With its excellent educational system, Singapore is considered one of the best destinations for high-flying international students. Not only is it home to world-famous universities, but its rich government sponsors a variety of scholarship programs as well.
One popular example of Singapore Government scholarships is the SINGA award, which is short for the Singapore International Graduate Award. This is a collaboration between the Agency for Science, Technology, & Research (A-STAR) and 4 prominent Singaporean universities.
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Singapore Government Scholarship Awards
Singapore’s commitment to research development is apparent in its funding and scholarship programs, most notably, the SINGA award.
It will cover the entire tuition amount for 4 years of doctorate studies. It also includes a monthly stipend of SGD 2,000 ($1,510), which may be enough to cover the monthly living costs in Singapore. The amount will then be increased to SGD 2,500 ($1,890) once the student passes the qualifying exam.
The SINGA scholarship will also provide a one-time airfare grant of SGD 1,500 ($1,135) and a one-time settling-in allowance of SGD 1,000 ($755).
SINGA Eligibility Criteria
SINGA is a competitive merit-based Singapore Government scholarship that receives over 250,000 applications from 170 countries across the globe. Out of these, only 900 students are selected.
The SINGA scholarship is open to all first-time international students who have not studied in Singapore previously – regardless of age. Applicants are expected to have excellent academic rankings – and more importantly, a passion for research.
Applicants must possess excellent English communication skills (speaking & writing) as well as robust recommendations from their respective academic referees.
While these are the basic expectations, the A-STAR committee may add more requirements without prior notice.
How to Apply to Singapore Government Scholarships
Students who wish to apply for a SINGA scholarship must follow these steps:
1. See if SINGA covers your field of research.
Currently, the SINGA scholarship covers 2 general fields: Biomedical Science and Physical Science & Engineering.
In case your research specialization is included in the list, you should look up the current projects (and supervisors) of the 5 institutions participating in the program: A-STAR, the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Singapore Management University (SMU), and the Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD).
At the A-STAR for example, students interested in Biomedical research may apply for a spot at the Bioprocessing Institute, Genome Institute, Bioengineering & Nanotechnology Institute, Molecular & Cell Biology Lab, and Singapore Immunology Network, to name a few.
Physical Science/Engineering specialists, on the other hand, may apply for a research spot at A-STAR’s Institutes for Infocomm Research, Chemical & Engineering Science, High-Performance Computing, Materials Research & Engineering, and Microelectronics.
For applicants who wish to perform university-based research, the following institution’s faculties are open for Singapore G:
- NUS: Engineering, Science, Computing, Medicine, and Duke-NUS
- NTU: Engineering, Science, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
- SMU: Computing & Information System
- SUTD: Architecture, Engineering, Information Systems Technology & Design, Science & Technology
2. Prepare the necessary documents in advance.
To meet the program’s deadlines, you need to prepare the needed documents early on. These include a valid passport, a recent passport-size photo (in JPEG or PNG), Bachelor’s/Master’s academic transcripts (in English), and 2 recommendation letters.
Although GRE, GATE, IELTS, or TOEFL exams are not required for Singapore Government Scholarships, any of these may be warranted at your university of choice.
3. Apply online.
After preparing the necessary documents, you may start applying online through this portal. Here, you need to provide all the basic info that the scholarship program needs. It’s important to make sure that the data you supply is correct because you will need to verify it when logging in.
After supplying your data, remember to click the correct scholarship option (SINGA). Don’t forget to include the name of your potential research supervisor as well.
Upload all the documents stated above at the earliest time, if possible.
As always, make sure to verify all the info you have encoded as you will no longer be able to change this once you have submitted your application for Singapore Government Scholarships.
4. Participate in an interview.
Shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview, either face-to-face or through Skype.
Students granted the SINGA scholarship need not make a separate university application. However, if you want to be admitted to the university regardless of scholarship status, then you will need to apply for both the SINGA award and the university.
Compared to other government scholarships, SINGA scholars may not hold a part-time job in Singapore. However, their spouses or partners may accompany them throughout the scholarship period with the use of a social pass. SMU, for one, provides a long-term visit pass scholarship letter for the spouses of SINGA scholars.
Deadlines for Singapore Government Scholarships
The SINGA scholarship has 2 intake periods – August and January. But even with these opportunities, applying early is a must. Given the large numbers of aspiring scholars, it’s best to submit your application way ahead of time.
I hope that this article on Singapore Government Scholarships for international students was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Asia Scholarships Page!