Moving ahead of the times, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has reportedly become a pioneer in launching the first undergraduate research programme in Singapore.
This course, called SUTD Honours and Research Programme, or SHARP, is a 3.5-year programme which can be done on top of existing coursework for a degree.
“With the launch of the new premier SHARP, aspiring research scientists, engineers and innovators can now undertake a structured research-oriented programme right from the undergraduate level,” said SUTD in a press release.
“Closely mentored by faculty in fully-funded research projects, students will be schooled in research disciplines that deepen their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, allowing them to innovate and come up with original ideas or solutions to benefit industries and society at large,” it added.
SHARP students will graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science, with the option to pursue a graduate degree such as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in either Engineering or Architecture, or a Master’s in engineering by research at SUTD.
Each SHARP student will receive a research grant of SGD15,000, comprising a research project allowance of SGD7,500, and another SGD7,500 to cover research-related expenses, such as conference presentation, research attachments and others.
The students will also get to attend a research internship overseas at institutes like Zhejiang University and Carnegie-Mellon University.
Under the programme, students will take advanced classes during their first year to deepen their foundation and knowledge in key subjects.
“As we see increasing interest from students to do research at the undergraduate level, it is timely to introduce SHARP, a premier research programme. SHARP aims to equip students with deep critical thinking and problem-solving skills that help them ‘think out-of-the-box’, to come up with original solutions or ideas. SHARP students will not only work closely with a multi-disciplinary research group to fully experience the entire lifecycle of research, but also gain the opportunity to collaborate with international researchers and corporations,” said Professor Chong Tow Chong, SUTD President.
“We also want to give incoming students greater flexibility and ease in pursuing their interests and broaden their knowledge and hands on experiences, be it academically, in entrepreneurship or even in the arts, while de-emphasising the focus on academic grades. We hope the new adjustments to our rigorous curriculum will further enrich students’ experiences as well as nurture them into industry- and future-ready technically-grounded leaders and innovators who can better the world by design,” he added.
However, the requirements are stringent as applicants must score at least two A's in a Mathematics and a Science subject at H2 level or the equivalent, to be eligible.
Undergraduates must also maintain a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 to stay in the programme.