Odyssey Research

The students from the Odyssey Programme 2019

The Odyssey Research Programme is for the student who is curious about science, thinks deeper, is one who is not daunted by failure, and who understands that questions are more important than the “right” answers.

Each year, the Odyssey Research Programme brings approximately 30 undergraduates (Odysseyans, as we call them) to actively participate in a paid research internship with faculty members of SPMS.

The internship takes place during the 12 weeks of the special terms 1 and 2 of the university, during which Odysseyans will immerse in full-time research in their mentor’s laboratory and research group activities.

Even as Odysseyans go forth to explore research with their faculty mentors, Odysseyans come back for weekly meetings. These meetings may be scientific in nature with invited speakers, or may simply be opportunities to enjoy the warmth of friendships and find small meaning in light-hearted philosophising.

At the end of the 12-week programme, Odysseyans’ research culminates in an Odyssey Research Symposium, where there will be prizes to be won. Odysseyans will present posters and/or talks describing their work and all members of the SPMS community will be invited. As always, food and drinks are never far away from such celebrations of students’ milestones.

The Research Symposium marks the end of the 12-week research, but also the beginning of a longer journey. Odysseyans are all expected to continue with their research for the next academic year, for their Final Year Project (for final years), or as a “special topics” or “research” course offered by the Divisions (if academic units are desired), or simply out of pure interest.

Through the following academic year, Odysseyans continue to engage in weekly club meetings, organise scholarly activities, get involved in SPMS Outreach events, etc.

In a nutshell, through the Odyssey Research Programme, Odysseyans get thoroughly immersed into the academic community at SPMS. They will establish a firm relationships with their faculty mentor, the research group and like-minded peers. We hope that this provides lasting and valuable support throughout the Odysseyan’s academic career, to beyond their time at SPMS.

In this way, Odysseyans become the best ambassadors who will be able to encourage other students to experience the sense of wonder and adventure of research.

The course aims to provide students with opportunities to freely explore and take risks. Even failures are fruitful and enriching experiences!



We are looking for students who have a good cGPA (≥4.0) and are passionate about research. Students should either 

(1) have done undergraduate-level research (e.g. URECA, CM9071, PH2999 or MH4910, or interned in an SPMS faculty member’s lab) before joining Odyssey Research Programme, or 

(2) have very strong recommendations from an SPMS faculty member.

CNYang Scholars Programme students are very welcome in our labs, but because their curriculum is already a specialised research-infused one, we will not be able to offer a research allowance should they wish to join the Odyssey Research Programme.

SPMS students holding scholarships, e.g. CoS, Nanyang Scholarship, or external scholarships, are eligible for the Odyssey Research Programme and the research allowance.

Students who are currently enrolled in URECA​, which ends in June and overlaps with Odyssey, will be eligible for the final 8 weeks (instead of the full 12 weeks) of the Odyssey Research Programme. Research allowance will be pro-rated.

First year students who are interested are advised to speak to faculty members to learn about their research, and volunteer in their labs, or take up URECA or undergraduate-level research courses, to gain relevant research experience before applying.​​​​​​​



Note that precise deadlines will be provided in the application form.​

Download Application Form for Odyssey Research Programme 2020 Here!

Period / Deadline for 2020 Event / Activity
Recess week (Sem 2) Applications open.
Briefing on Odyssey Research Programme.
End of Week 9 (Sem 2)
Deadline: 20 Mar 2020 (5pm)
Students submit applications through email to:
Weeks 10 – 11 (Sem 2) Interviews, if necessary.
End of Week 11 (Sem 2) Confirmation of student allocation in Odyssey programme.
Week 12 – 13 (Sem 2) Students approach SPMS faculty members to discuss projects.
End of Week 13 (Sem 2) Students submit research proposal, endorsed by supervising faculty through email to:
Special terms I and II
(12 weeks)
11 May 2020 – 30 July 2020
(inclusive of recess and exam weeks)
Research work carried out under supervision of SPMS faculty.
Because this is a paid internship, students are expected to be working full-time, from Monday – Friday. Supervising faculty member’s endorsement is required for Research Assistant allowance to be credited.
Students also participate in weekly Odyssey meetings (in addition to research work).
End of special term
Report deadline: 30 July 2020
Symposium date: 7 Aug 2020
(to be confirmed)
(1) Student submission of type-written scientific report to supervisor
(2) Student poster / talk for Odyssey Research Symposium.

Following academic year, Sem 1 and 2.

All Odysseyans are encouraged to continue with research, either with the same (preferable) or another faculty member.
Odysseyans participate in weekly meetings and fulfil obligations, e.g. participation in Outreach activities, undergraduate talks, etc.



​​​​​​​SPMS faculty members who mentor students in the Odyssey Research Programme are responsible for the satisfactory conduct of the student. Faculty members will have to endorse their research proposal at the application stage, ensure satisfactory research work so as to endorse students’ monthly claims for over the 3 month (12 week) period.

Students should be putting in the hours according to the norms of a full-time Research Staff in the faculty member’s group. Faculty members are advised to set clear expectations and foster a supportive environment for the students.

Research funding is not provided by Odyssey, but Divisions may support miscellaneous fees such as chemical disposal and chemicals usage.