National Science Scholarship (BS-PhD) SCHOLAR


Harnessing the Power of Freedom with A*STAR's NSS BS-PhD Scholarship

Megan Cheah received more than what she hoped for when she accepted the A*STAR National Science Scholarship (BS- PhD). The scholarship offered her support of up to eight years of undergraduate and PhD studies. She had the freedom to choose from a wide area of study, including Computer & Information Sciences, Engineering & Technology, Physical Sciences and Biomedical Sciences. Megan chose to study Medical Biosciences at Imperial College London. She is grateful that the through-train scholarship allows her to concentrate on her studies without worrying about school fees and living expenses.

Besides the steep learning curve and demanding working hours, Megan enjoys the freedom to do research in her field, as it is relatively new, and she has more control over the research direction.

Megan’s research is on neutrophil microvesicles in sepsis, she studies the relationship between plasma NDMPs and the prognosis of patients with sepsis and/or septic shock. Because of its high morbidity and mortality, sepsis remains the leading cause of death in the ICU. Her typical day requires her to be in the lab by half-past-eight every morning to start prepping the samples. That takes time and she can only start testing the samples at half past three in the afternoon. Each time, she repeats the same protocol but changes one of the variables. After she wraps up for the day, she has to spending time recording her findings. The days in the lab are long and exacting, but she enjoys it.

Her academic freedom extends beyond the lab. Currently finishing her third and final year, Megan is pleased to know about the endless opportunities with A*STAR and that she can explore one of the many options available for her to decide the country, university, or discipline she should choose to pursue her PhD.

Outside the lab, Megan uses her time to participate in various activities, such as playing for the Imperial College’s Water Polo team. Being based in London, she also takes the opportunity to experience its cultural offerings, such as watching the musicals on the West End.

Recently, under the glowing stage lights of a local theatre, Megan found herself immersed in a world far from the lab—singing and acting.

She said, “I love to sing, and if not now, I may never have a chance to be part of a drama performance again.”

From the bustling labs of Imperial College London to the grand stages of the West End, A*STAR's scholarship has been Megan's passport to discovery—both academically and personally. Scholars like Megan stand as testaments to the boundless opportunities A*STAR provides.

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