1. Submission of Thesis for Examination/Re-examination
Candidates can download the soft-copy of the Handouts for Thesis Examination here & refer to the workflow of the Thesis Examination Process here.
General Thesis Route
Candidates can refer to the Handouts for Thesis Examination for more information for general guidelines on format of thesis. Candidates who wish to apply for an extension of the word limit for their theses will have to seek approval from their supervisors and NGS.
The candidate should include, as far as possible, only his/her own work in the thesis. Work done by others could be included, with explicit acknowledgement, under the sections of Introduction, Discussion or Appendix, only if these aid logical flow of the writing and would facilitate a more wholesome understanding of the research.
Optional Thesis Route
NGS may grant permission for a thesis to consist of an introduction, conclusion and published (or accepted) papers (plus some extra detail of methods), provided that candidate has at least three tier 1 papers (as defined by NUS) which reported works that are successions of one another, or are otherwise closely related and within the bounds of the thesis title. Candidate should be the first author for at least two of these three papers. Candidates will be required to write a coherent thesis, with each chapter consisting of a detailed write-up about the published paper, as inserting the published papers alone is not acceptable.
Candidates who wish to follow this Optional Thesis Route should seek the approval and support of the Thesis Advisory Committee. If the TAC is agreeable, candidates are to complete the request form and submit, with copies of the papers, at least two months before the expected thesis submission.
Candidates have to submit their theses for examination (after being approved by the supervisors and TAC members in a formal TAC meeting) by the maximum period of candidature or such date as stipulated by the supervisors or the University, whichever date is earlier. A grace period of up to two weeks can be given by the NGS (request must be supported by the main supervisor) without the need for candidate to apply for extension of his/her candidature. However, the request must be submitted before the expiry of the candidature, as candidature will be considered as lapsed once maximum candidature has reached. Late requests would be considered as reinstatement of candidature requests with an administrative fee of S$250 payable for successful reinstatements.
Candidates who are unable to submit their theses even within the two weeks grace period should consult their supervisors first before applying for extension of their candidature by completing the Application for Extension of Candidature for Graduate Research Students Form. The application must be submitted to NGS at least three months before the expiry of the candidature.
Tuition and miscellaneous fees are payable until the thesis is submitted for examination. However, the insurance premium will continue to be payable for full-time students unless the candidate converts his/her candidature to part-time. A candidate who converts his/her candidature to part-time after Instructional Week 2 is liable to pay the insurance premium for that semester.
The tuition fees payable for the semester in which the thesis is submitted for examination depends on the thesis submission date (i.e. the date of receipt to NGS Office).
Date of Submission
Tuition Fees Payable
By end of Instructional Week 2
During first half of semester
Sem 1: Instructional Week 3 to 30 September
Sem 2: Instructional Week 3 to 31 March
Half of fees for the semester
During second half of semester
Sem 1: October to end of semester
Sem 2: April to end of semester
Full fees for the semester
Exemption of fees will take effect from the semester after the thesis is submitted for examination, except if the thesis is submitted within Instructional Week 2 of the semester
Note: For current research scholars, the last day of award will be the date of receipt of the Thesis Submission Form NGS Office. If the research scholar did not submit the form to NGS as soon as he/she could have, NGS can terminate the scholarship earlier than the date the form is received.
Candidate to submit the following to NGS once the thesis is ready for submission:
- 4 copies of your soft bound PhD thesis for examination; and a softcopy in CD-ROM
- Thesis Submission Form (with copies of result slips of coursework for verification)
- Latest Student Accounts Statement
- Receipt of Examination Fee Payment
* Note for Payment:
Please refer to http://www.nus.edu.sg/registrar/edu/gd-fees.html for implications of outstanding fees.
For research scholars who have received excess Research Scholarship stipend and have yet to refund the excess, the University reserves the right to withhold student status letters, results slips or transcripts, status letters, thesis examination and the confirmation of the award of the degree.
2. Process of Thesis Examination
Important: Candidate should not, under any circumstances, communicate with any examiner on matters related to the thesis examination.
Nomination of examiners should reach NGS at least one month before the thesis is expected to be submitted for examination so as to avoid delay in the examination process.
Supervisors & TAC members are required to nominate 4 examiners – 2 internal and 2 external (one principal and one back up). Examiners must be internationally – recognized scientist in the field identified by the usual criteria (research output, citations, etc).
External examiners who have to submit a thesis with patentable/confidential materials will need to read and agree to the Terms & Conditions on the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) form before the thesis is sent to him/her. (Candidates and supervisors are reminded that proprietary/confidential information which is not critical to the thesis for which consent has not been granted should be excluded from the thesis.)
Examiners are given seven weeks from the date thesis is sent to them, to complete the examination of the thesis and submit an evaluation report. Reminders will be sent by NGS to examiners before the deadline and those who fail to submit their evaluation reports by the deadline.
Candidates are required to attend their oral examination physically in Singapore after the theses have been examined. (Candidates are to bring a copy of the thesis for the oral examination).
After all the examiners’ reports are received:
- Oral Examination Format
The Oral Examination Panel will be chaired by the Chair of the students’ Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC). Along with him/her will be the internal examiners who would form the examination panel. In some cases, NGS will nominate additional NGS supervisors to participate in the examination. External examiner(s) may be present but this is not mandatory.
The examination comprises the following components: -
- Open Seminar, of approximately 45 minutes (together with examiners)
- Question & Answer Session, of approximately 15 minutes for general audience to ask questions
- Closed-Door Examination (with examiners only)
The candidate should: -
- Give a brief overview of the thesis;
- Discuss key findings and new contributions made to the field;
- Justify the methodology and theoretical framework used; and
- Analyze the implications of study for future research or applications
The candidate is expected to answer satisfactorily any questions raised on the subject matter of the research thesis and related subjects by the oral panel, who will then discuss the merit of the PhD in private and reach at a decision.
After the oral examination, the candidate will be informed by the Oral Panel of the outcome, on the amendments to the thesis and the person(s) to advise the candidate on the amendments, if applicable.
Please note that if major revisions to the thesis are required, the candidate may have to pay fees for 1 semester, even if the period granted to do the revision is less than six months. If the candidate is unable to complete the revisions in six months, s/he will be required to pay another semester's fees. The total revision period cannot exceed 12 months.
After examination/re-examination, the following must be submitted to NGS Office by the stipulated deadline: -
Report Form on Amended PhD Thesis (NGS/F/016/07) duly signed and completed
Detailed summary of amendments made (if applicable)
CD-ROM which stores the soft copy of your final thesis (in PDF format). The candidate’s name, thesis title, and name should be labeled on the CD-ROM. If more than one CD is used, each CD-ROM should be labeled Part 1, Part 2, etc.
Electronic Thesis / Dissertation Submission Form (RO/667) duly signed and completed
Feedback on Research Guidance Form
The final approved thesis must be uploaded electronically. (Please refer to Handouts of Thesis Examination, Annex C.) You will be notified via email when the system is open for a week for you to upload the thesis. A soft copy of the final approved thesis in CD-ROM (pdf format) must be submitted to your Department for the verification of your uploaded thesis.
One copy (in any form agreed with your supervisors) of the final approved thesis should be submitted to your supervisor(s).
You will be considered for award of the degree by the Board of Graduate Studies:
If all minor/major revisions are incorporated in the thesis to the satisfaction of the supervisor(s) and the Oral Panel member (if applicable); and after the uploaded electronic thesis has been verified by NGS.
After the degree has been awarded by the Board of Graduate Studies, the Chancellor’s approval will be sought for the degree to be conferred in writing. The approximate timeframe for approval by Board of Graduate Studies and Chancellor is about two months after your uploaded thesis has been verified.
Do remember to inform the Registrar’s Office of any change in your mailing address by updating it via myISIS so that the outcome of the thesis examination can be communicated to you promptly.