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AISG PhD Fellowship Programme

Application is now closed. Thank you for your interest in the AISG PhD Fellowship Programme.

AISG PhD Fellowship Programme

The AISG PhD Fellowship Programme is part of AISG’s Research programme which supports top AI research talents in pursuing their PhD in Singapore-based Autonomous Universities (AUs)*.

We aim to nurture and train local AI talents to be able to perform advanced fundamental AI research and produce state-of-the-art AI algorithms, models and systems.

In addition, we hope that these talents will contribute to the other pillars of AI Singapore, the local AI eco-system and the society.

* Autonomous Universities (AUs): National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).  

Key Highlights

    • No restriction on nominees’ nationality

    • A competitive stipend of up to S$6,000 monthly, on top of other allowances and full tuition fees, support up to four years of studies at Singapore-based AUs

    • Aims to increase Singapore’s visibility and presence on AI fundamental research by publishing in top-tier AI conferences and journals

    • AISG PhD fellows are to publish novel and significant AI fundamental research publications at top-tier venues defined by AISG from the point of award until their PhD candidature period conclude

    • Allows participation in AISG initiatives of other pillars such as 100Experiments, AI Makerspace, AI Grand Challenges and AI Technology Challenges

Key Research Focus Themes

  • Trustworthy and explainable AI
    • Boost AI adoption
    • Build on Singapore’s “trust” brand
  • Privacy-aware AI
    • Demand from regulators and consumers
    • Learn from sensitive datasets, while preserving privacy of Individuals
  • Resource-efficient AI
    • Small-country – small dataset
    • Learning from small but quality datasets
  • Collaborative AI
    • Strengths in NLP and diversity as a testbed
  • Continuous Learning AI
    • Autonomous incremental learning AI towards Artificial General Intelligence

Eligibility Criteria

  • Interested applicants intending to pursue a Full-time PhD and existing PhD candidates (must be 2 years or less into PhD) in Singapore-based AUs. 

  • Interested applicants or existing PhD candidates with strong interest in AI fundamental research are highly encouraged to apply for the AISG PhD Fellowship.


  • Applicants/ Candidates who are Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Resident are strongly encouraged to apply

Application Process (For Students)

Please note that each institution has a different PhD application deadline. Hence, please verify according to the website.

For new applicants interested in this PhD Fellowship Programme, please submit your application through the intended AU’s website as per the usual channel for PhD application.

Autonomous University
Application Opening Period
Application Period


01 Oct (of prior year)
31 Jan (of intake year)
01 Jun (of prior year)
31 Jul (of prior year)


All year round application period. The cut-off dates for the intake are:

All: 5 Jan (of intake year)
Local: 15 Mar (of intake year)
All year round application period. The cut-off dates for the intake are:

All: 15 Jun (of prior year)
Local: 1 Sep (of prior year)
01 Aug (of prior year)
31 Jan (of intake year)
01 Feb (of prior year)
30 Jun (of prior year)
All year round application period. The cut-off date for the intake is:

31 Mar (of intake year)
All year round application period. The cut-off date for the intake is:

30 Sep (of prior year)

For existing PhD candidates, please contact each AU’s graduate office for more details.

For Autonomous Universities’ Administrator Information

Application is now closed.

For any enquiries regarding this Fellowship Programme, 

In the field ‘About‘, please select ‘AI Research‘ to ensure that your enquiries are directed to the right personnel.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I submit my application for the AISG PhD Fellowship Programme?

You will need to submit your PhD application to Singapore-based autonomous universities (AUs) you intend to apply to. The AUs will then recommend your application to AI Singapore if you qualify for their offered PhD programme. Additionally, you may consider to notify your applied AUs that you wish to be considered under the AISG PhD Fellowship scheme.

What is the standard procedure for the PhD Fellowship application? Should we wait till we get accepted into a Singapore-based university for PhD before applying for the AISG Fellowship programme?

AISG does not receive direct applications. The Singapore-based autonomous universities will need to recommend your application after they have assessed your application suitability for the AISG PhD Fellowship Programme.

Do I need to look for a potential supervisor before applying to Autonomous Universities PhD Programme / AISG PhD Fellowship Programme?

It is not a necessary requirement to have a potential/confirmed supervisor for your application. However, it is highly encouraged that interested applicant to speak to those potential supervisors in mind. You should assess if their AI research areas are a fit and if you feel comfortable to work closely with your supervisor(s) throughout your whole period of PhD candidature period (up to 5 years).

Will AISG PhD Fellowship Programme support part-time PhD applicants? Can AISG PhD Fellowship Programme be done on a part-time basis (i.e. work and research)?

AISG PhD Fellowship programme only supports full-time PhD students. There is no part-time fellowship under the AISG PhD Fellowship Programme.

Does AI SG PhD Fellowship Programme open to international students?

The AISG PhD fellowship programme welcomes all nationalities to apply. However, please do note that this programme only supports students pursuing full-time PhD studies in Singapore-based autonomous universities.

Do I need to get the recommendation for AISG PhD Fellowship Programme from a professor?

If you are an applicant applying for a PhD programme, a professor’s recommendation is not a must-have, but it will be more favourably considered if you have worked with any of them. Alternatively, recommendation letters may also be given by a technical supervisor with relevant industrial experience and exposure.

If my PhD programme college/faculty is not part of the list under the eligibility criteria, can I still put up a request with the autonomous university to consider for AISG PhD Fellowship Programme when I send in my application?

For other college/faculty beyond the list mentioned under the eligibility criteria is subject to AISG’s evaluation and assessment. However, it is subjected to individual autonomous universities’ internal assessment if you will be a good fit.

If I have not taken/received my PhD qualification examination, do I need to fulfil this criterion to qualify as transferred/existing PhD candidate?

AISG notes that PhD qualification examination may happen near the end of second year PhD candidature period. Hence, this requirement is applicable for those who have taken the exam but not necessary at the point of application. However, do note that if one did not pass their qualification exam after AISG PhD Fellowship is awarded, AISG has the right to terminate the support for the PhD fellow.

I have applied to two local autonomous universities PhD programmes. If I am being shortlisted by these two local universities, will I have two different AISG portal application IDs in the application portal?

You would have two different accounts if both applications were endorsed by each individual university. You may be asked on the preferred institution you are intending to select prior to the evaluation/award. There will not be double award given to both institutions.

Will there be interviews conducted before the award of AISG PhD Fellowship?

If there is a need for interview, we will let the candidates know in advance, however it will be on a short notice.

Deliverables and Service Obligations

Are there deliverables expected from the AISG PhD Fellowship Programme?

Yes. You are expected to deliver a minimum of 4 publications and be involved in AI Singapore programmes during the funding period.

Will the “four publications” be pro-rated for transferred/existing PhD students according to AISG’s funding support years?

The publications will not be pro-rated. AISG PhD Fellowship Programme is a highly prestigious programme, AISG expects awardees to have the calibre to be able to publish at least 4 publications (if not more).

I am unable to locate the conference and journal lists, “Top 10% NRF Approved List” or “Clarivate’s Science and Technology” as mentioned in the AI Singapore guidelines. Where can I find the lists?

The list of conferences and journals are not publicly available. However, the individual university research offices will have a copy of the AISG mentioned lists if you are a researcher under one of the autonomous universities. The top 10% NRF Approved list comprise 183 conferences and 279 journals. Clarivate List is updated annually by Clarivate organisation.

Would there be a service bond to the AISG PhD Fellowship Programme?

There is a no post-service bond for Singaporeans or Singapore Permanent Resident. However, for all international students funded under AISG PhD Fellowship are required to serve a two (2) years bond after graduation in a Singapore-based company registered with ACRA.

What if the previous scholarship has a bond requirement? Can I still join the programme without deferring the bond service?

Unfortunately, we are not able to advise you on this matter. You will need to check with your previous scholarship provider directly if they allow deferring the bond. You are also required to declare in your application when applying.

Will I, as an international student, be able to deter the service obligations for 1-2 years for overseas postdoctoral studies?

You will need to serve the 2 years’ service obligations if you are an international student upon your PhD graduation. Hence, it is not possible to defer the service.

If I already have three-year service obligation from my previous scholarship(s), will I need to do a total of five years’ service obligation?

If you are a transfer/existing PhD candidate and successfully awarded as a AISG PhD Fellow, it is recommended to complete your previous scholarship obligations. However, the service obligations are subjected to prior award and agreement with the previous scholarship organisation.

During the award period, am I allowed to take up overseas industrial internship or any remunerated employment?

AISG PhD fellows are not allowed to engage in any other remunerated employment during AISG’s supported period. For pro-bono consulting and other exceptional cases, he or she will require to notify and obtain AI Singapore’s approval.

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