Allow me to introduce the National University of Singapore Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering http://www.nus.edu.sg/ngs/ to all those students interested in expanding their research horizons.
These are the reasons why I personally feel that NGS’ programme deserved to be recommended:
1) covers numerous disciplines where Singapore already has an edge in, and where the Government has considerable stakes in. Examples, the 3 areas which Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong emphasized in National Day Rally, are the subjects where NGS similarly has an edge in:
Of course, NGS’ disciplines covers more than the above. Please refer to the web page below: http://www.nus.edu.sg/ngs/ri_supervisors_name.shtml
You can find information on research supervisors and professors on the NGS website, including supervisors based at A*STAR’s Research Institutes.
2) genuinely cross-disciplinary
Every NGS student has a Thesis Advisory Committee, made up of several people. The students undertaking trans-disciplinary research often have many supervisors from different faculties, so that the students can conveniently receive supervision from all aspects. Many supervisors have local and foreign partners/collaborators, not confined to the particular discipline.
Using my laboratory as an example, we not only have frequent visits from world-class experts. Some of the professors will specially take time to interact with the students, and give us tips on conducting research, and presentation techniques. Most of the big-scale projects are fruits of collaboration. We once had a situation where professors and doctors from 7 countries doing experiments with students.
The programme can further expand developmental potential. The credits of NGS’ compulsory subjects are 40 points, 16 more than regular subjects of PhD students in other faculties. Besides the compulsory Research Ethics and Integrity (10 credits), subject selections depend on the specifics of project needs and outcome of discussions with supervisors. The aim is to encourage crossing of disciplines. For research needs, we can read subjects where we have no prior foundations in; as these are graded by S/US, they will not affect the CAP.
3) only takes in high calibre students; attractive terms.
Numerous rounds of assessments and interviews ensure that NGS’ criteria are more stringent than those for regular NUS research programmes. Many of my Singaporean classmates are National Science Scholars. These outstanding local college students are sponsored by Singapore Government to complete their Bachelor degrees in top US or UK universities, after which they return to Singapore for their PhD studies, in accordance to their contractual terms. In my personal experience, there is much fiercer competition in NGS courses, than those in NUS’ regular PhD programmes.
With an NGS Scholarship, apart from fully-paid tuition fees, there is a monthly stipend of S$3,200. On top of this, you have an annual book allowance ($500) and a conference allowance ($3000), and also money to purchase a laptop when you begin your degree.
NGS has no bond. You are free to go where you choose as soon as you complete your PhD.
It looks like I am crafting an advertisement, but I am sincerely recommending the programme from my personal experience. I was also once worried about the worth and quality of a Singapore PhD. Now that I’ve seen much, I am persuaded that Singapore is a great place to do a PhD. The most important factors contributing to one’s academic career are supervisors, personal potential and interests and, importantly, the prospect of the field. It is the special value of NGS which broadens our choices and opportunities to pursue our dreams. Wishing you every success in your studies and career that follow.