News Details | 22-Jul-2009

A*STAR, NTU and NUS collaborate to provide new opportunities for A*STAR PhD scholars

A*STAR and local universities ink MOU to create multiple career pathways in academia and research for young PhDs

1. The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) are collaborating to offer A*STAR scholars the opportunity to explore a career in academia under the schemes of the A*STAR–Academia Pathways.  These schemes were the Joint Appointment Scheme (Research and Academic Dual Career Track), the Secondment Scheme (Academic Track) and the Adjunct Appointment Scheme.

2. The schemes provide scholars who have completed their PhD education and who have a passion for teaching with the opportunity of furthering their careers in academia at NTU or NUS.  Scholars who have completed two years of post-doctoral training at A*STAR research institutes are eligible for the schemes.  This move is in line with one of A*STAR’s goals of grooming scientific talent for the R&D sector, namely in scientific research, technology, academia, industry and administration.

3. Said Mr Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman of A*STAR, “PhD talent is critical to Singapore’s transformation into a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy. Being a small country, we only have a small pool of core local talent.  Even within this small pool, there is a diversity of strengths and interests among the scholars.  For this reason, A*STAR has developed multiple pathways to provide them with the best opportunities to realise their full potential.  A*STAR is therefore delighted to partner with NTU and NUS to put in place these new academia pathways.  At the same time, we hope that the flow of talent between A*STAR and the universities will strengthen the partnership that we have with the universities and will enhance collaborations in the future.”

Schemes under A*STAR–Academia Pathways
4. The Joint Appointment Scheme (Research and Academic Dual Career Track) allows young PhDs to continue with their research at A*STAR research institutes and at the same time, have the opportunity to hone their skills in teaching and supervision at the universities.  This exposure enables the scholars to build capabilities in both research and education to realise their potential and eventually further their career in the area they are most passionate about. Scholars on this scheme will be placed on a tenure track and may be considered for tenure by the university while continuing with their research at A*STAR. The inaugural call for applications to the Joint Appointment Scheme will open in August 2009.

5. The Adjunct Appointment Scheme and the Secondment Scheme (Academic Track) are existing schemes between A*STAR and the universities and in A*STAR respectively. The Adjunct Appointment Scheme allows scholars to be involved in collaborative research work with the universities. The scholars under this scheme can also supervise students on PhD training at A*STAR. Under the Secondment Scheme, scholars who have a keen interest in an academic career would be on full-time secondment to the universities after their post-doctoral stint at A*STAR research institutes. They will also be placed on the university tenure track and considered for tenure. Application for these two schemes is open year-round. Please refer to Annex A for details of the schemes offered under the A*STAR–Academia Pathways. 

6. Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President of NUS, said, “We are excited about partnering A*STAR and NTU to groom scientific talents for Singapore. A*STAR scholars bring with them fresh perspectives for research and education, which will enrich the educational experience of NUS students and strengthen our talent pool for cutting-edge research. Likewise, we are confident that NUS’ invigorating intellectual and learning environment and culture will bring out the best in these talented young researchers.”

7. Dr Su Guaning, President of NTU, said, “NTU is pleased to be a selected partner of A*STAR. Research and development, especially in science and technology, are drivers of innovation, fueling Singapore’s economy. It is important that we offer Singapore talent every opportunity to establish and develop a strong research capacity to ensure Singapore’s continued competitiveness. For a university founded less than 55 years ago, NTU has made quantum leaps in both research and education with strengths in science and technology, international faculty and deep East-West connections.  We are well-placed to help broaden the experience of our scholars and groom the next generation of scientific talent for Singapore’s R&D sector.”

8. To date, 50 A*STAR scholars from the National Science Scholarship programme have completed their PhD training and returned to join the community of scientific talent in the A*STAR research institutes and about 30 are currently eligible for the A*STAR–Academia Pathways.



A*STAR has opened up multiple career development tracks for scholars to develop their careers and contribute to the S&T community,   Besides furthering their research careers at A*STAR, opportunities are offered for selected scholars to be deployed after their first post-doc at A*STAR to industry, corporate R&D labs, public administration, technology enterprises, spin-off companies, and academia.

A*STAR has worked closely with NUS and NTU to develop pathways in academia for our scholars. The A*STAR-Academia pathways consist of three schemes and include: 

1) Adjunct Appointment Scheme
The Adjunct Appointment scheme links up scholars who are full-time at A*STAR RIs with the University faculty departments. Adjunct appointees contribute through PhD supervision and other avenues.

2) Secondment Scheme - Academic Track
The Secondment scheme opens an avenue for scholars who show very strong inclination towards academia to be seconded full-time to the University after serving the first two years of their service commitment with A*STAR. Scholars on this scheme will be appointed as University faculty on the University tenure track.

3) Joint Appointment Scheme - Research and Academic Dual Career Track
The Joint Appointment scheme provides a unique opportunity for scholars to focus on research conducted at A*STAR RIs while contributing to teaching, supervision and academic service commitments at the University. Joint appointees on this scheme will be placed on the tenure track and may be considered for tenure by the University whilst continuing with their research at A*STAR.

The three schemes under the A*STAR Academia pathways will allow for scholars with an interest in an academic career to develop links with the Universities and explore career opportunities that would bring out the best of their PhD education, research experience and career goals.

*** END ***

Media contacts:

Ms Kimberley Wang
Senior Officer, Corporate Communications, A*STAR
DID: 6826 6104

Ms Phoebia Tang
Manager, Corporate Communications Office, NTU
DID: 6790 6686; Mobile: 9745 6082;

Ms Fun Yip
Senior Manager, Media Relations, NUS Office of Corporate Relations
DID: 6516 1374

Share Article