A*STAR Scholarships

Dr Quek Boon Kiat
Hear from our scholar, Dr Quek Boon Kiat's journey in research and scholarship here. Read

Scholars of A*STAR: Dr Dan Daniel, IMRE

The A*STAR Graduate Academy provides scholarships and fellowships to enable young aspiring scientific talent to pursue their passion in science, and prepare them for a rewarding career in R&D.

Meet our scholars and find out how an A*STAR scholarship has helped them along their research and development journey.

Dr Dan Daniel, Staff Scientist, A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE)

Scholars of A*STAR: Dan Daniel

Q: What inspired you to pursue this field of research?

A: My field of research is in the physics of droplets - how the droplets are formed, and their interaction with light and surfaces. I was initially attracted to the visual attractiveness and aesthetic qualities of this subject. Think of how a rainbow is formed when the raindrops split sunlight into its colours. As I dived deeper into this subject, I started to appreciate the richness of science and its relevance to our everyday lives.

Dan Daniel's Natures Raincoat in Monochrome
This photo, titled “Nature's Raincoat in Monochrome”, depicts the water droplets rolling on the vibrant blue wings of a Morpho butterfly. Dr Dan Daniel was one of the finalists in the Beautiful Science Competition, with this photo highlighting his strong interest in the physics of droplets.

For example, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is important to understand the process of droplet formation during sneezing and talking. I am also currently working with medical doctors to design better personal protective equipment, such as masks and face shields, in which the effectiveness depends on the interaction with the droplets.

Dan Daniel: Testing of droplets
This image, captured using a high-intensity laser beam and a high-speed camera, shows the trajectory of these fast-moving droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. Watch the experiment designed to show the importance of wearing a mask to prevent the spread of viruses using these technologies.

Q: What does the A*STAR scholarship mean to you?

A: I am very grateful for the opportunities that the A*STAR scholarship has afforded me. Because of this scholarship, I can attend the best universities and work with many gifted scientists. It has been very fulfilling to be able to pursue my research interests and contribute to the Singapore economy at the same time.

Scholars of A*STAR: Dan Daniel

Q: If you could invent something for the betterment of the world, what would it be?

A: A universal non-stick surface that has many uses. Some of these applications may be trivial but useful, such as having a fabric that is resistant to wine or ketchup stains. Such surfaces can also save lives. Blood is known to become sticky when in contact with medical devices and implants, such as a heart stent, resulting in clots. We could avoid many medical complications if we can prevent blood from sticking to surfaces.


The Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) aims to improve lives and capture economic value for Singapore through an innovative approach to materials research. They have built strong capabilities in materials analysis, characterisation, design and growth, patterning, fabrication, synthesis and integration, enabling discoveries and developing advanced materials that lead to new commercial products.

Keen to pursue a career in STEM? Start your journey with an A*STAR scholarship today!

At A*STAR, you will be part of a vibrant and innovative team, dedicated to drive A*STAR's mission to advance science and develop innovation technology to further economic growth and improve lives.

We firmly believe that people are our greatest asset.

The A*STAR Graduate Academy provides scholarships and fellowships to enable young aspiring scientific talent to pursue their passion in science, and prepare them for a rewarding career in R&D. In addition to offering scholarships and awards for undergraduate, PhD and post-doctoral studies at top universities and laboratories locally and overseas, we offer awards and attachment opportunities for pre-university students.

Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise ecosystem has developed significantly over the past decade, and has grown to include a growing number of public and private R&D players. This has in turn resulted in a growing demand for PhD talent in various fields.

In recognition of the diverse talents, strengths and interests of our PhD scholars, we have created multiple pathways for our scholars, providing them with opportunities to develop and chart their careers in industry, academia, spin-off companies, patent examination, technology transfer and research management after their first two years with A*STAR.

Embark on a bright future in Science, Technology, Research and Innovation – apply for an A*STAR scholarship today.