Alumni Testimonials

Sam Yan Ting Joyce
Joyce Sam Yan Ting, Psychology, PhD, 2022
Temasek Laboratories @ NTU, Research Scientist

Having just graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I enrolled into the PhD programme in Psychology at NTU the very same year. Looking back, I am glad I took the plunge as the journey was an insightful one. The programme offered a lot of opportunities for students to pick up knowledge within and across specializations. Apart from the numerous psychology modules that were offered, I was able to take up cross-disciplines modules that are immensely helpful for generating new research perspectives. The mentorship provided by both my thesis supervisor – Prof. Qiu Lin – and other faculty members was also greatly appreciated. Committed to developing students’ potential, the faculty was always welcoming when I approached them with questions and novel research ideas. This created a nurturing environment where intellectual conversations could take place. Working closely with national stakeholders in Singapore, the programme connected me with governmental bodies through which I was given a chance to present my work and to speak at the 54th Annual American Polygraph Association Seminar and Workshop held in Orlando, Florida. It was an experience that I deeply value as the interesting discourse engaged in with practitioners and experts from the law enforcement and polygraph community (e.g., FBIs, polygraph examiners, etc.) has further shaped my research interests. Upon graduating, I have joined Temasek Laboratories @ NTU as a research scientist and is working on multiple projects related to credibility assessment. I feel very fortunate to have completed my doctoral studies at NTU and is always grateful for the support the program has provided me with. 


Kwa Kai Xiang
Kwa Kai Xiang, Public Policy and Global Affairs, PhD, 2022
School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, ICC Lecturer

I started my PhD in Public Policy and Global Affairs (PPGA) in 2017. Since then, I have had numerous opportunities to work with colleagues from diverse academic backgrounds and further hone my research and teaching skills. I fondly recall one such opportunity in that I worked with an interdisciplinary team of research peers from the Psychology Programme and the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering to draft a research proposal that advanced an ethical governance framework to address key issues that can be created by increasing artificial intelligence influence on Singapore society, which won the Commendation Award at the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH)’s Ideas Challenge: ​AI for Humanity’. Looking back at the last four years, I would like to thank my PhD supervisor Prof. Kim Soojin for her time and steadfast support in guiding me through my development as a junior academic under the PPGA PhD Programme. Prof. Kim’s supervision and the wider rigorous academic training provided by the PPGA PhD Programme have greatly helped me to further deepen my knowledge and interest in my research areas. This, in turn, has given me the both the confidence and the ability to getting published, for instance, in esteemed peer-reviewed journals and by esteemed academic book publishers. It has also given me the confidence and ability to present in top international conferences pertaining to my field, such as the American Society For Public Administration Conference and the International Research Society of Public Management Conference. Another invaluable experience gained from the PhD in PPGA Programme as a whole is undergraduate teaching experience. I am immensely grateful to the Programme for the privilege and opportunity to tutor undergraduate PPGA courses. One such course was the Contemporary Political Theory course. This undergraduate teaching experience has provided me with the critical pedagogical and teaching communication foundations that have supported me in my current role as an ICC lecturer. The last four years have been a highly memorable and enriching time for me and I will treasure them for many more years to come!


Kang Ni Ying Bianca, Psychology, MA, 2020
Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), Analyst

I rea​lly enjoyed doing my Masters in Psychology (Research) at NTU. The program was very supportive and provided a lot of latitude for student growth. Under the guidance of my thesis supervisor – Professor Ringo Ho – I was allowed to select and pursue my own research topic in the exciting new area of computational social science. This, along with the other opportunities the school furnished, really bolstered my growth as a researcher. Besides frequently holding relevant workshops and seminars, the school also provided me with multiple invaluable experiences – there was funding to present my research at the 5th International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2) in Amsterdam, co​nstant openings to work with other professors on their research and publications, and opportunities to act as a teaching assistant for undergraduate psychology research and statistic modules. The program was also flexible, allowing me to take up a summer internship with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), where I applied and refined the skills picked up over the course of my research in a relevant project. I have since joined DSTA as an analyst upon graduating from the program. Very little of this would have been possible without the strong support of my supervisor and the program – so, an unwavering thanks from me to Professor Ringo, SSS, and NTU for a wonderful two years.


Ariful Haque, Public Policy and Global Affairs, PhD, 2019
Embassy of Bangladesh, Tokyo, Minister for Commerce

As a career civil servant, I had been working in the Bangladesh Administrative Service for 12 (twelve) years when I commenced my study in NTU and I graduated with a PhD in Public Policy and Global Affairs in 2019. Currently I am serving as Minister (Commerce) in the Embassy of Bangladesh in Tokyo, Japan where my key responsibility is to strengthen bilateral trade and economic diplomacy. The School provided me ample opportunity to develop theoretical knowledge through rigorous course works and teaching skills through tutoring in undergraduate courses. I can apply highly interdisciplinary tools and perspectives to my professional career. During my PhD journey, the School provided me funding and support to present papers in prestigious international conferences such as International Institute of Administration Sciences (IIAS), Joint Congress, 2016, in China, Third International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP), 2017, in Singapore, and “Connected Life Conference”, 2017, at Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, in UK etc. The school also supported my summer study at School of International Studies in Peking University, China which gave me a wonderful experience. Having the opportunity to learn from the world-renowned professors with a wide range of backgrounds has helped me to be a better pracademic. I had also amazing experiences with the sincere and helpful officials and staff of NTU. I am highly grateful to my supervisor, Professor Yu Wenxuan who gave me all-out support to make my dream successful. My supportive, diverse and brilliant peers helped create a holistic educational experience in the beautiful campus. In a very multicultural and international perspective, living in Singapore with my family was a very gratifying experience that we always cherish in the heart.


Chen Shiwei, Sociology, PhD, 2019
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (NTU-Imperial College London), Research Fellow

My candidature in the sociology programme at NTU was a highly stimulating intellectual journey with faculty who were encouraging and supportive all the way. I am also grateful to all the research support personnel from the school and the university libraries that have assisted me in countless ways throughout my doctoral pursuit. I am appreciatve of the interdisciplinary research environment and the inspiration that emerged from cross-disciplinary discussions. NTU has given me an opportunity to grow personally and professionally and find my passion in social sciences. Studying in a global city has cultivated my research interests in transnational topics and provided me with numerous opportunities to participate in international academic events in Japan, South Korea, China, Poland, Germany, the UK and Canada. I gradually found my passion in migration study and advocating for minorities. With the guidance provided by NTU, I have come to the realisation of what I am enthusiast about and truly believe in, and feel prepared to continue my research journey.


Humairah Zainal, Sociology, PhD, 2018
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (NTU-Imperial College London), Research Fellow

NTU’s PhD programme by research has honed my methodological and critical thinking skills. Beyond my dissertation, I have conducted research and published on a range of topics in international peer-reviewed journals. With the NTU Research Scholarship and generous research grant from the school, I have presented papers at both local and international conferences, including one at Harvard University. My advisor, Professor Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir, has been a huge inspiration and role model in my academic journey since the start of my doctoral programme. His dedication and scholarly competence have inspired me to complete my dissertation in a timely manner and to continually strive for excellence in my scholarly pursuits. I would not have gone this far without his professional guidance and advice.​​ My most memorable experience at NTU was engaging the undergraduates in meaningful sociological discussions, be it in tutorials, lectures or outside the classroom settings. As a graduate tutor, my teaching was recognised as exceptional in terms of student feedback scores, which surpassed the mean teaching scores for the School of Social Sciences every semester. In recognition of my teaching excellence, I won the Outstanding Graduate Tutor Award for Academic Year 2016/2017. I will always cherish the memories with my students, peers and faculty members at NTU! 


Liu Hengshuang, Psychology, PhD, 2018
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Associate Professor

I am grateful to my supervisor, Prof Annabel Chen, for her unwavering support during my Ph.D. candidature. I had the most challenging experience in my initial years due to medium of instruction and being in a foreign country. Through the mentoring I received from Prof Annabel I made strides in research and learning the English language. I was greatly motivated and bolstered by her encouragements to present in several world-class conferences in our field. I feel tremendously lucky to have had the training and opportunities in NTU. I am now an Associate Professor in a public University in China. I was also able to successfully receive a research grant funded by the Chinese Ministry of Education. Together with Prof Annabel Chen and Prof Suzy Styles we are working towards getting our paper published. I strive to live up to the standards invested and built in me by NTU.


Md. Nazrul Islam, Sociology, PhD, 2017
Shahjalal University of S​​cience and Technology, Professor​​​​

I did my M​​Sc. (International Relations, RSIS) and PhD (Sociology) at NTU, Singapore in 2012 and 2017 respectively. I went through a productive academic journey during these years. As a graduate student, I found NTU a world class center of academic excellence coupled with a diverse social and cultural mixture of students and faculties from around the world. My professors were profoundly informed, caring, and cooperative. Their sincere efforts of training students as future global leaders in diverse fields really made me proud. The non-academic staff were also professional, skilled and cooperative. NTU, as I saw, was a genuine global leader in higher education and research with a world class academic and social and cultural environment. My student life in campus and the residential hall at NTU was also vibrant, charming and pleasing. I am glad to say, ​NTU had fulfilled my expectations as a graduate student and contributed a lot to building my professional career as a university professor now. I would simply say, those who want to spend a colourful academic journey with a world class education and environment, they are advised to join NTU. Although NTU is young as a university, it is a global educational leader being in the top list of the QS and Times Higher Education world university rankings in the contemporary world. I am h​​onoured to express my sincere gratitude to all of my academic and non-academic staff who made my​ academic journey at NTU exceedingly happier. I am really proud of being an alumnus of NTU, Singapore.​


Yang Zhang Brenda, Economics, PhD, 2005
University of Macau, Associate Professor

I am so privileged to have graduated with my PhD in Economics from Nanyang Technological University. The major strength of the program lies in the supportive financial and other research infrastructure across the University. Most importantly, throughout my journey at NTU the level of care and interaction I received from my mentor was academically rewarding and personally enriching. Faculty members within and out of my committee always provided me with honest feedback and challenged me to grow. My study was benefited immensely by their guidance and encouragement that helped build my independent research stream and skills to learn new analytical methods and develop instructional curriculum, ultimately preparing me to be a good colleague at my academic placement. Since launching a rewarding career at University of Macau, I’ve continued to benefit enormously from the academic network of NTU and still have very close relationships with some of the faculty and peer students I worked with while in Singapore including a friend for life.  Overall, my educational experience at NTU was truly stimulating and inspiring which I thoroughly enjoyed and deeply appreciated. I hope you would consider to be part of this wonderful journey in your career. ​​