FAQS for A*STAR International Fellowship (AIF)

AGA FAQ

Application

1. How long does it take to process my application?
The processing time for applications is up to 5 months from the date that you submit the complete application to A*GA office to the date that you are informed of the application outcome.

2. Is there any application deadline?
We process applications for 2 intakes. 1 October of preceding year for February's commencement. 1 March of current year for August's commencement.

3. What is the application and interview process like?
After you have submitted all the required documents, your application will be reviewed, and you may be requested to provide more information while we assess your application. If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend at least 2 rounds of interviews, and other test(s) where applicable. 

Prior to the first round of interview, you will need to seek endorsement from your proposed A*STAR Research Institute Supervisor, and Executive Director, for you to serve the 3-year service commitment period at that Research Institute after the post-doctoral training under the AIF. Please note for the first round interview, you will be given 15 minutes to present your proposed research project, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.  

4. I am currently based overseas. Can I attend the interviews by Skype?
We conduct face to face interviews for all shortlisted applicants, unless otherwise stated.

5. Do I have to contact a Principal Investigator at an Overseas University/Institution?
Yes, you should contact an overseas university/institution supervisor to establish a project proposal prior to applying for AIF. The AIF award is conditional upon you having a confirmed place at the approved university/institution.

6. Are there any criteria for the proposed overseas university/institution?
The proposed overseas university/institution should be a leading institution in your proposed research area.

7. I am currently holding a post-doctoral position overseas. Can I use the AIF funding to continue my research?
Most applicants who apply for the AIF scholarship have not embarked on post-doctoral training yet. If you have already started your overseas post-doctoral training, you can still apply but we would have to assess the relevance and value of the research area you are working on and the strength of your overseas supervisor/institution. 

8. Am I allowed to receive monetary support from the overseas university /institution?
This would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and it is subject to approval.

9. Can I propose any research topic?
You should propose a research topic/area that is aligned to A*STAR's research direction and of relevance and value to the A*STAR Research Institutes.  We strongly advise you to discuss with the A*STAR Research Institutes of interest to you before you propose a topic. 

10. What are some of the non-traditional (non-UK/US) countries A*STAR scholarship holders have gone to and which universities do they attend?
A*STAR scholarships holders have attended universities for their undergraduate/postgraduate studies/post-doc in countries such as:

  • Australia – Australian National University
  • Canada – University of British Columbia (Toronto) 
  • France - Necker Institute
  • Germany - Heidelberg
  • Spain - Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research
  • Switzerland - ETH Zurich

Service Commitment

1. Do I have to serve a bond at A*STAR after completing my post-doctoral training? How long is the service commitment period?
Upon completion of post-doctoral training under the AIF, you will serve at one of A*STAR’s Research Institute for 3 years.

Allowances

1. What are the allowances like for AIF?
During the post-doctoral training, you will receive a competitive monthly allowance. You will also be given annual allowances to attend conferences overseas.  At the commencement of the post-doctoral training, we will provide a one-off settling-in allowance.  Please refer to the website for the detailed list of allowances provided under the scholarship.

2. Is there any monetary support for my spouse and family?
No, there is no additional monetary support for the spouse and family of AIF awardees.

3. My potential collaborators from the overseas universities have asked: who pays for the consumables and research fees?
A*STAR does not pay for consumables or research fees. Fees involved in the lab should be borne by the overseas university.

Citizenship

1. Can a non-Singaporean apply for the AIF?
Yes, non-Singaporeans intending to take up Singapore citizenship can apply for the AIF. You are to obtain your Singapore citizenship before the commencement of your post-doctoral training, and will undergo a research attachment at an A*STAR Research Institute while completing the citizenship conversion process.

During the Post-Doctoral Training

1. Is it possible to change my research project midway through my post-doctoral training?
All scholars need to seek A*STAR's written permission before changing their research project. Each case will be assessed on its own merit. However, scholars are encouraged to consider their research area seriously before commencing their post-doctoral studies as a mid-point change of their research focus may badly affect their progress.

2. What happens if I take more than time to complete my post-doctoral training?
If you need more than time to complete your post-doctoral training, you will have to seek approval from A*STAR for the extension.