Research & Academia

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Committed Investment in Research Funding

In terms of funding, Singapore tops the world per capita in investment on science and technology, with a budget of SGD 19 billion earmarked for research investment from 2016 to 2020. The adoption of English as the primary language of instruction in Singapore – allowing for smooth communication amongst the diverse nationalities within the scientific community – and a rigorous system for the protection of intellectual property, make Singapore an attractive and effective research hub.

Cutting-Edge Scientific Infrastructure

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency fostering world-class research and talent across the country, overseeing 21 research institutes, consortia and centres for biomedical, and physical sciences and engineering.

Biopolis, for instance, is a symbol of Singapore’s biomedical research strength. Housing private and public sector research institutions under one roof, Biopolis is a nucleus of state-of-the-art facilities where the community of researchers may embark on the development and test-bedding of niche research areas before bringing them to market. Its sister development, Fusionopolis, serves the same purpose for science and engineering research, co-locating research institutes in the fields of manufacturing technology, high performance computing and communications.

Pursuing Strategic Areas of Research

Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) is instrumental in encouraging research activity, and has established cutting-edge research centres under its “Research Centres of Excellence” programme. Singapore now boasts five such centres: the Centre for Quantum Technologies; the Earth Observatory of Singapore; the Mechanobiology Institute; the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering; and the Cancer Science Institute. These centres aim to attract and retain world-class academic investigators, enhance graduate education in the universities and train quality research manpower, and create new knowledge in the specific areas of each centre.

NRF’s Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE), set up in 2012, was the first of its kind, with the concept of a “collaboratory” which saw selected elite international research universities, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), establish a number of world-class research centres in Singapore with intensive research collaboration with Singapore-based universities and research institutions.

On the lookout: Academics, Researchers and Clinician-Scientists

Academics and Researchers

Amidst this conducive backdrop for scientific discovery, opportunities also abound in Singapore’s academic sector. Both the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) are top ranked tertiary institutions that are also positioned as research universities and are seeking quality faculty members who are passionate about research.

Newer institutions of higher learning in Singapore offer exciting faculty opportunities for those with backgrounds in liberal arts, engineering and medicine. For instance, the Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD), affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), seeks to be the world’s first university to seamlessly integrate the concept of design and innovation into its curriculum of engineering and research.

Clinician Scientists

Clinician scientists are also much sought-after as Health & Biomedical Sciences becomes a key research priority of Singapore. Singapore’s newest medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (a tie-up between NTU and UK’s Imperial College) welcomed its first cohort of students in August 2013. It joins established players which include the SingHealth and Duke-NUS Academic Medicine partnership, a collaboration which builds on the collective clinical strengths of the SingHealth Group with Duke-NUS’ research and medical education capabilities, and the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore’s first and largest medical school, which focuses on translational research to target common diseases in Singapore and Asia.

Click here for the Health & Biomedical Sciences factsheet.

Click here for the Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering factsheet.

Click here for research grants and programmes available in Singapore.

Click here to view the latest copy of Careers@Singapore eDM for the research and academia industry.

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You may visit the following websites for further information:

Governmental Organisations

National Research Foundation (NRF)

National Medical Research Council (NMRC)

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

A*STAR Biomedical Research Institutes and Consortia

A*STAR Science and Engineering Research Institutes and Centres



Research Centers of Excellence (RCEs)


Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE)

  • Ben-Gurion University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and NTU research centre for Energy and Water Management
  • Cambridge Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology (C4T)
  • Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Research Centre on Inflammatory Diseases 
  • Shanghai Jiao Tong University-NUS Research Centre on Energy and Environmental Sustainability Solutions for Megacities
  • Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre
  • Singapore-Peking University Research Centre for a Sustainable Low Carbon Future
  • Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, NTU and NUS Centre for Regenerative Medicine
  • The Singapore-ETH Center for Global Environmental Sustainability (SEC)
  • TUM-CREATE Centre on Electromobility in Megacities
  • UC Berkeley's Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore (BEARS) Research Centre

Academic Medicine