Singapore Prize 2024

In a country that prides itself on being innovative, it is not surprising that the first Singapore prize was set up to reward people for creating solutions to problems. This year, the award is worth up to SGD 300,000, sponsored by Temasek Foundation. It will be presented by the President of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam at an awards ceremony on 18 June, during the inaugural World Cities Summit 2024.

The winner will be able to use the prize money as seed funding for his or her work, and also receive support to develop the idea further. They will be expected to share the details of their winning ideas with others, so that more ideas can be spawned to solve other problems. The competition is open to all scientists from across the globe, including undergraduate students.

In his acceptance speech, Professor Medema said that the award will help him to build connections and explore new possibilities for his research. He added that he hopes to inspire young people in Singapore to follow their passion and pursue scientific excellence.

This year, the winner of the prize will be able to use the prize money to expand his or her business and connect with potential partners in the UK, the United States and other countries. The winner will also be given access to a global network of leaders and influencers in business, academia and government who can provide valuable feedback on the project and offer mentorship opportunities.

Earlier this month, NUS historian and Asia Research Institute distinguished fellow Kishore Mahbubani mooted the idea for the prize in a Straits Times column. He pointed out that the famous American social scientist Benedict Anderson had said nations were ‘imagined communities’, and that a shared imagination, especially in history, is critical for the glue holding societies together.

The NUS Singapore History Prize 2024 will be open to non-fiction and fiction works in English, written or translated. It will seek to recognise publications that have made a significant impact on the understanding of Singapore’s history, and address any time period, theme or field of study of Singaporean history. The prize will be administered by the NUS Department of History.

The shortlist features non-fiction work with a personal slant, such as Leluhur: Singapore’s Kampong Gelam by Hidayah Amin, which sheds light on a heritage royal building many are only familiar with as a tourist attraction. Other titles on the list include The Man Behind the Mask: A Portrait of Sam Hua by Vincent Tong, which recounts the life of one of Singapore’s most dangerous gangsters, who was responsible for multiple killings. The book is the result of extensive fieldwork and interviews with the gangster’s relatives. It was selected by a four-member panel led by NUS East Asian Institute chairman Wang Gungwu.