ASE Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (By Research)

PhD

Programme Type

Full-time

Graduate admissions (Research)

Admission_Research@ntu.edu.sg
The NTU PhD program is 4 years. Besides working on their research, students from AY2020 Sem 1 intake onwards are required to complete 18 Academic Units of classes during their PhD, which roughly translates around six courses. After completing a qualifying examination in their third semester, they focus on completing their doctoral project, working closely with a faculty advisor. Students with a Master’s degree in related fields may request for course exemption up to 1 course (3AUs) for similar courses that he/she has taken during MSc in their respective universities.
PhD Projects
 
The application deadline for August intake is 31st January and January intake is 31st July.
 
Apply online via NTU website
If you have any query, please write to ase_postgrad@ntu.edu.sg
 
The following table lists the PhD projects that are currently available.
 
Please click on the link to find out more on the research area. You may email the principal investigator/supervisor if you have any questions regarding the project.
 
 
SupervisorResearch Project TitleNumber of Positions
Prof Benjamin HortonCoastal Evolution / Quatenary environmental change

This project is part of an ongoing program of field-based and computational research to reconstruct Quaternary sea levels and to apply the paleo-record to improve projections of future sea-level change.

For field-focused candidates: skills in micropaleontology/paleo environmental reconstructions and/or sedimentology of coastal systems are highly desirable.

For computationally-focused candidates: a strong numerical or statistical background is highly desirable. Applicants able to participate in both field and computational research are particularly encouraged.
 
Asst Prof Emma Hill
Geodesy and natural hazards
 
We have several PhD positions available for candidates with a passion for using geodetic data (e.g., GNSS and InSAR) to understand natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes and/or sea-level rise) in Southeast Asia. Potential projects could also include the use of SAR data for mapping natural disasters (e.g., floods and/or building damage from earthquakes). Students with experience processing GPS and InSAR data, tectonic modeling, and machine learning are encouraged to apply. Strong coding skills (ideally Python and MATLAB) and strong mathematical skills are required. A background in Earth science is preferred.
 
Supervisor contact: ehill@ntu.edu.sg
2

 

 

MOE Tier 1 Research Grant

Proposal ID

Title Of Project

Title of PI

Main PI

Recommended

Amount ($)

Duration (Months)

2019-T1-002-016

Riparian protection versus pest and disease control in oil palm plantations

Assistant Professor

Eleanor Slade

$ 196,500.00

24

2019-T1-002-020

Phosphorus feedbacks determining forest resilience in Singapore

Assistant Professor

Kelly Andersen

$ 99,000.00

24

2019-T1-002-023

Identifying and Mitigating Deforestation Risks in Agricultural Commodity Supply Chains

Assistant Professor

Lee Ser Huay Janice Teresa

$ 73,638.00

36

 

PhD positions for the South East Asia Sea-level (SEA2) program

The Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) and the Asian School of the Environment (ASE) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore are seeking PhD students to join the Singapore Government funded South East Asia SEA-level (SEA2) program. This is an international, multi-institutional and trans-disciplinary program that will push scientific frontiers to observe, reconstruct and model the regional processes of sea level from instrumental and proxy data.

SEA2 has identified five specific objectives to meet the challenge of understanding global and regional sea-level rise, extreme sea levels and their potential impacts:

1. Solid Earth contributions to sea-level change, in particular modeling of tectonic effects and/or observation of groundwater related subsidence, using geodetic data (PI: Associate Prof Emma Hill)

2. Paleo sea-level change, in particular reconstructing changes in sea level and land level at multiple time scales over the Holocene, using geological proxy data (PI: Assistant Prof Aron Meltzner)

3. Extreme sea levels, in particular hydrodynamic modeling of tides, storm surges and river flooding in coastal environments and geospatial analysis in coastal areas (PI: Associate Prof Adam Switzer)

4. Projections of future sea-level rise in particular probabilistic sea-level projections and local to regional components that drive sea-level rise (PI: Professor Ben Horton)

5. Risk-based flood impact projection, in particular the multi-scale modeling of exposure, vulnerability and resilience of coastal cities and regions (PI: Assistant Prof David Lallemant)

There are two intakes of PhD students, in January 2021 and in August 2021.  The deadline for the submission of applications is 31st July for the January intake, and 31st January for the August intake. We strongly encourage those interested to contact potential faculty advisors prior to applying.

Graduate Scholarships include a competitive stipend, tuition, and benefits, and are 4 years in duration. Interested students should apply by following the instructions at ASE website and indicate your interest in working with one or more of the PIs in your application.

Post-doctoral applications will be advertised shortly.


The minimum requirement for admission is a Bachelor’s degree with 2nd Class Honors Upper (or equivalent eg CGPA >3.2). The degree does not have to be a Geo Science / Earth Science degree. You do not need a Master's degree to take the PhD.
 
All applicants are required to submit their GRE test scores for the general test (GATE in lieu of GRE for applicants from India) in support of their applications. Test dates must be within 5 years or less from the date of your application. In some circumstances, special arrangement can be made for selected good applicants to sit for Technical Proficiency Test (TPT) in place of GRE.
 
International applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to submit their TOEFL/IELTS test scores as well. Test dates must be within 2 years or less from the date of your application. In some circumstances, special arrangement can be made for selected good applicants to sit for NTU’s English Proficiency Test (EPT) in place of TOEFL/IELTS.
 
All duly completed application forms must be submitted via the NTU online application system.
 
Questions or queries on the PhD program in ASE/EOS should be directed to Christina Tee at SKTEE@ntu.edu.sg
 
 
Candidature
 
All students are expected to complete the program within 4 years. However, in special circumstances, pending the recommendation of the Academic Committee and the approval of the Chair, extensions of up to 1 years may be granted.
 

The PhD is designed to be completed with four years of study. During the first two years, students take courses and complete one exploratory research projects in consultation with faculty advisor. They also generate a proposal for their PhD research. After completing a qualifying examination their second year, they focus on completing their doctoral project, working closely with a primary faculty advisor. Students from AY2020 Sem 1 intake onwards are required to complete 18 Academic Units of classes during their PhD, which roughly translates around six courses. Students with a Master’s degree in related fields may request for course exemption up to 1 course (3AUs) for similar courses that he/she has taken during MSc in their respective universities.

 

PhD Timeline

  • By the end of the first academic year (second semester): the student submits: (1) tentative titles of research proposals for review by the oral examination committee and (2), a list of courses planned to satisfy the PhD requirement, for review by the academic advisory committee.
  • By the end of the second academic year: (1) passage of oral exam; (2) satisfactory completion of course requirements; (3) submission of a tentative thesis topic and adviser, and thesis advisory committee; (4) admission to candidacy.
  • End of the subsequent academic years: satisfactory progress toward completion of thesis.
  • Completion of PhD thesis by the end of fourth year. If warranted, the student may request an extension of up to one year from the academic advisory committee.

Advising and Thesis Supervision

A supervisor will be assigned for each incoming student. This supervisor serves as a mentor with broad responsibility for a student's academic welfare throughout the graduate program. The supervisor is responsible for guiding students through the academic program, including course work, identifying thesis advisory committee, and completing ASE requirements and prerequisites. Supervisors are chosen from the student’s area of interest.

Coursework Requirements

During the first year, every graduate student will take ES 7002 and ES 7003. These courses should be completed during the first year. Throughout their graduate careers, students are expected to attend departmental seminars and seminar courses led by visiting scientists.

 

Exploratory Research Projects

Graduate student exploratory research projects are carried out during the first year of residence.  The purpose of the research project is for the student to demonstrate the ability to carry out scientific research on their chosen topics, to place it in the context of previous knowledge, and to recognize its implications.  Each research project should be a careful written and oral statement of what has been learned up to the time of the examination, together with a discussion of the implications of the research.  The research projects should be supported by evidence that may include maps, graphs, photographs, samples, etc.  These materials need not be in final form or represent the last word on the subject.
 
The student should demonstrate breadth in the selection of research project topic. The name of the faculty member most closely involved should appear on the written abstract of research project.
 
Project supervisor may read each abstract once and provide general comments.  Preparation for the oral exam should be independent from supervisors, faculty/lecturer and post docs (i.e. talk rehearsals).  However, students are encouraged to seek input from fellow students and research associates.

 

Qualifying Oral Examinations

The qualifying exam consists of the following items:
a)  One project described in a 5-page (including figures and references) report..
b)  A 15 minute talk presented to the QE committee.
 
Two weeks prior to the student's PhD QE’s date, the student will submit his/her abstract, one project described in a long (5-page including figures and references) report), iThenticate Report (not exceeding 10%), a summary of course work already completed, and a short CV (1-page) demonstrating experience prior to entering the PhD.
 
During the examination, the student will present a 15-minute summary describing objectives, results, conclusions and implications that follow from the research project. The presentation of research project summary will be followed by detailed and general questioning concerning the research project itself and the fundamental science underlying the research project and/or the student’s academic specialty. The chair of the PhD Qualifying Examination Committee will direct the discussion to ensure that all major aspects of each research topic and of the student’s major interests are aired.
 
Immediately after the examination, the committee chair will inform the student of the exam result.  Should the student fail the qualifying exam, he/she may, subject to approval of the PhD Qualifying Examination Committee, be allowed to make a second attempt within three months.
 
In all cases, the examining committee will prepare a written memo to the student and his or her adviser, which states the result of the exam and makes recommendations regarding the student's further preparation. The supervisor will review the response to recommendations when the student applies for admission to candidacy (see Section 4.5).
 
Students are not allowed to have any backup / extra slides for their QE talk (beyond the slides they will actually present). In addition, the advisor should only provide minimal inputs to the report and presentation. If the research is to be written up for publication prior to the QE, it is the student’s responsibility to save a version of the report for QE submission prior to getting detailed comments from the advisor and other collaborators.
 
 

Thesis Advisory Committee

The Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) must be declared by the end of the 1st year.
The TAC will comprise 3 or 4 members as follows:

  • 3 members consisting of the main supervisor (as coordinator of the TAC) and 2 committee members (for student who does not have a co-supervisor); or
  • 4 members consisting of the main supervisor (as coordinator of the TAC); the co-supervisor (for IGPA students this person must be from a different School within NTU) and 2 committee members.

 
The TAC will consist of a minimum 2 internal faculty from the School and at least 1 external member. The supervisor is responsible for assisting students to identify their research and training needs, plan their time and design the framework under which their research will progress. Committee members serve as mentors, providing academic and personal support to the PhD candidate and should be diverse enough to support all the research directions of the thesis. Staff from industry and research institutes who have suitable academic qualifications can be invited to be in the TAC. The TAC is also responsible for monitoring the student’s progress and completing the annual research progress report.

The Committee is approved by the Associate Chair (Research) in consultation with the candidate’s supervisors, and approved by the Chair, ASE.

Thesis Defense

The student must submit their thesis to the thesis committee at least one month in advance of the thesis defense. The thesis defense consists of a public presentation (45-50 minutes), with questions from the audience. Following the public presentation, the student will meet for private discussion with the thesis committee. In exceptional circumstances, an external committee chair may be appointed by the Assocciate Chair.

Revisions requested by the committee must be completed and submitted to the committee chair for final approval. If the student fails the thesis examination, subject to the recommendation of the thesis committee and the Academic Committee and the approval of the Associate Chair, the student may undergo another examination within six months.

Admissions

If you think that we might be a good fit for you, the first step is to learn about the research that happens here. Please take some time to look through the faculty research webpages, and identify faculty whose interests may align with yours. The first step to applying is to contact potential faculty mentors, who can tell you more about their research programmes and work with you to see if you might be a good match. Once you have identified a potential faculty mentor, you can work with them, along with our graduate services officer to submit your application.

  • The minimum requirement for admission is a Bachelor’s degree with 2nd Class Honors Upper (or equivalent eg CGPA >3.2).

  • All applicants are required to submit their GRE test scores for the general test (GATE in lieu of GRE for applicants from India) in support of their applications. Test dates must be within 5 years or less from the date of your application. Special arrangements can be made for selected applicants to sit for Technical Proficiency Test (TPT) in place of GRE.

  • International applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to submit their TOEFL/IELTS test scores as well. Test dates must be within 2 years or less from the date of your application. Special arrangements can be made for selected applicants to sit for NTU’s English Proficiency Test (EPT) in place of TOEFL/IELTS.
 

There are two intakes of graduate students every year in January and August. The deadline for the submission of applications is 31st January for August intake and 31st July for next year January intake. All applications must go through the online system of the Office of Admission.

Click here to apply on-line for graduate programs by research. Please note the following selections when completing your online application form:

  • Under Program Applied For > Program Applied – Select "Asian School of the Environment: Programme code [221] Doctor of Philosophy (ASoE)"

  • Under Program Applied for > Select Interdisciplinary Graduate Programme: IGPA
 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the project site of the ASE and contact faculty to discuss possible PhD topics.. Applicants who do not contact faculty before applying are unlikely to be admitted to the program.