Sustaining a Strong Research Manpower Base

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To build a strong research and innovation community


The backbone of a technological, knowledge-driven economy is good manpower. Sustained growth of Singapore's science and engineering manpower base is essential to building our intellectual capital and developing peaks of excellence in research, innovation and enterprise. Given Singapore’s small size and population, it is critical to ensure diversity within our research manpower pool and sustain international research networks. Singapore needs to remain an attractive environment for international researchers at all levels, from students to scientific leaders, in order to be a leading R&D hub.

Strategic Goals in RIE2020

In RIE2020, the government will continue to focus on the need to build a strong local core through increasing the pipeline of Singaporeans entering a research career to anchor our R&D capabilities and developing Singaporean PhDs who can become scientific leaders. We will continue to attract world-class scientists and engineers to undertake research in our Autonomous Universities (AUs), research institutes and industry, and entrepreneurial researchers who can translate the research into commercial products.

The government will provide funding and training schemes to support researchers at different stages of their careers, and increase the industry linkages for postgraduate training. The government will also grow a pool of Programme Management, and Innovation & Enterprise manpower, building translational capabilities.

Strategic Goals Key Initiatives
Ensure industry-relevance of skills for graduate students
  • Support a higher proportion of PhD and Master’s scholarships linked to industry and national priorities
  • Increase industry linkages for postgraduate training through expansion of Economic Development Board (EDB)'s Industrial Postgraduate Programme and introduction of an Engineering Doctorate
  • Enhance postgraduate training by providing training in quantitative skills and complementary skillsets  
  • Provide more opportunities for skilled researchers to be staff scientists or technologists
  • Facilitate industry internships as postgraduate training
  • Enhance circulation of manpower between industry and public research
Build a strong pipeline of manpower
  • Step up efforts to excite students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers
  • Public sector to build up technological capabilities



Key Manpower Development Programmes

Programme Description 
MOE Research Scholarship 
  • Supports stipends and tuition fees of PhDs and Master’s students enrolled in AUs
  • AUs will also be able to use the funding to support postdoctoral and staff scientist positions
  • Administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE)
A*STAR Scholarships
  • Supports education and training at the undergraduate, PhD and postdoctoral levels at local and overseas universities 
  • Open to individuals with a keen interest in pursuing a career in science or engineering research
  • Administered by the Agency for Science, Technology And Research (A*STAR)
EDB Industrial Postgraduate Programme (IPP)
  • Funds PhD and Master’s students to work on joint projects with industry
  • Open to individuals keen to pursue postgraduate training in a corporate R&D environment
  • Administered by EDB
MOH Talent Programmes
  • Funds scholarships to train clinicians / health science professionals in healthcare research
  • Open to clinicians and health care professionals keen on pursuing higher degrees in research or conducting clinical investigations
  • Administered by the Ministry of Health (MOH)
Engineering Doctorate (EngD) Programme
  • Supports a complementary PhD training track for industry-oriented graduate training
  • Open to individuals keen to pursue a PhD more aligned with specific careers in selected industry(s)
  • Pilot to start from 2017 in selected AUs



Contact Point

MOE's Academic Research Division at: MOE_ARD@moe.gov.sg   


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