As a new initiative by the Office of Research and the Post-doc community, we hope that LEARN can offer our members a more enjoyable and fruitful time at LKCMedicine.
To provide an interactive platform for aspiring early career scientists to put forward vibrant ideas and values to spark the next generation of discoveries in research, medicine, and beyond.
Guide for new research staff
Are you a researcher relocating to LKCMedicine or NTU from overseas? We have put together useful information for you to hit the ground running! Click here to download guide.
Guide for new research staff
Are you a researcher relocating to LKCMedicine or NTU from overseas? The following information might be of some use to you. These pages were put together so that you hit the ground running!
Getting around Singapore: The public transport system is efficient and fast, making it convenient and easy to get around. You can travel by train (Metro Rail Transit) or bus with an Adult Stored Value Smartcard (EZ-link) that can be purchased at any Transitlink Ticket Office (located at MRT stations or bus interchanges) or convenience store (7-Eleven, Cheers, etc.). Your NTU staff card also integrates this payment function. Besides train and bus, taxi and private-hire cars through e-hailing are widely available (Grab, Tada, ComfortDelgo, Ryde, etc.).
Searching for a place to stay in Singapore can seem daunting, especially if you are searching for an apartment while stationed overseas. Feel reassured that house hunting in the Lion City is no more difficult or easier than renting in any other major metropolis of a comparable population size anywhere around the world.
If you are a newly arriving faculty or an international student at LKCMedicine / NTU, you are likely eligible for campus housing through the Office of Housing and Auxilliary Services (HAS). So, please explore these links (Faculty Housing, Student Housing). Since Research Fellows, Research Associates / Assistants are outside HAS’s purview, this section aims to address the potential concerns that they might face.
Temporary accommodation upon arrival
An incoming LKCMedicine researcher will need to provide an address to the immigration authorities when entering Singapore. Also, LKCMedicine’s HR will ask you for an address, during your orientation day. This address may likely be a temporary residence until you receive your Employment Pass (EP) / Work Pass (WP), a local telephone number and a local bank account. It may take up to 5 business days for your EP/WP to be issued by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). Moreover, since most local banks refrain from opening an account without a physical EPcard, it is worth adding a further 5-7 days for your bank account to be fully functional (debit card, online banking etc). We recommend that you wait for those essential pre-requisites before searching for a long-term accommodation. Therefore, your temporary residence will very likely be your address during your first 2-3 weeks in the city.
Budget hostels and travellers’ hotels in the city are potential temporary residence options to explore. You can book them online on most travel websites. Short term accommodation on NTU campus may be available at the Nanyang Executive Centre (NEC). We suggest that you liaise with your PI or LKCMedicine’s HR regarding the NEC. We do not recommend aggregator sites like Airbnb to search for a short-term rental of less than 6 months. More information can be found here and here.
Once in Singapore and with your EP/WP and bank account open, finding a long-term accommodation is relatively easy. Useful information can be found on several forums, rental sites and listings. Off-campus housing in Singapore can largely be categorised as public (HDB) and private housing (condominiums). Do familiarise yourself with the DOs and DONTs of renting in SG. Please feel free to consult your work or LEARN colleagues (firstname.lastname@example.org) for their inputs regarding details such as location, pricing, commute time, and local practices before you rent.
Singapore offers a wide selection of leisure activities and tourist spots ranging from arts, cultural heritage, history, nature, and wildlife.
- Arts: The ArtScience Museum is a good place to visit, featuring world-class exhibitions of fusions of art and science. There are also art museums featuring modern and contemporary arts such the Singapore Art Museum and National Gallery Singapore. Singapore’s last surviving dragon kiln and pottery jungle right next to NTU!
- Cultural heritage, architecture and neighbourhoods: Visit Singapore’s different districts to get a glimpse of the uniqueness of the city state such as shopper’s paradise at Orchard Road; local traditions, cultures and eateries at Joo Chiat/Katong, Chinatown, Kampong Gelam and Little India; luxurious living at Marina Bay; historical and architectural heritage at the Civic District and Bras Basah; as well as the different places of worship and iconic landmarks.
- History: If you would like to know more about the history and culture of Singapore, the National Museum of Singapore is not to missed. A visit to the thematically organised galleries of Asian Civilisations Museum is a very enriching experience as it is ‘the only museum in the region devoted to exploring the artistic heritage of Asia’, showcasing the diverse heritage of Singapore. The Peranakan Museum is the go-to destination for Peranakan heritage and culture. Besides that, memorials are also a great place to visit if you are a history enthusiast. There are also war museums in Singapore such as Changi Museum and Fort Siloso.
- Nature and wildlife. Famous for its ‘Open Concept”, Singapore Zoo is must-visit for animal lovers. The city-state is also famous for her parks and gardens such as Singapore Botanic Gardens, Gardens by the Bay, The Southern Ridges (made up of Mount Faber Park, HortPark etc), Fort Canning Park, and East Coast Park, as well as reserves such as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Labrador Nature Reserve and MacRitchie Reservoir Park.
- Recreation and leisure. You can explore a variety of indoor and outdoor activities at theme parks such as the Resorts World Sentosa or go for island hopping around Singapore, for example, Coney Island and Pulau Ubin situated at the northeastern coast of Singapore; St John Island, Lazarus Island and Kusu Island situated at the south of Singapore. A fan of speed and F1 World Championship? Do check out Singapore Grand Prix for their latest updates.
- Off the beaten track: Birdsinging clubs in Singapore - Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club.
Eat and Drink
There are many eateries located within and nearby NTU main campus and the Clinical Sciences Building (CSB). Check out this site and this too! On the 16th December 2020, Singapore’s Hawker Culture has been listed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural of Humanity. Hawker centres around Singapore serve a variety of food and drinks, a beautiful display of Singapore’s multi-ethnic culture and heritage through delicious local dishes. There are also many eateries serving local and international halal-certified food. To chill and relax, try going on a café-hopping and bar-hopping bandwagon across neighbourhoods in Singapore.
Places of worshipBeing a harmonious multiracial and multi-religious society, Singapore is home to Hindu, Buddhist and Chinese temples, Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques. No matter your religious background, you can find a place of worship in every suburb of Singapore. Here highlights some of the most historically and architecturally rich places of worship. Visiting any of these spots will give you a spiritually soothing experience, whether you are a believer or not!
NTU Corporate Passes
As an NTU staff, you are eligible for corporate passes to several of Singapore’s attractions. This initiative, overseen by the Campus Recreation & Wellness (CReW), and Office of Human Resources (OHR), is aimed at expanding the well-being programmes for employees. The attractions presently include Singapore Zoo, River Safari, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Flyer and the Trick Eye Museum. The passes are issued in the form of authorization letters valid for the day of the visit. Each authorization letter allows complimentary admission to the attraction for up to 4 persons, including the employee. Except for Singapore Flyer, which allows complimentary admission for 2 persons, including the employee. Detailed information on this can be found by logging on to NTU’s ServiceNow page with your NTU ID. Once there, simply search for “Attraction admission passes”, and you will be directed to the relevant page.
Medical benefits and insurance schemes
Full-time employees (faculty, research, management, and support staff) are eligible for the institute’s health insurance scheme, which is known as Flexible Benefits programme or FlexBen@NTU. Under the scheme, all employees are covered by a basic level of protection (Core Benefits) and given some degree of flexibility to select preferred benefits (Optional Benefits) using Flex Points/by paying out of pocket.
The benefit year of FlexBen@NTU starts from 1st July of the current year to 30th June of the following year. For new hires, the effective date of coverage starts from the date they joined NTU till 30th June, which is the end of the current benefit year. Unused Flex Points (if any) will be credited into employees’ Flexible Spending Account and paid to you as a one-off cash allowance at the end of the benefit year. This cash allowance is subject to tax and CPF contributions.
Group Medical Outpatient (GMO)
GMO covers eligible or admissible expenses incurred at General Practitioner or Specialist Clinics. You will be issued with individual Aviva eCard which is available at MHC Clinic Network Mobile Application. The Aviva PCP eCard can be used at panel clinics in Singapore where there is a direct billing arrangement with Aviva. You just need to show your Aviva PCP eCard at these panel clinics and pay the co-payment amount. The remaining admissible expenses will be billed directly to Aviva, which in turn will be deducted from your Medical Outpatient Provision. The apps also allows you to locate the panel clinics nearby you.
Dental benefit is provided as a one-off cash allowance of $100 which is subject to CPF & tax contributions. No claims submission is required.
Period of FlexBen Selection
Benefits selection is conducted annually before the start of the benefit year, usually from end April to early May. New employees will be receiving the benefits selection email from the University’s appointed benefits administrator, Honan Benefits, within 1 month of joining NTU. You will need to complete your benefits selection via the FlexBen@NTU system within the deadline stated in the enrolment email. NO changes can be made after the deadline.
Other benefitsApart from GMO and Dental, FlexBen@NTU also offers other coverages, like Group Hospital & Surgical (GHS), Group Term Life (GTL), Group Personal Accident (GPA), and Group Critical Illness (GCI). More information and details about FlexBen@NTU is available here.
Research operations and core facilities at LKCMedicine
- Where are the research facilities available in LKCMedicine?
LKCMedicine offers a wide range of cutting-edge core facilities to assist researchers, including bio-imaging platform, histology suite, flow cytometry, lipidomics platform, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease investigation centre, and etc.
- How can I access the core facilities?
You need to request for access and attend training session(s). Once trained, you will be allowed to book the requested instrument on the Central Equipment Booking System. The contact details (as of January 2021) for different platforms are as followed:
Advanced optical bio-imaging platform/microscopy Dr Balakrishnan Kannan (email@example.com) NTU Optical Bioimaging Centre (NOBIC) Prof Peter Török (https://www.nobic.sg/index.html)
Stem cell core platform Dr Ng Sean Pin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr Ken Wong (email@example.com)
Ion channel screening platform Dr Ong Seow Theng (firstname.lastname@example.org) Histology suite Ms Winnie Tay (email@example.com) @ CSB
Ms Dee Dee Toh (firstname.lastname@example.org) @ EMB
Genomics platform Dr Ng Sean Pin (email@example.com)
Mr Ken Wong (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Radiation research platform Dr Parasuraman Padmanabhan (email@example.com) Flow cytometry facility Manisha Cooray (firstname.lastname@example.org) Lipidomics platform Asst Prof Guan Xueli (email@example.com) Zebrafish facility Dr Sathivel Ponniah (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Azmi Bin Ja'afar (email@example.com)
Animal Research Facility Esther Wong (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Keh Lee Hwei (email@example.com)
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease investigation centre Assoc Prof Andrew Tan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lin Guobin (email@example.com)
- My work involves animal experimentation. How can I gain access to Animal Research Facility (ARF)?
To get access to ARF, you must complete the following workflow. Additional information is available here. The contact points are Keh Lee Hwei (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Esther Wong (email@example.com)
- Are there other services provided?
Yes, LKCMedicine also provides glassware and lab coat washing services. For glassware washing, the facility staffs will collect the glassware at your lab on a weekly basis and send them for washing and autoclaving. For lab coat washing, the collection point in EMB is on level 4 (Room #04-02B) and at basement level (Room #B1-15) in CSB.
- Who are the contact points for matters related to research operation and core facilities?
Code of conductUseful links
NTU and LKCMedicine are committed to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct. Hence, we aim to create an environment in which research, teaching and learning is accomplished with openness, honesty, and respect. The University Code of Conduct expresses our commitment to the ethical, professional, and legal standards we use as the basis for our decisions and dealings within and outside the University. We are individually, and collectively responsible for upholding this Code, both on and off the campus. Do familiarize yourself with it here and here.
Disclaimer: Dear visitor, the contents of this page are written and maintained by a group of well-meaning postdoc volunteers, aiming to disseminate useful information to the LKCMedicine Community. We do not aim to promote or dissuade from any of the external links mentioned above. The opinions expressed in the external links are not necessarily the opinions of LEARN, LKCMedicine, and NTU. The content may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, timely, current or up-to-date. Therefore, we encourage you to cross-reference with other sources. Feel free to drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any mistakes and would like us to rectify.