SMART Centre launches new program to attract talented young researchers to Singapore

The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Centre (SMART Centre) announced today that is has launched three new programs to attract highly talented doctoral students, undergraduate students and postdoctoral researchers to work on exciting research projects at SMART Centre.

The first of these is a Graduate Fellowship Programme open to currently enrolled first-year students and entering doctoral students from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Its goal is to use SMART Centre as a magnet to attract and retain the best and most-talented doctoral students from Singapore, the region and beyond, giving them the unique opportunity to be involved in strategic research at the SMART Centre and to work with faculty members from MIT, NTU and NUS. The funding for this program comes from the Ministry of Education of Singapore as previously announced in January.

The program provides 100 four-year fellowships for new or continuing doctoral students from NTU and NUS to conduct their research at the SMART Centre. Students selected for the program will receive up to four years of full tuition fees at the student's home university; a monthly stipend of S$3,200 and a travel grant of S$12,000 for a six-month residency at MIT. The students will not be bonded to any institution after their fellowships.

The second program announced today is aimed at exposing undergraduate students to research experiences involving an internationally diverse group of researchers. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) allows undergraduates from MIT, NTU and NUS to participate in research projects at the SMART Centre and interact with students, researchers and faculty members. Students selected for UROP will spend their summers at SMART Centre, though the opportunity to spend time during the academic year is also possible. Students will be paid a competitive stipend, while those from MIT will also have their travel and accommodation paid for. This program is funded by SMART Centre, NTU, NUS and a generous gift from Ms. Dorothy Ng-Chan.

The third program, a highly selective Postdoctoral Research Fellows Programme, aims to attract exceptionally talented postdoctoral researchers to Singapore. In contrast to typical postdoctoral programs where the postdoctoral works for a supervisor on a project defined by the supervisor, this program allows the researchers to conduct research into questions of their own interest. This program enables recent PhD graduates to conduct research of their own choice in Singapore, in fields related to but not necessarily intimately tied to, the ongoing research at the SMART Centre. In addition to a generous stipend, each fellow will also receive a research grant and travel funds.

"The SMART Centre aims to undertake cutting-edge research projects that address critical problems of societal importance. At the same time, one of our major goals is to attract, nurture and anchor young talent in Singapore. The three programs that we have just launched aim to do this," said MIT Professor Rohan Abeyaratne, director of the SMART Centre. "As an intellectual hub, the SMART Centre wants to play a role in helping Singapore develop her human and intellectual capital and building a strong knowledge-based economy," he continued.

Those interested in these programmes should visit the SMART Centre web site at

About the SMART Centre

The SMART Centre is a major new research enterprise established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in partnership with the National Research Foundation of Singapore (NRF) in 2007. It is the first entity in the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE) being developed by NRF.

The SMART Centre serves as an intellectual hub for research interactions between MIT and Singapore. Cutting-edge research projects in areas of interest to both Singapore and MIT are undertaken at the SMART Centre. The facility also allows faculty teams with an opportunity to perform interdisciplinary, experimental, computational and translational research. Three interdisciplinary research groups (IRG) have been established to date: they are BioSystems and Micromechanics (BioSym), Centre for Environmental Sensing and Modelling (CENSAM) and Infectious Diseases (ID). Two more IRGs, as well as an Innovation Centre will be established at SMART in the near future.

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