NTU's Earth Observatory of Singapore receives $2m to set up new scholarship fund

SINGAPORE - The Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has received a $2 million boost for research in geosciences, such as climate change .

The money will be used to set up the Stephen Riady Geosciences Scholars Fund to help students pursuing PhDs in geosciences at NTU.

The total amount comes from a S$1 million gift from the Stephen Riady Group of Foundations, which the Government will match, dollar-for-dollar.

The fund will be used to support research proposals by EOS graduate students to better understand natural disasters and climate change, for instance, so as to build greater resilience in the region.

"The number and amount of awards will be determined annually after a careful and competitive review process of research proposals," NTU said in its press release on Wednesday.

Founded in 2009 as a national Research Centre of Excellence, the EOS was set up to conduct fundamental research on earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis and climate change across South-east Asia.

Professor Kerry Sieh, Director of the EOS, said the scholarship comes at a "critical time" with increasing geohazard activity across the region.

"The past decade has shown that volcanic eruptions, climate change, devastating earthquakes and tsunamis play a large role in human loss and suffering," he said citing the recent examples of the Nepal and Sabah earthquakes.

"The Riady scholarship will enable our students to research such events and the processes that cause them in South-east Asia. New knowledge will bring greater understanding of the geohazards we are facing, and with greater knowledge comes greater resilience.

"We are grateful for the Stephen Riady Group of Foundations' recognition and support through this new scholarship."

All new and current students pursuing a PhDs at the EOS can apply for this new scholarship.

The Stephen Riady Group of Foundations is a philantrophic platform, which consists of seven foundations in Singapore and Hong Kong.

kcarolyn@sph.com.sg