The Marine Science Research and Development Programme (MSRDP) is a $25 million national programme by the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF). The programme, hosted at the National University of Singapore (NUS), aims to strengthen Singapore’s marine research capabilities, as well as conduct innovative and strategic research on the island’s marine ecosystems. This will be done through integrating R&D in tropical marine science among local institutes of higher learning, as well as actively engage and seek participation of key government and industry partners.

Singapore’s marine habitats are challenged by a variety of developments such as 1) increased urbanisation locally and regionally, 2) expansion of shipping and port activities and 3) potential impacts of climate change. The MSRDP is therefore necessary if agencies and local organisations are to better manage and conserve the island’s marine resources in a proactive and sustainable manner.

By leveraging on Singapore’s central location in a region rich with marine biodiversity and the St John’s Island Marine Laboratory (an offshore facility designated as a National Research Infrastructure), the MSRDP will be able to boost capabilities that will meet strategic demands, including the training of the necessary manpower for a knowledge-intensive future.

The MSRDP consists of mostly competitive multidisciplinary research projects lasting three to five years, with various enabling grants for public outreach, training of manpower, workshops and international collaborations.

Programme Office

Director : Professor Peter K. L. Ng (Head, LKCNHM, NUS)
Deputy Director : Professor Staffan Kjelleberg  (Director SCELSE, NTU)

MSRDP Steering committee
  • Professor Ho Teck Hua, NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology), Chairman
  • Prof. Lam Khin Yong, Chief of Staff and Vice President (Research), Nanyang Technological University
  • Mr George Loh, Director, Programmes, National Research Foundation
  • Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
  • Mr Richard Lim, Chairman, ST Logistics Pte. Ltd

  • aims to groom local talent in marine science by training research scientists, engineers and PhD students in the field.
  • establish internships and collaborative partnerships with industry for technology development and applications.
  • engage the industry towards promoting environmental and marine sustainability actively.
  • promote outreach to enable the sharing of the research outcomes with the public.


There are four main research thrusts under the programme:

  • the study of marine ecosystems and biodiversity (MEB),
  • environment impact and monitoring (EIM),
  • coastal ecological engineering (CEE) and
  • marine technology and platforms (MTP)

The Marine Science R&D Programme is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore

Photo courtesy of Dr. Tan Heok Hui