Ms Tan Guan Rong, 22 (at left), and Ms Hanisah Abdullah Sani, 32, were among 20 aspiring academics who yesterday received scholarships that will help them pursue a career in teaching and research. The Singapore Teaching and Academic Research Talent Scheme provides scholarships to students who are interested in academic research, and allows them to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies at top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. Under the scheme, which was launched in February last year, the scholarship holders are expected to serve out a bond at any of the local universities once they complete their PhD and postdoctoral programmes. Ms Tan, who will be pursuing a PhD in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, is interested in studying how robotics can be used to help people who have lost their mobility, and allow them to move freely and independently again. Meanwhile, Ms Hanisah, a doctoral student in sociology at the University of Chicago, conducts research on religious conflicts in South-east Asia. Acting Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung presented the scholarships in a ceremony held at the Nanyang Executive Centre in Nanyang Technological University.