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Office of Education Research

  • OER logo for use

    Since 1 April 2008, the Office of Education Research (OER) has led efforts to spearhead programmes grounded in the principles of advancing research, development and innovation at NIE. OER is committed to providing the resources and support systems – through the governance, monitoring, quality assurance and dissemination of education research – that will produce high-quality education research with impact on policy and practice.

    OER is dedicated to serving faculty interests by providing grant opportunities to faculty members. It administers the Education Research Funding Programme (ERFP), a pool of research funds supported by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore.

    NIE’s research is guided by the Research and Development Framework – a policy-driven, evidence-based framework that guides academic and research staff to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Singapore schools and to build on NIE's standing as a leading international research institution.

    Through the ER3.0 programme – a research framework for the third tranche of funding – OER aims to enhance Academic Group–Research Centre (AG-RC) collaborations and develop NIE’s education research capacity through the synthesis of research findings from projects in different disciplines, as well as develop scalable pedagogical interventions to enable systemic improvements in the education system.

  • In 2013, the Office of Education Research (OER) announced the 3rd tranche of research funding from the Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore for the continuity of NIE’s Education Research Funding Programme (ERFP).

    The ERFP funds are allocated to:

    • strategic research and development programmes for the conduct of education research on topics of interest to NIE faculty and of importance to MOE and the broader education fraternity;
    • the development of innovations and interventions relevant to Singapore students, teachers, schools and the broader education system;
    • development projects that implement tested ideas or create useable products or processes that can directly and tangibly improve the education system;
    • projects to enhance teacher expertise and professionalism in key subject domains; and
    • grants to help NIE Academic Groups (AGs) develop their research programmes and to provide a resource to support NIE faculty, especially new faculty, in developing research capacity.

    Over 5 years (FY2013–2017), the 3rd ERFP will continue to build on the work that has been undertaken in the previous two cycles of education funding by strengthening the foundation (in terms of knowledge, capacity and structure) for education research, development and innovation in existing and emerging niche areas.

    NIE’s education research framework is organised around four categories to fully cater to the needs and interests of its key stakeholders:

    • Strategic RD&I (SRD&I) – Basic and applied research that promote better understanding about the pattern and logic of learning and teaching. These studies are of interest to both MOE and the broader education fraternity, and aim to contribute to the design and implementation of effective learning and teaching programmes both locally and globally. Findings from SRD&I research are intended to have significant impact on classroom practices in the medium-to-long term of 5 to 10 years.
    • Priority Innovation and Intervention (PII) – These studies encompass the design, development and implementation of sustainable innovations which focus on improving practices in Singapore schools to meet the priority needs of students and teachers. With a central focus on intervention and use, their findings are intended to have significant impact on school practices in the short-to-medium term of 3 to 5 years.
    • Scaling, Translation and Knowledge Management (STKM) – Research activities that bring about the: (i) integration, synthesis and translation of knowledge created in NIE with knowledge and findings from cutting-edge and state-of-the-art international research; and (ii) identification, growing, levelling up and scaling of knowledge to sustain system-wide impact on learning and teaching. The expected time-to-pay-off for the STKM programme is between 1 and 3 years.
    • Blue-Sky RD&I (BSY) – This programme encompasses studies that are curiosity-driven and initiated by researchers. BSY allows researchers the flexibility and freedom to compete for grants to pursue “out-of-the-box” or “over the horizon” education research which may not be of immediate interest to NIE or MOE. 

    To extend the scope of current Tier 3 projects to address areas of research of strategic importance, OER introduced the programmatic research structure in 2015. Comprising a series of individual yet linked component projects, a programmatic research is characterised as one that:

    1. examines, describes or addresses a fundamental or challenging complex educational issue, problem, phenomena or outcome
    2. incorporates multi-level, multi-method, multi-perspectival and multi-disciplinary approaches to examining or addressing the problem, issue, phenomena or outcome
    3. comprises strong team synergies to facilitate shared expertise, knowledge exchange and collaborations
    4. comprises a range of (typically, two to five) sub-themes which are coherent, aligned, and which allows comprehensive breadth of analytical foci with research outcomes and findings that have an impact on the education system and the various stakeholders (NIE, MOE, schools, society and international research fraternity)
    5. has strong translational efforts as part of its agenda, including encouraging stakeholders to be actively involved at the proposal design stage, building in time and funding for professional development, designing an innovation or intervention as part of the proposal, or hiring journalistic writers to translate findings for various stakeholders. 
    Education Research 3.0 (ER 3.0)

    In this 3rd tranche of funding, OER particularly seeks to encourage research in STKM that may facilitate the synthesis of research findings from projects in different disciplines, as well as develop scalable pedagogical interventions to enable systemic improvement in the education system. This is encapsulated in the ER 3.0 programme.

    ER 3.0 will serve as an inclusive programme that aims to involve NIE AGs and research centres in the development of NIE’s education research capacity. ER 3.0 will be centred on research themes that are identified for further development. These research themes are led by four Programme Leaders who oversee the development of their respective themes and the progress of the respective Task Force. The tables below provide an overview. 

    Research Programmes Research Themes Research Convenors
    Learner's Social and Cognitive Development Applied Cognitive Development  Dr Rebecca Bull
    Motivational Studies Prof John Wang Chee Keng
    Children at Risk (Disability) A/P Kenneth Poon Kin Loong
    Dr Li Jen-Yi
    Children at Risk (Low Progress Learners) Dr Wang Li-Yi
    Dr Imelda Santos Caleon
    Preschool/Early Childhood Education A/P Kenneth Poon Kin Loong
    Dr Nirmala Karuppiah
    Curriculum and Instruction Mathematics Prof Berinderjeet Kaur
    A/P Toh Tin Lam
    Science A/P Tan Aik Ling
    Character and Citizenship/Values Education A/P Jasmine Sim
    Humanities A/P Mark Charles Baildon
    Sports A/P Govindasamy Balasekeran
    Ast/P Veni Kong Pui Wah
    Ast/P Koh Koon Teck
    Arts and Music Dr Pamela Grace Costes Onishi
    A/P Lum Chee Hoo
    English Language and Mother Tongue Languages To be confirmed
    Bilingual and Biliteracy Development Dr Beth Ann O'Brien
    Assessment Ast/P Luo Wenshu
    Creativity and 21st Century Competencies Dr Jennifer Tan Pei-Ling
    Dr Tan Liang See
    Play/Game-based Learning Dr Matthew Joseph Gaydos
    Student-generated Design Dr Rachel Lam
    ICT Integration A/P Chai Ching Sing
    Dr Elizabeth Koh Ruilin
    Seamless Learning Dr Wong Lung Hsiang
    New Media, Multimodality and Learning Dr Phillip Alexander Towndrow
    Teacher Learning and Professional Development Teacher Education A/P Liu Woon Chia
    Dr Chua Bee Leng
    Teacher Learning and Professional Development Dr Christina Lim-Arasaratnam
    Leadership, Organisation and System Studies Leadership and School Organisation Ast/P Hairon Salleh
    Education and Broader Environment Dr Woo Huay Lit
    System Studies in Pedagogies and Educational Outcomes Dr Teh Laik Woon
    Dr Dennis Kwek Beng Kiat
    International Benchmarking International and Comparative Studies Dr Maria Manzon
    Scaling, Translation and Knowledge Management Scaling and Translation Prof Looi Chee Kit
    A/P Teo Beng Chong
    Knowledge Management Dr Jennifer Tan Pei-Ling

    *Updated as of 1 Mar 2016

  • Centre for Research in Pedagogy & Practice (CRPP)

    logo-crppThe Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice was established in 2003 by the National Institute of Education and funded by the Ministry of Education to be an education research centre of excellence in pedagogy and practice.

    Education and Cognitive Development Lab (ECDL)

    The Education and Cognitive Development Lab (ECDL) focuses on four thematic research areas: Applied Cognitive Development, Atypical Development, Bilingual Development, and Intervention.

    Learning Sciences Lab (LSL)

    logo-lsl Learning Sciences Lab (LSL) explores learning and teaching wherever the action is. Our central goal is to involve children and adults in creating opportunities to make learning not only possible but available and better.

  • Types of Grants

    NIE applicants may apply for the following sources of funding.  Applicants from the Institutes of Higher Learning and the Academies (e.g., NUS, AST) can also apply (2 – 4 only):

    The ERFP funds research focused on efforts to design, develop and implement strategic, evidence-based, theoretically-warranted, collaborative, scientifically rigorous and outcomes-focused innovations in schools and classrooms.

    The MAF funds research and development projects that will contribute to the enhancement of pedagogical practices or the professional development of school teachers, and seeks to identify key pedagogical and professional development approaches for researchers to test, evaluate and propose areas for improvement. .

    eduLab is an MOE-NIE initiative designed to surface and spread ground-up IDM-enriched pedagogical innovations. 

    The SUG funds projects that aim at developing research within the NIE Academic Groups (AGs) and Research Centres (RCs)  to help them develop their research capacity and compete competitively for larger research grants

  • Research Integrity and Institutional Review Board

    As one of the autonomous institutions of Nanyang Technology University (NTU), NIE subscribes to the NTU Policy on Research Integrity (RI) and the Responsible Conduct of Research. This policy has been approved by the President’s Coordinating Group and the Provost’s and Dean’s Group, and is aligned with the Framework for Investigation and Disciplinary Proceedings for Faculty and Research Staff, the Academic Honour Code and incorporates the Singapore Statement on Research Integrity, 2010. The details of this policy can be read from the NTU Research Integrity website.

    Amongst others, the policy covers the researchers’ obligations to maintain full and accurate records of their research in NTU, both hardcopy and electronic; to ensure that all those concerned, cited or quoted are given appropriate credit and recognition; to respect all matters relating to privacy; and to comply fully with all relevant laws and codes of ethical behaviour appertaining to research. Please refer to NIE research data management policy which addresses the institute’s research data management and archiving needs for faculty and research staff members of NIE.

    It is to be noted too, that the goals of research, while important, should never be permitted to override the safety and well-being of research subjects and participants. To this end, all research conducted by NIE faculty and candidates enrolled in higher degrees by research must be reviewed and approved by the NTU Institutional Review Board (IRB). This requirement applies irrespective of the type of review requested by the researcher, ie exemption, expedited or full.

    All faculty staff conducting research, whether funded or non-funded, will have to submit their ethics clearance application online via NTU’s Nora System. Please read the IRB guidelines carefully before applying for ethics clearance.

    All programme courses that collect data from human subjects and projects by course candidates (pre-service and Masters by coursework / dissertation) will be reviewed by the respective NIE-convened Ethics Review Committees of the various academic groups and programme offices, which approve applications qualifying for exemption. Students are to refer to their respective academic groups for the application form, and NTU IRB website for guidelines. However, for expedited or full ethics review as well as for PhD students’ projects, the ethics clearance will need to be submitted online through the students’ supervisors, as the main applicants, using NTU’s Nora System.

    You may contact the OER Research Support Unit at if you have any further questions.

  • Address

    Office of Education Research 
    National Institute of Education
    Nanyang Technological University
    1 Nanyang Walk
    Singapore 637616

    Grants Management

    The Grants Management unit of OER oversees and manages the grant application, approval and closure processes of ERFP-research, development, MOE academies fund and start-up grants by ensuring that the processes adhere to funding guidelines and policies.

    For Education Research Funding Programme (ERFP) Grant matters:
    Tel: (65) 6219 6229

    For Start Up Grant (SUG) matters:
    Tel: (65) 6219 3757

    HR & Finance

    The HR & Finance unit oversees the control and compliance of HR & Finance policies and processes for project and non-project related matters. It also supports the General Office administration and provides PA support to the OER management.

    Tel: (65) 6219 6172

    Publications & Communications

    The OER Publications and Communications unit manages a range of publications that includes journals, newsletters, research briefs and book series. The unit also formulates strategies to effectively demonstrate the impact of NIE research to the relevant stakeholders, communicate OER’s position and policies to MOE and NIE senior management, and increase the awareness and visibility of NIE’s standing as a leading international research institution.


    Research Support

    The Research Support unit of OER manages the overall grant operational processes by providing support and advice to project operation and financial matters. It also oversees project governance and ensures that the relevant project administrative procedures are adhered to.