Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has made a steady rise in a global ranking by a prestigious research publishing company.
It climbed three places to reach 37th spot this year in the report compiled by the Nature Publishing Group, which was published last night. More than 8,500 institutions were ranked.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) slipped four places to 46th while the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) came in 162nd, down from 107th last year.
The Nature Index, now in its third year, looks at the science output of 20,000 research institutions around the world, tracking the author affiliations of 60,000 high- quality scientific articles published each year.
The ranking is based on papers published in 68 science journals from January to December last year.
As in previous years, the top institution on the index was the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Harvard University and the French National Centre for Scientific Research were second and third respectively.
NTU maintained its eighth placing among Asian institutions, also making it the highest-ranked Singapore institution on the index. NUS was ranked 13th in Asia.
NTU scored the best in chemistry research, coming in eighth worldwide, ahead of other top universities such as Stanford and Oxford.
At the country level, Singapore was placed 17th, down from 15th last year. Top of the list was the United States followed by China and Germany.
Nature Index founder David Swinbanks said that a decade ago, NTU was not "a major contributor to the sort of high quality basic research tracked by Nature Index".
But he added: "Under the leadership of President Bertil Andersson, it has leapt not just to No. 1 in Singapore but into the top ranks of universities worldwide in the Nature Index."
In a statement last night, Prof Andersson said: "Having papers published in leading academic journals is a key indicator of a university's quality and productivity."
NTU's strong performance is "another affirmation that the research done here has global relevance and is well acknowledged by research peers internationally", he said.
A spokesman for NUS said it has "achieved excellence in a broad range of fields".
These include engineering, life sciences and biomedicine, social sciences as well as the natural sciences.
NUS said it will continue to "seek new ways to apply our expertise and scientific discoveries to improve lives of Singaporeans, strengthen our industries, and create value for Singapore and beyond".