New scholarship for students interested in academia

Young Singaporeans who want to pursue an academic career in the Republic's universities can apply for a new scholarship for their undergraduate studies. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Young Singaporeans who want to pursue an academic career in the Republic's universities can apply for a new scholarship for their undergraduate studies. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Young Singaporeans who want to pursue an academic career in universities at home can apply for a new scholarship.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) intends to offer 10 to 15 undergraduate scholarships each year, to build a strong core of academic and research talent.

The MOE-Autonomous University scholarship will be given to students who demonstrate a high level of proficiency, motivation and interest in a particular field. If they do well, they will also be sponsored for postgraduate scholarships and take up academic positions offered by the universities.

The scholars will also be paired with the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University NTU), or Singapore Management University (SMU). The university will assign an established academic as a mentor to share academic guidance, career advice, and research expertise with the scholar.

The university will also help the scholar through a comprehensive programme to prepare him or her for an academic career in research and teaching. The undergraduate scholarship will carry a bond of four to six years.

Announcing the scholarship on Monday at the opening dinner of the inaugural Raffles Dialogue at the Raffles Hotel, Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat said the world is going through several "knowledge revolutions". He added: "We must continue to build up our nation's brain trust by investing in a Singaporean core that has the passion and ability to push the frontiers of knowledge, and to teach, for the greater good."

The MOE will also fund half of the postgraduate talent development schemes offered by the universities to Singaporeans, such as the NUS's Overseas Graduate Scholarship and Overseas Postdoctoral Fellowship, NTU's Senior Tutorship Scheme and SMU's Faculty Development Scheme.

"This will grow the number of scholarships that the universities can support, so that these opportunities can be offered to many more talented young people with an interest in research and teaching," he said.

The MOE and the universities are expected to offer more than 1,500 scholarships at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels over the next 15 years.