FAQs

Prospective Students

NGS Programme

The maximum candidature of NGS’ PhD is 5 years, but both NGS-S and A*STAR Scholarship cover 4 years of PhD OR up to the date of graduation, whichever sets in earlier.

The “2+2” arrangement is not a programme to apply to as part of the PhD application.

The 2+2 scheme allows our scholars to spend between 9 months to 2 years of the PhD candidature in a top overseas institute/university. It awards no joint degrees, and the actual duration and overseas institution of the 2+2 attachment are determined by what will most benefit the student's PhD research project, not by any rigidly fixed structure. The possibility of such flexible research arrangements serves maximally to benefit all participants. A student would only be able to consider and start firming up any 2+2 arrangements after satisfying PhD progress requirements, and ideally after Pre-Qualifying Examination. By that point of time, the student would hopefully be able to grasp one’s research needs and the possible partnerships that would benefit the PhD research project and all parties involved. Thus this cannot be applied for during application stage.

All applicants compete on equal grounds and go through the same rigorous review processes. Secondly, the application profile changes from cycle to cycle. There is thus no arbitrary / artificial quota.

Scholarship

Both A*STAR Graduate Scholarship and NGS Scholarship  are not taxable as this is an allowance, not an income. This applies to both local and international NGSS students.

Application

NGS has one intake per year, namely the August intake. Application for the August intake opens on 1st September and closes on 15th December.

Visit here for the detailed application process and instructions. For assistance and clarifications, please email NGSEnquiry@nus.edu.sg

Please ensure you select "NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering" for the Faculty field, regardless of the faculty affiliation of your Proposed Supervisor and/or of your intended Specalisation (Data Science, SCELSE, BigHeart), in order for your application to be processed by NGS. 

Please ensure you submit:

  1. Your online application via NUS’ Graduate Admission System
  2. Your NGS Application Form
  3. Your complete PDF dossier to be emailed to ngsbox4@nus.edu.sg  – detailed checklist is listed here. Please note we reserve the right to reject your PDF dossier if it is incomplete, except for the Referee Reports which will not be submitted by you (the applicant).

Please note application(s) without any of the above will not be processed.

Hardcopy package is no longer necessary, with the exception of official and original transcript(s) from your universit(y)/(ies) .  

Please refer to http://www.nus.edu.sg/ngs/prospective-students/#attractive-scholarship and "See Eligibility" at this link. 

  • Part-time PhD programme
  • Full- / part-time PhD by coursework programme
  • Full- / part-time Masters programme?

 

NGS offers only full-time PhD by research programme.

NGS’ PhD covers integrative research across all branches of science, engineering, computing and bio-medicine, especially research with a trans-disciplinary thrust and focus. 

 

NGS’ PhD is open to talented students/graduates from any branches of science, engineering, computing and medicine, who are especially keen to transcend one’s discipline(s) of origin and training, to pursue research that cuts across multiple boundaries.

Deadline  Required Submissions to be Completed

PhDMBA: 15 Nov

PhD: 15 Dec

You must have entered all required and relevant information in your online application form on NUS’ Graduate Admission Systems, and clicked on "Submit Application" button before the end of day of the application deadline / closing date.

3 working days after the respective Deadlines

You must have completed and submitted the

This applies to applications from both Singapore and beyond.

Hardcopy package is no longer necessary, except for the official and original transcript(s) from your universit(y)/(ies). 

Please note

  • only complete applications received before the respective afore-mentioned deadlines will be processed;
  • completed / incomplete applications received after respective deadlines will be automatically considered for the next Intake.

Special extension will be given on a case-by-case basis. Please contact ngsenquiry@nus.edu.sg.

The official transcript(s) can reach NGS office 2 weeks from the application deadline.

Yes, it is. Please request your University to contact / email your transcript(s) to ngsbox4@nus.edu.sg.

Supervisory Selection

An NGSS student must nominate one’s main supervisor from NUS listed here.

The student’s co-supervisor(s) can be from:

  • NUS, currently listed here 
  • subject to approval
    • A*STAR’s Research Institutes
    • NUS Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering, School of Computing, and School of Medicine, but not listed here.

Yes. Supervisory selection is not compulsory at the point of submitting your application, and throughout application review period. You may still apply for NGSS even if your proposed supervisor in NUS is not in the NGS-NUS list. NGS selects students based on the student’s own merits and NOT whom they would like to work with.

After admission, NGS-S students must go through 2 compulsory laboratory rotations for 4 months with NGS supervisors before nominating the supervisors.

Selecting a supervisor is NOT compulsory before applying to NGS although the candidate should look through the NGS supervisor’s list to find one / two whom you like to guide you for your PhD; otherwise, this program may not be suitable for you.

Alternatively, you may wish to consider encouraging  your proposed supervisor to apply for the NGS faculty membership.

  • Contact a supervisor
  • Ascertain / confirm the research interests / project
  • Gain the consent of the interested / proposed supervisor
  • Confirm the supervisory selection?

No. Supervisory and project selection is not compulsory at the point of submitting your application, and throughout application review period. After admission, NGS-S students must go through 2 compulsory laboratory rotations for 4 months before nominating the supervisors from the NGS-NUS list.  

Selecting a supervisor is NOT compulsory before applying to NGS although the candidate should look through the NGS supervisor’s list to find one / two whom you like to guide you for your PhD; otherwise, this program may not be suitable for you.

No, not naming a proposed supervisor does not affect or lower the success rate of your application.

It is important to state the proposed research topic and submit the Research Proposal, so that we can understand your interests better, and to ensure that there are potential NGS supervisors able to guide you for your PhD.

If you are selected for interviews, there will be discussion on your proposed research topic to evaluate your interest and depth of knowledge in the field, and whether you can identify the gaps of knowledge in that field and what can be done to address the gaps.

Nonetheless, you need not pursue that proposed research topic for your PhD as you may identify other interests after your Lab Rotation.

The Research Proposal is important for us to evaluate your research interest as well as your scientific thinking.

Freshmen are responsible to sew up their own Laboratory Rotation arrangements. You could first go through the list here to identify and contact the supervisors whose fields of research match yours, and whether (and when) they are able to accommodate your rotation requests. Through these exercises, you would be able to better finalise your supervisory nomination and choice.

GRE, TOEFL and IELTS

  • With/pursuing Masters in NUS, NTU and SUTD?
  • Whose native tongue is English
  • Whose medium of undergraduate instruction is English
  • With a strong command of English?

Yes. GRE remains compulsory.

GRE is only waived for NUS, NTU and SUTD Bachelor degree holders and final-year undergraduates.

Application for GRE waiver is strongly not encouraged.

All application for GRE waiver will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The entire review process will be holistic and takes into consideration the applicant's academic and research background and history, achievements and performance (e.g. publications, conference posters (if available)), Referee Reports, Statement of Purpose, as well as the inter-disciplinary nature and thrust of the applicant’s research interests. GRE is only one of the factors considered.

GRE General

GRE

  • Verbal + Quantitative: 320 or higher
  • Analytical Writing - 3.5 or higher

TOEFL

85 or higher for Internet Based Test (IBT)

 

IELTS

6.0 or higher

  • The sum of Verbal + Quantitative scores is considered, not the breakdown.
  • Generally, the sum of Verbal + Quantitative scores could be more important.

No

An applicant may still submit the application for NGS’ PhDs, less the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS results (if applicable) before the application deadline.  GRE and TOEFL/IELTS (if applicable) must be submitted by 31st December, before application reviews commence.

The official PDF download of GRE results bearing the ETS logo, the applicant’s complete information and GRE results should be included in the PDF dossier.

For late submission, the official PDF download should be emailed to ngsbox4@nus.edu.sg stating the applicant’s full name and application number in the email body.

The afore-mentioned similarly applies to TOEFL/IELTS.

TOEFL / IELTS  is only waived for applicants whose

  • native tongue

OR

  • medium of undergraduate instruction

is English. Either TOEFL or IELTS can be used.

Other Application Documents

Both the "Statement of Purpose" and “Research Proposal” are compulsory.

There are no specific format/template/requirement to adhere to. 

This is not recommended as your Referees should try to complete the system-generated Referee Report template. If the template generation fails, please contact ngsenquiry@nus.edu.sg, stating your full name, NGS application number and your Referee’s full name in your email.

  • "Referee Report" is compulsory, while "Letter of Recommendation" is optional.
  • “Referee Report” follows a specific template where crucial information of the applicant is requested from the Referee. “Referee Report” is crucial to the applicant’s application reviews.

  • if my application has been received and is being processed
  • if my application dossier is complete
  • what my missing documents are?

 

Applicants will be progressively notified and updated via email

  • receipt of application
  • receipt of application dossier
  • completeness of dossier / missing document(s), whichever is applicable
  • necessary action(s), if any.

Thus, please look out for emails from ngsadmissions@nus.edu.sg, and pay close attention to the emails. (Please look into your spam box as well if you have not been receiving emails from us.) The information and updates in our emails will supersede what is reflected in the online status in the application portal.

Modules

Please refer to the Coursework section.

Application for credit transfer will only be entertained after admission into NGS. Application can be submitted in the first semester.

 

Any application for credit transfer will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Student Life, Provision and Benefits

NGS students are responsible to find their own accommodation, be it on- or off-campus, which students are free to opt for.

NGS Scholarship stipend is more than sufficient to cover accommodation expenses. 

NUS has on-campus halls of residences which newly-admitted NGS students can opt and apply for, catering to both single and married students. You may find these options at the portal, www.nus.edu.sg/osa/campus-living/residential-options/halls-of-residence.

Before admissions, students will receive an admissions package. It will contain information on how students can start applying for on-campus accommodation.

Alternatively, you may choose to rent accommodation off-, but very near, campus. Not all students actually opt to stay on campus because of the flexibility, convenience and other lodging-specific factors that come with staying off-campus, because NGS students’ laboratories are not centralised, but located over a wide geographic spread across the whole campus.

After accepting NGS’ offer, successful applicants need only submit your passport information promptly to NGS when requested. Please ensure the validity of the passport for travel.

NGS will issue the In Principle Approval (IPA) letter to the students. The students will need to print out this IPA document. Upon arrival at Singapore’s port of call (Changi airport), the freshmen will show the IPA letter to the Immigration officer to gain entry into Singapore. This IPA letter is valid for 2 months, and contains a specifically allotted appointment for the freshmen to proceed to Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoint Authority to apply for Student Pass, after they have arrived in Singapore. Once they miss this appointment, it will take some time for them to secure another slot.

In other words, application for visa will only be done after entry into Singapore and registration with NGS.

Other Non-NGS Scholarships

IDS or KI Scholarship

NGS' PhD programme Joint NUS-KI Programme  
NGS Scholarship OR A*STAR Graduate Scholarship Strictly NGS Scholarship
http://nus.edu.sg/ngs/choose-a-supervisor/ Fields under / across Bio-medicine and Bio-engineering
NGS modules: refer to "Why NGS?" > "NGS Prepares" on http://www.nus.edu.sg/ngs/prospective-students/#why-ngs
NGS graduation requirements
NGS’ and KI’s modules NGS’ and KI’s graduation requirements
4 year PhD candidature in Singapore, except for those under the "2+2" arrangements Students will be based in NGS, and will commence their PhD in NGS. During the PhD candidature, students will spend:
  • at least 18 months at NGS working on research and completing their required NGS modules;
  • at least 12 months in KI and complete the module requirement prescribed by KI.
PhD of National University of Singapore PhD of
  • National University of Singapore
  • Karolinska Institute
The certificate will state that the degree is awarded within the Joint NUS-KI PhD Programme

NGS’ PhD PhD (Data Science)
NGS Scholarship and A*STAR Graduate Scholarship Strictly NGS Scholarship
Allowance for computer, conference and books Research allowance.
Integrative research in science, engineering, computing and bio-medicine Data Science research
  • NGS-NUS supervisors
  • Research Institute supervisors
  • Institute of Data Science (ISD) Supervisors
  • ISD-approved NGS-NUS supervisors
“2+2” scheme Not applicable
NGS modules and NGS graduation requirements NGS core modules and specific DS-compulsory modules from Business, Computing, Science and Engineering

No.

The only exception is NUS-KI Joint PhD students can choose to drop the KI component and pursue an NGS-only PhD.

A*STAR Graduate Scholarship (AGS)

There are 2 parts to the application:

  1. application to AGS via A*GA application Portal
  2. application to NGS’ PhD under AGS scheme. Application for the August intake opens on 1st September and closes on 15th December. Visit here for details, selecting A*STAR Graduate Scholarship under the “Source of Finance” field.

For assistance, please email NGSEnquiry@nus.edu.sg

  • Visit here for eligibility and requirements, and terms and conditions of AGS scheme.

GRE is strongly encouraged.

TOEFL/IELST is compulsory if the applicant’s

  • language of instruction for the undergraduate studies 

OR

  • the native language

is not English.

AGS is only open to Singaporeans and other nationals intending to take up Singapore citizenship.

NGS offers only full-time PhD programmes.

PhD programmes are research-based, with coursework component built in.

No, you are not allowed to terminate or to withdraw from your research scholarship under a Faculty Graduate Programme and transfer to any programmes/scholarships under NGS.  Unless you have already terminated/withdrawn prior to NGS’ knowledge and you are submitting a fresh application to NGS, it may be considered. In such a case, the applicant will still undergo the same rigorous review process, and if the applicant is successfully selected, he/she will be enrolled as a Year 1 student in NGS. The Scholarship awarded will similarly be pro-rated. 

Only one Referee Report is required from each Referee. (S)he can submit it via (a) or (b).

 

In total, 2 Referee Reports are compulsory.

 

Applicants can choose to submit >2 Referee Reports if you wish.

Visit here for application to

  • AGS only, or
  • AGS and NGSS simultaneously.

All applicants will follow NGS’ PhD application timeline and processes given here.

Applications for AGS will in addition be processed – and interviewed if shortlisted – by A*STAR Graduate Academy (A*GA).

The aforementioned programmes are strictly under NGS Scholarship scheme.

AGS students may select one’s main supervisor from 

  1. NGS-NUS, or
  2. Research Institute.

If the main supervisor is from NGS-NUS, the student must have a co-supervisor from the Research Institute.

NGSS students can select one’s main supervisor from the NGS-NUS only.

No. Supervisor(s) and project will be discussed in detail with the successful candidates.

Shortlisted candidates who are residing overseas may attend the interview via the Skype mode. Teleconferencing however is not an option. The candidate should inform the NGS staff who has contacted him/her for the interview to make the necessary arrangements.

Application for deferment will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

This particular A*STAR Graduate Scholarship (AGS) scheme is strictly under NGS. In other words, application is for NGS’ PhD under AGS scheme. Naturally, successful applicants will be admitted into and registered under NGS, not other NUS Faculties/Schools. Hence, NGS (AGS) students will have to fulfil all NGS’ candidature and coursework requirements, with the only exception being Laboratory Rotation is optional. 

No

Current Students

Your scholarship will commence the first day of the semester, based on the NUS Academic Calendar. It will expire at the end of the fourth year, or when you submit your thesis for examination, whichever is earlier.

 

For example, candidature starts on 03 August 2018; scholarship expires on 02 August 2022.

The maximum candidature is 5 years. This means students will not receive any stipend or tuition fee support during the 5th year. Students do not need to submit any request for an extension of candidature. Submission of the thesis has to be done by the maximum candidature date, otherwise tuition fees will be imposed.

 

For example, candidature starts on 03 August 2018; maximum candidature expires on 02 August 2023.

Yes, the student may convert to part-time candidature only during his/her 5th year when his/her scholarship has expired and the student is employed by his/her supervisor as a Research Assistant. In such a case, the student will still have to bear the cost of the tuition fees which is at the same rate as a full-time student. However, the student may apply for Staff Concession Scheme, to request for a waiver of the tuition fees.

ModReg@EduRec, replaces all the module registration systems used by individual Faculties and Schools, including the Centralised Online Registration System (CORS). Students will select module classes, tutorials and labs, as well as drop modules within ModReg@EduRec. It serves all NUS students belonging to the following categories:

  • Undergraduate* (UG)
  • Graduate (GD)
  • Non-Graduating (NG)
  • Continuing & Professional Education (CPE)

Students may refer to http://www.nus.edu.sg/ModReg/index.html#modregintro for the Module Registration Schedule as well as the User Guides on how to navigate the portal.

NGS students have to complete 30 modular credits, of which are comprises 3 NGS compulsory modules. They are strongly advised to read a maximum of 2 modules each semester.

NGS compulsory modules are:

 

  • GS6001 (Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity) to be read latest by the 3rd semester upon enrolment (4 MCs)
  • GS5002 (Academic Professional Skills and Techniques) to be read latest by the 4th semester upon enrolment (4 MCs)
  • GS6883A (Interface Sciences and Engineering) to be read latest by the 4th semester upon enrolment (2 MCs)

NGS students may take up to 3 graduate modules (12 MCs) outside their main undergraduate discipline, to be graded on a S/US system and NOT count towards the CAP. The quota of S/US modules does not include the NGS compulsory module.

 

Note that the modular credits earned with an ‘S’ grade will count towards the total number of modular credits that a student needs to fulfil his degree programme. On the contrary, a module with an ‘U’ grade earns no modular credits.

Yes, it is compulsory for ALL first-semester and exemptions are not allowed. All new students have to undertake 2 lab rotations in 2 different labs of approved NGS supervisors, within 4 months of their candidature. Each lab rotation has to last at least 2 months.

A student may be given a maximum of 2 MCs for the lab rotation outside of the selected main/co-supervisor. This is subject to the student completing a compulsory lab immersion workshop and the student’s lab performance certified as ‘Satisfactory’.

Recipients of the NGS Scholarship may obtain a sponsorship from the University for a social visit pass for their spouse or child (unmarried and below the age of 17) to stay in Singapore. An application should be submitted only after the student has registered with the University and has obtained a student pass.

For a student’s spouse or child, the sponsorship will be up to the end of the student’s scholarship, or submission of thesis for examination, whichever is earlier or if the research scholarship is terminated or withdrawn due to whatever reasons. If the student wishes to continue with the sponsorship, he/she will have to furnish a $5,000 deposit per spouse or child.

Any changes in citizenship must be accompanied by documentary proof. Student has to provide the original and one copy of the relevant supporting documents for verification at the NGS Office. The supporting documents will be forwarded to Registrar’s Office for the necessary updates to the student’s record in EduRec.

 

And the monthly stipend will be revised based on the citizenship. For example, an International Student has become a Singapore PR, will have his/her stipend revised from S$3,000 to S$3,200 per month.

Supervisors

NUS faculty staff will apply directly to NGS using the relevant application form (with the supporting material specified in the Application Form), downloadable from NGS website. The application should be endorsed by the applicant's Head of the Department and Dean and will be reviewed by an NGS Membership Committee. 

 

RI staff: Upon recommendation from the Executive Director (ED) of the RI, the application must be endorsed by the ED of AGA and Chairman of A*STAR. Approved applications will be sent to NGS for review.

  • An enthusiasm for the aims of NGS
  • International distinction in research of an integrated nature
  • Good track record of student supervision
  • Time and willingness to guide and mentor NGS students to conduct integrative research.
  • Time and willingness to participate in various NGS activities, including curriculum design, innovative coursework, interviews, student recruitment, symposiums and conferences.
  • Time and willingness to promote the NGS program.

The review process may take up to 2-3 months from the point NGS receives the application documents.

No, staff remains under their home Department and Faculty. They are responsible to NGS only for supervision of NGS students and a limited amount of graduate teaching.

NGS does not assign students to supervisors.  NGS students are advised to refer to the NGS website for the list of approved supervisors and their research information.  Students will contact the prospective supervisors directly.

  • Work with the student to prepare a project proposal that has clear aims, projections and expectations.
  • Ensure that the progress of the student is monitored by meeting him/her as frequently as necessary. The meeting should take place at least once a month for the purpose of constructive review and feedback.  These meetings are in addition to TAC meetings.
  • Clearly define the roles of other research staff (e.g. post-doctoral scientists) who may be involved in the supervision, at the start of the PhD programme. Any such arrangement should be communicated to NGS promptly.

Alumni

The Club is officially formed on 31 January 2011 and it is autonomously run by NGS alumni. These alumni volunteer their time to organize events and activities for their fellow alumni, or to prepare the Alumni E-Feature. More information of the NGS Alumni Club can be found here.

Simply fill up the form or drop an email to Vivien (ngsllv@nus.edu.sg) to find out more.

Yes, definitely! We are looking for volunteers for the following roles as well: 

  • Alumni Mentors – where you share your wealth of experience and career advices to your mentee / NGS juniors.
  • Class Ambassadors – be the link between your classmates and NGS, and invite them to NGS alumni activities.

Thank you for your generosity. You may like to make a gift online to the NGS Student & Alumni Development Fund. The funds will be used to enable the development of the student and alumni body, enabling them to take part in enhancement programs. Please make your cash gift online here.

 

You can also give by the following means: Non-cash gifts (securities and real estate) and planned gifts or bequests, please contact Ms Vivien Li at ngsllv@nus.edu.sg to discuss making a gift.

To update your particulars please visit alum.nus.edu.sg/update.

You can join us at our Facebook Page or at LinkedIn.

The NUS Online Degree Verification Portal assists employers, staff of other higher learning institutions or members of the public verify claims to academic qualifications conferred by NUS. 

 

Please visit the Online Degree Verification Portal at myaces.nus.edu.sg/odvs.
If you are unable to access the Online Degree Verification Portal, please email to degverify@nus.edu.sg.

Please select a category above to view the respective FAQs.

Questions not answered?

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