NUS launches Resilience and Growth Challenge to help graduates shape a better post-pandemic world


The NUS R&G Innovation Challenge is inviting projects under the themes of: (from left) Make Our People Better; Make Our Society Better; and Make the World Better


NUS is inviting up to 115 innovative projects initiated by recent graduates, to sketch out how a post-pandemic world could look like.

The ideas uncovered by the NUS Resilience & Growth (R&G) Innovation Challenge will show the way forward and help shape a better future for humankind, even as the world grapples with the COVID-19 crisis. NUS is setting aside $6 million to support these ideas and proposals.

Graduates will receive a monthly stipend for the project duration. They can form groups to submit proposals under three themes: Make Our People Better; Make Our Society Better; and Make the World Better.


Make Our People Better

Projects in this category aim to improve the quality of life for our people. This includes improving home-based learning for students and adults, strengthening mental well-being, and developing ways to maximise human potential.

Evaluation Panel

  • Co-Chair: Ms Melissa Kwee, CEO, National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre 
  • Co-Chair: Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean, NUS Faculty of Law

Make Our Society Better

Projects in this category aim to make our society more cohesive and purposeful. This includes fostering togetherness, reducing inequality, improving happiness and giving society greater meaning and purpose.

Evaluation Panel

  • Co-Chair: Ms Tan Li San, CEO Designate, National Council of Social Service 
  • Co-Chair: Professor Robbie Goh, Dean, NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Make the World Better

Projects in this category aim to make the world better by mitigating climate change, enhancing food security, and ensuring post-COVID-19 safety.

Evaluation Panel

  • Co-Chair: Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rector, Tembusu College at NUS 
  • Co-Chair: Professor Phoon Kok Kwang, NUS Senior Vice Provost (Academic Affairs)

NUS welcomes interdisciplinary approaches that embrace multiple perspectives, including those from arts and culture, health, social work, sports, and technology.

NUS Resilience and Growth Initiative

The Innovation Challenge is part of the NUS Resilience and Growth (R&G) Initiative recently announced by the University. Other pillars of the Initiative include:

“The NUS R&G Initiative supports our students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not only helping students from needy backgrounds but also providing development opportunities to the graduating cohort in this difficult time. The R&G Innovation Challenge is an excellent opportunity for our graduates to contribute to the greater social good by making our people, our society and the world better, with support from NUS,” said NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.

Professor Ho Teck Hua, NUS Senior Deputy President and Provost, said, “NUS graduates who conceptualise Innovation Challenge projects that show promise will have the opportunity to work with our partners to turn their ideas into reality, and have a lasting impact on society. We look forward to receiving high-quality proposals and welcome interdisciplinary teams with graduates from different disciplines, to develop holistic solutions.”

Eligibility and funding

The NUS R&G Innovation Challenge is open to all NUS graduates from the classes of 2020, 2019 and 2018 in teams of three to five people.

NUS will be funding up to 115 projects – a nod to the University’s 115th anniversary of its founding.

Each selected project will be funded up to $50,000 for 6 months. The grant includes a stipend of up to $1,200 per month per project member for the duration of the project.

Submission Guidelines

Interested teams should submit a three-page proposal to InnovChallenge@nus.edu.sg outlining the following:

1.  Category 

  • How does this project benefit our people, our society, or the world? Participating teams should submit proposals to only one category

2.  Target Community 

  • Which community will benefit the most from this project? Projects that aim to improve the lives of the less privileged and/or ageing populations will be given priority.

3.  Value Proposition

  • How does this project add value to our people, our society, or the world?
  • How does your project differ from current approaches?

4.  Partners and Translation

  • Who are some potential partners to translate your ideas into outcomes?
  • How would the ideas be translated into valuable outcomes?

5.  Outcomes and Impact

  • What are some potential application areas for this project? 
  • What are the expected outcomes and likely impact of this project?

6.  Budget

  • What is the proposed budget in terms of manpower and other expenses?

The window for submissions to the Innovation Challenge is open from 1 June to 31 December 2020.

Evaluation Criteria

Each proposal will be evaluated based on its innovativeness and likely impact on the targeted community. The evaluation panels will convene regularly to select projects.

For more information on the NUS R&G Innovation Challenge, please visit: nus.edu/InnovChallenge.

See NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye's message to the graduating class of 2020, and press release on the NUS R&G Innovation Challenge. Also read more about the domain experts helming the selection panels.


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