocation for travelling overseas must be budgeted for in the research proposal and must get prior approval from MOSTI.
- Expenses related to overseas trips will be funded up to a maximum of 15% of the total expenses of the project or RM15,000, whichever is less.
Only rental for building space, equipment, transportation and any other items directly related to the project can be included.
Research Materials and Supplies (V26000)
Only expenses for research materials and supplies directly related to the project can be included.
Note: Please provide detail of cost and quantity of items required. The grant will not support utilities, books, stationeries and subscription to journals etc.
Minor Modifications and Repairs (V28000)
- Only expenses for minor modifications and repairs of laboratory, equipment or any other items directly related to the project can be included.
- The maintenance costs of existing equipment used during the duration of project period can also be included.
- The cost of maintenance of any equipment purchased will not be borne by ScienceFund after the project is completed.
Special Services (V29000)
· Only services directly related to the project such as:
- consultancy – agreement/letter of intent must be submitted together with the project proposal;
- payment for enumerators;
- sample testing and analysis;
- data processing;
- patent registration, excluding–maintenance cost;
- paper publications related to the project; and
- registration fees for conference.
· Engagement of foreign expert(s) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Note: All services under this category must be itemised.
R&D Equipment and Accessories (V35000)
- Justification for purchase of specialised equipment must be given. Project leader will need to provide information on availability of such equipment and why it cannot be used or shared.
- Accessories needed include items tha t are neces sar y to upgrade the capability of existing equipment directly related to the project.
- Purchasing of equipment must be made in the first year. Purchasing of personal computer, laptop, printer, server, scanners are not allowed.
- Researchers are encouraged to share R&D equipment and avoid purchasing of the same R&D equipment within the same Research Institutions.
- Funding for specialised equipment and accessories is up to a maximum of 40% of the total project expenses.
Note: All specialised equipment/software directly related to the project must be itemised. Applicants need to provide justifications, specifications, quotations and estimated costs for such purchases.
1.10 VARIATION IN PROJECT COSTING
Virement can only be done once throughout the project duration. For details, please refer to the V-series guidelines. Requests for virement to purchase new equipment in the last six months of the grant’s duration will not be entertained.
1.11 NON-QUALIFYING PROJECT ACTIVITIES
Scientific and technical information services such as collecting, coding, recording, classifying, disseminating, translating, analysing, evaluating, bibliographic services, scientific and technical information extension advisory services and compilation of data, are excluded from the main activities of the project except when they form an integral part of the project. In such a case, applicants must provide a statement indicating the research objectives to which the data would contribute.
1.12 PROJECT EXTENSION
- Under certain circumstances, MOSTI may allow for extension of project duration without additional funding.
- Requests for project extensions must be made in writing via the institutional coordinator to the ScienceFund Secretariat for approval at least three (3) months before the project completion date. Applications received after the project completion date, will not be considered.
- The maximum extension given is up to 6 months including the submission of the End of Project Report.
1.13 NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS
The results of applications will be notified, through the e-ScienceFund system to applicants within 7 working days after the convening of the Fund Approval Committee Meeting.
1.14 ACCEPTANCE OF OFFER
Applicants must accept or decline the offer through the e-ScienceFund system within 14 days after notification.
1.15 SCIENCEFUND AGREEMENT
The Heads of institutions are required to sign the ScienceFund Agreement within 30 working days upon acceptance of the approved projects, failing which MOSTI has the right to revoke the approval.
1.16 OWNERSHIP AND USE OF R&D EQUIPMENT
All R&D equipment purchased under the grant must be recorded and tagged with the project number for monitoring and verification purposes and it belongs to the Institution.
All R&D equipment purchased under the project must be maintained by the institution on conclusion of project. However, such equipment is not for the sole use of the institution, and must be made available to other research organisations as and when the need arises.
1.17 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
Ownership and management of IPR, royalties and any other form of fees received by the institution resulting from technology transfer, licensing of technology or any other form of commercialisation, shall be governed in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in the ScienceFund Agreement.
Researchers are encouraged to publish the results of their projects in local and renowned international publications only after all measures have been taken to protect IPR generated from these projects. The contribution of MOSTI as the fund provider must be acknowledged at all times in all forms of publications.
1.19 MONTHLY FINANCIAL REPORT
Each institution is required to submit to MOSTI a Monthly Financial Report of all approved projects in digital file (excel format) as shown in Table 1. The purpose of this report is to enable MOSTI to submit an overall monthly financial report to the Ministry of Finance.
Table 1: Summary of Monthly Financial Report
Allocation Received From Previous Year (if any)
Current Year Allocation
Total of Allocation
Temp. & Contract Personnel
T & T
Research Materials & Supplies
Minor Modifications & Repairs
Special Equipments & Accessories
1.20 CHANGE OF PROJECT LEADER
If a project leader resigns, retires or moves to another organisation, the institutional coordinator must immediately seek MOSTI’s approval for a suitable replacement within the same institute. The institutional coordinator must ensure that the new project leader has the necessary expertise and experience to lead the project.
1.21 TRANSFERS OF GRANTS BETWEEN ORGANISATIONS
If the project leader wishes to transfer and bring along his/her project to another organisation, it is allowed on condition that both parties agree to it by signing a written agreement. The receiving organisation must be eligible to be a ScienceFund recipient. The project must be carried out in line with the original scope approved. If either one party does not agree with the arrangement, MOSTI will terminate the project and any unspent funding shall be returned to MOSTI.
Projects can be terminated based on the following:
i. Any false reporting by the project leader;
ii. Any misuse of the grant provided;
iii. Non-performance in terms of progress;
iv. Variation of scope of project without getting prior approval from MOSTI;and
v. No suitable project leader as replacement in the original recipient institute in cases as in 1.20.
Any unspent funding shall be returned to MOSTI.
CHAPTER 2: PROJECT APPLICATION
2.1 APPLICATION PROCESS
Application for ScienceFund must be made online through the website http://ernd.mosti.gov.my/eScience
Please refer to the eScienceFund User Manual for further instruction’s.
2.2 APPLICATION SUBMISSION
Application can be submitted throughout the year.
2.3 APPLICATION FORM
This section of the Guidelines is for filling in the ScienceFund Application Form.
The project number is defined by the research cluster, institution’s category, institution’s name and serial number. It will automatically be generated by the eScienceFund system once the proposal is submitted to the MOSTI. Prior to this submission, the system will allocate a temporary project number. The coding structure is as shown in Figure1.
Figure 1: Coding Structure for Project Number
|Research Cluster||Institution Category||Institution Name||Serial Number|
Note: SF stands for ScienceFund
Example: The project number 01-01-04-SF0001.
01 – refers to the ICT cluster,
01 – refers to Public Institution of Higher Learning
04 – refers to UPM
SF0001 – refers to the project serial number.
For research cluster (RC) codes, please refer to Table 3, and the institution’s category and codes in the Appendix 1.
Table 3: Research Cluster (RC) Codes
|01||Information and Communication Technology (ICT)|
|04||Sea to Space|
The title should be concise, clearly indicating the subject of the research and reflecting the key idea(s) of the project.
This section describes the measurable objectives of the project and defines the expected results.
The research background should cover the following elements:
- The major issues and problems to be addressed by the research.
- Research necessity and importance.
- Variables and parameters of the research.
- Hypothesis or theory, if any.
- Setting the limits or boundaries of the proposed research in order to provide a clear focus.
The literature review should be addressed in this section to meet the requirements below:
- The application must be novel (should not "reinvent the wheel").
- Demonstrates knowledge of the research problem.
- Demonstrates understanding of the theoretical and research issues related to the research question.
- Critically analyses, integrates and synthesises the relevant literature information.
Socio-economic objectives (SEO)
The socio-economic objectives (SEO) represent the purpose or sectoral beneficiaries for which R&D activities are conducted. The SEO classification allows for a systematic analysis of R&D funding at three
different levels under the SEO Divisions. There are 5 SEO Divisions, namely Defence, Economic Development, Society, Environment and Advancement of Knowledge.
The appropriate divisions will determine the SEO Classification that best describes the beneficiary group of the project from the Malaysian Research and Development Classification, 5th Edition or the latest
edition. To classify the research project, please use the following definitions:
- SEO Category
The SEO Category describes the sector of the national economy for which it will be the main beneficiary of the R&D being practised.
- SEO Group
A sub-division under the SEO Category, which groups socioeconomic activities that have common characteristics.
- SEO Area
A sub-division under the SEO Group, which represents a specific area of research.
Fields of Research (FOR)
The fields of research (FOR) represent R&D activities classified according to their scientific and academic disciplines. Please choose the FOR classification which most appropriately describes the scientific
discipline being practised. Please select the FOR from the Malaysian Research and Development Classification, 5th Edition according to the following:
- FOR Category
A sub-division of scientific or academic disciplines.
- FOR Group
A sub-division under the FOR Category.
- FOR Area
A specific discipline within FOR Group which describes a science or a technology area.
- Research Methodology
The research methodology demonstrates how the applicant plans to tackle the research problem. It should have details of the analytical techniques, research design and description of research activities. Specialised equipment, facilities and infrastructure, whether new or existing, required for the project, should also be identified at this stage.
The applicant should compare the methodology with alternative methods and justify why the approach chosen is the most appropriate.
- Project Activities
The applicant should provide the work plan and the list of activities necessary for the project to meet its objectives and , the transfer of research results to customers / beneficiaries. It should also outline the sequence of the proposed activities and identify them in numbered stages, steps or phases.
Research activities including all timelines must be reflected in the Gantt chart.
Milestones must be tangible and quantifiable, marking significant phases of the project or completion of research activities that result in a significant output.
There must be at least 2 milestones per calendar year. The timing of the milestones must be reflected in the Gantt chart.
Note: Literature review and report writing are not part of milestones.
- Risk of the Project
Describe the factors that may cause delays or prevent successful implementation of the project as proposed. Give an estimate on the degree of risk.
Benefits of the Project
- Output Expected
- Method / technique
- Demonstrator / prototype
- New / improved product / device
- New / improved process
- New / improved software
- New / improved material
- New / improved service
- Human Capital Development
The indicators are as follows:
- Post doctorate
- Research staff with new specialisation
- Economic Contribution
The indicators are as follows:
- Sales of manufactured product / device / equipment
- Royalties from licensing
- Revenue from consultancies
- Cost savings
- Time savings
- Infrastructural contribution
The indicators are as follows:
- New equipment
- New / improved facility
- New information networks
The collaboration is in the form of sharing of expertise and research facilities, marketing opportunities and other related research resources. Details on the role of key collaborators should be provided. Such commitment should be substantiated by documentation proof such as memorandum of agreement, letter of consent or any other form of agreement.
For the project team, state all the collaborators involved based on their roles and time allocated. The man-month of each of the project team member will be automatically calculated based on the staff cost estimation worksheet.
- Project Schedule
The project schedule is automatically generated based on the research activities and milestone.
Staff Cost Estimation
The computation of daily rates for individual researchers or research staff is done according to the following formula:
- Emoluments include:
Annual basic salary
EPF contributions by employer
- Annual working days are computed by deducting the total days in the year (365) with the following number of days:
Rest days (Saturday and Sunday)
- The research utilisation factor is calculated as follows:
The research factor ensures that time spent on activities which are not project specific (e.g. training, attendance of conferences, administrative tasks related to research proposals,
recruiting of research staff, etc) is reflected in the daily rate.
In addition to the ScienceFund, the applicants have to indicate and specify which of the following funding sources may provide funding for the project.
- Domestic funding sources:
Other Government Funding Schemes;
v Internal Funding;
v Industry sources;
v Others; please specify
- International funding sources:
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Others; please specify
Summary of Relevant Past Research Project
Applicants should provide a summary of past research, if any, which has relevance to the proposed research.
Contractual obligations under this project
Applicants must furnish (as attachment) documentation of any contractual obligation with third parties.
Ownership of intellectual property rights
Applicants must indicate the organisation(s) that will own the intellectual property rights that may arise from this project.
Ethical Clearance And Compliance To Other Related Regulations
Project Leaders must obtain and furnish (as attachment) a copy of ethical clearance,
or clearance by its Institutional Biosafety Committee and submission of notification or
submission of application for approval to the National Biosafety Board, and other
related regulations by the relevant authorities when necessary.
CHAPTER 3: PROJECT EVALUATION
The project evaluation consists of Institutional Screening, and Technical and Financial Evaluation before it is submitted to Fund Approval Committee.
3.1 INSTITUTIONAL SCREENING
All applications are to be screened by the Institutional Screening Committee to ensure that the applications conform to the ScienceFund requirements.
The Institutional Screening Committee is required to assess various technical aspects of the research proposal using the Institutional Screening Form. It should also ensure the project leader and research
team are technically competent, the project costs are fair, and there is optimal utilisation of available research equipments and infrastructure.
The Institutional Screening Committee must ensure that ethical clearance related to the research project has been obtained from the relevant authority. The Institutional Screening Report should be submitted online via http://ernd.mosti.gov.my/eScience
3.2 TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL COMMITTEE
The Chairman and members of the Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee are appointed by MOSTI. Members of this committee consist of experts from the public and the private sectors.
However, additional experts, including international peer reviewers can be invited as and when necessary, to assist in the evaluation.
All applications will be evaluated by the Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee. The committee will study the proposals based on the merits of the research objectives, appropriateness of research methodology, ability of researchers and the cost effectiveness of the proposal.
3.3 FUND APPROVAL COMMITTEE
Projects evaluated by the Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee are then submitted to the Fund Approval Committee for approval.
The Fund Approval Committee is chaired by the Secretary-General of MOSTI and its members are as in Appendix III.
Any decision made by the Fund Approval Committee is final.
CHAPTER 4: ALLOCATION AND DISBURSEMENT OF FUND
4.1 QUANTUM OF FUNDING
The quantum for each project is up to RM500,000.00.
4.2 INITIAL DISBURSEMENT
The project allocation for the first year allocation will be disbursed to the relevant institutions within one month of the return of the signed ScienceFund Agreement to MOSTI.
4.3 PROGRESS PAYMENT
The subsequent disbursements will be based on the milestone and financial achievements of the project.
4.4 INSTITUTIONAL FINANCIAL PROCEDURE
Researchers must abide by all financial rules and regulations of the institutions especially those pertaining to procurement, disbursement, appointment of research staff and intellectual property rights.
CHAPTER 5: PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
5.1 PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING
- All projects must be conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in the ScienceFund Agreement.
- The project will be closely monitored to ensure that they are carried out successfully. Researchers are required to submit the following reports through the Institutional Coordinator via http://ernd.mosti.gov.my.
- Progress Report (PR) must be submitted before 31 January and 31 July each year. These reports will be used to monitor the progress of the project as well as determine the timing of the fund disbursements. This will take into account milestones achieved as well as 50% expenditure of the amount already disbursed. It is the project leader’s responsibility to ensure that the correct and updated information related to the milestone achievement and expenditure are reported. Failure to submit the Progress Report is a serious omission that will result in the withholding of further fund disbursement or possible termination of project. The report can also be used to apply for changes in timeline for milestone achievement and project schedule.
- End of Project Report (EPR) should be submitted within three (3) months after project completion. All publications must acknowledge MOSTI’s contribution as a fund provider. The End of Project Report requires the following information:
- Direct outputs of the project;
- Extent of achievement of the original project objectives;
- Technology transfer and commercialisation approach;
- Benefits of the project, particularly project outputs and organisational outcomes;
- Assessment of the project team, research approach, project schedule and project costs; and
- Sectoral/national impacts of the project.
- Technical Report of the project
Note: The outcome of research under ScienceFund that has commercial potential can be considered for additional funding under the Pre-Commercialisation funding category.
The reports will be reviewed by the panels at MOSTI through the:
· Progress Assessment Report (PAR)
· Outcome Assessment Report (OAR)
MOSTI reserves the right to call for periodic information on progress or to conduct site visits even after the project has been completed.
5.2 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
Researchers shall disclose to the Government (MOSTI) in writing, of the existence of the Project Intellectual Property not later than 60 days from the Project Completion Date.
Incentive for Project Intellectual Property
The applicant may apply for the following incentives:
· Incentive for disclosure of the Project Intellectual Property:
· Incentive for filing of patent of the Project Intellectual Property:
· Incentive for granting of patent Project Intellectual Property:
Payment of this incentive shall be on a one off basis.
The institution shall pay:
· the incentive for disclosure of the Project Intellectual Property upon disclosure of the Project Intellectual Property;
· the incentive for filing of patent of the Project Intellectual Property upon receipt of the proof of patent filing of the Project Intellectual Property; and
· the incentive for granting of patent Project Intellectual Property upon receipt of the proof of patent granted of the Project Intellectual Property.
5.3 EXPENDITURE STATEMENTS AND UNEXPENDED GRANT
MOSTI reserves the right to require the Institution to complete and submit a statement of expenditure at any time during the course of a grant, or to provide supplementary information in support of an interim or final expenditure statement.
The Institution shall return the unexpended grant to MOSTI within three (3) months after the completion of the project.