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Queen Mary and A*STAR launch collaborative PhD projects

A set of new collaborative PhD projects has been launched by Queen Mary University of London and A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) Singapore.

20 December 2018


Representatives from Queen Mary and A*STAR including Professor Ng Huck Hui (centre) and Professor Colin Grant (third from right)

Under the A*STAR-Queen Mary Research Attachment Programme, Queen Mary and A*STAR will offer six PhDs specialising in physics, engineering and medical research.

Successful applicants will enrol on a four-year programme with two years at Queen Mary and two years in Singapore at an A*STAR research institute. During that time students will have two main supervisors, one at Queen Mary and one at A*STAR.

A single Queen Mary PhD will then be awarded at the end, following a successful thesis defence.

Professor Colin Grant, Vice-Principal (International) at Queen Mary University of London, said: “This programme will provide fantastic opportunities for PhD students at Queen Mary and A*STAR research institutes and it strengthens the ties Queen Mary and A*STAR have developed this year.

“It’s also a great chance for our students to study at A*STAR which is world renowned for its research and highly-regarded researchers, many of whom are also affiliated with two of the best universities in the world, Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore.”  

Earlier this year Queen Mary and A*STAR signed a memorandum of understanding at a ceremony in Singapore to develop joint research across medicine, health, science and engineering. This collaboration is a result of that signing.

World class research and development

Professor Ng Huck Hui, Executive Director of the A*STAR Graduate Academy, said: “A*STAR’s collaboration with Queen Mary builds on the research expertise of both institutions to spearhead research in strategic areas. There is an increasing need to attract and develop a spectrum of talent across the research and innovation value chain to undertake world-class R&D that will be of value to industry and society. Queen Mary and A*STAR’s combined strengths in research and education will equip these students with the know-how and experience to stay ahead in today’s ever-changing global economic landscape.

“This collaboration with Queen Mary deepens our engagement with the United Kingdom to further drive growth and deliver impact that will benefit both countries.”

The programme will include projects from four of Queen Mary’s Schools, spanning areas of research in medicine, engineering and physics. All the projects will be supervised by existing collaborative duos of academics from Queen Mary and A*STAR Singapore.

The engineering and physics projects are:

  • Advanced 2D materials for quantum and bio nanotechnologies
  • Developing bone secondary microenvironments for personalised medicine
  • Artificial intelligence in unmanned aerial vehicle networks

The medicine projects are:

  • Investigating immune micro-environment in pancreatic cancer
  • Interactions between skin microbes and keratinocytes in individuals of Bangladeshi and Singapore-Chinese ethnicity with severe atopic eczema
  • 3D printing the human hair follicle
  • Tracking age-related changes in HBV-immunity at the single cell level
  • Functional and structural studies of rod-like structures regulated by the dose and de-ubiquitinating activity of USP25, a gene with roles in Down’s syndrome associated diseases

Queen Mary is home to over 150 students from Singapore, studying across its three faculties at all academic levels.

A*STAR is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy.

More information:

Programme Structure in full: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/scholarships/items/astar-phd-scholarships.html

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