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Garden by the Bay, Singapore.

A*STAR PhD programme

Undertake postgraduate research training across science and engineering disciplines in Manchester and Singapore

The four-year funded A*STAR PhD programme at Manchester enables postgraduate researchers in science and engineering to spend two years of their PhD at The University of Manchester and the other two years in Singapore at an A*STAR Research Institute.

Why undertake the A*STAR PhD programme?

  • Receive training and support for your PhD in both Manchester and Singapore, with supervisors in both locations.
  • Study at a prestigious institute in Singapore and experience life in another country.
  • Choose from a range of projects spanning the biological sciences and engineering.
  • Be part of a network of PhD researchers and establish international collaborations.

Edward Pallister - A*STAR PhD student"I have found A*STAR to be a great experience, with supervisors and colleagues who are encouraging and engage with your work, and who genuinely want to see your work published."

Edward Pallister / A*STAR PhD programme student


Each year, we recruit outstanding applicants who are keen to undertake a research project in Manchester and Singapore as part of the A*STAR Research Attachment Programme (ARAP).

The programme is a partnership between the University and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore.


Year 1 (Manchester)

  • Induction
  • Literature report
  • Project planning and design
  • Continuation report

Year 2 and 3 (Singapore)

  • Continuation of research project

Year 4 (Manchester)

  • Final project work
  • Preparation of thesis
  • Final submission and viva


The programme is funded by The University of Manchester and A*STAR and includes:

  • university tuition fees
  • monthly stipend (equivalent to UKRI rate)
  • airfare grants
  • settling in allowance (Singapore)
  • medical insurance

What our students say

Read blog posts from our students to find out what they think about the programme.

Researcher in the lab


Projects vary each year and span biological sciences, life sciences, medicine/translational research and engineering.

All A*STAR projects are designed to provide multidisciplinary challenges for applicants with backgrounds including science and engineering.

Christoph Ballestrem - pullquote image

"Many of our current postgraduate researchers have spent time abroad, are interested in other cultures and know what to expect when it comes to living overseas. The facilities at A*STAR are superb and we support everyone on the programme with the transition between Manchester and the Institute abroad."

Christoph Ballestrem / Programme Director

Making an application

Applicants to the programme must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science, engineering or technology.

If you wish to be considered for the A*STAR PhD programme and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete a single online application.

Application process

Please follow the information and step-by-step guide on our main How to Apply page. 

Specific details for this programme are noted below.

You must make one separate application for this programme (select 'A*STAR PhD Programme' on the online application form). If you select the incorrect programme, your application will not be considered.

You should select this programme for any project on the programme with supervisors in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.

There are some projects available for the Faculty of Science and Engineering this year, but you should apply directly to those and not to the A*STAR PhD programme, as this is only for projects with Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health supervisors.

For the 'Research Details' section, you must state the name of the primary project supervisor and project title in the format below. You can indicate up to two projects/supervisors here, listing the primary supervisor and project title in order of preference. You do not need to submit a separate application for each project.

  • Name of Primary Supervisor – Project Title
  • Name of Primary Supervisor – Project Title
  • Name of Primary Supervisor – Project Title

For the 'Funding Sources' section, you must select the details as follows:

  • Select 'Yes' from the drop-down.
  • Type of Funding: 'University of Manchester Scholarship'.
  • Awarding Body: University and A*STAR.
  • Status of Funding – Awarded.
  • Funding Covers – Fully Funded.
  • Leave the remaining boxes blank.

Application deadline: To be confirmed

Other application information

Key dates

Applications must be submitted by the deadline, as late applications will not be considered.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Application deadline: 24 March 2023
  • Interviews: April 2023


We welcome applications from all backgrounds and seek to create equality of opportunity for all our applicants and postgraduate researchers. See our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion statement.

Academic excellence of the applicant is paramount, as the level of achievement is scrutinised by A*STAR.

They ask that candidates hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum Upper Second (2:1) undergraduate degree (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject, preferably from a well-ranked university with prior research experience.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications from students who have achieved a Lower Second (2:2) undergraduate degree, even if you have a good master's degree, for this particular programme.

Many of our applicants have also undertaken a master's degree, although this is not compulsory if you have achieved an Upper Second undergraduate degree.

International applicant eligibility requirements

We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. Funding will cover tuition fees and stipend only.

This scheme is open to both UK and international applicants. However, we are only able to offer a limited number of studentships to applicants outside the UK. Therefore, full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates due to the competitive nature of this scheme.

The programme is open to all non-Singaporean applicants (home and overseas). To ensure the diversity of students studying at A*STAR institutions, A*STAR may apply stricter criteria to certain nationalities that may be over-represented in Singapore. As part of the offer/nomination process, The University of Manchester will select the most outstanding candidates for this programme.

International applicants must ensure they meet the academic eligibility criteria (including English language) as outlined before contacting potential supervisors to express an interest in their project. English language requirements can be found on the How to Apply page.

Information on living costs in Singapore can be found on the Living in Singapore website.


You will be kept informed of the progress of your application throughout the application procedure. We will contact you directly if we wish to invite you to interview.

Researcher in the lab

Contact us

For general queries about the A*STAR programme, email

If you have a query about a specific research project, you should contact the Manchester supervisor regarding your interest and application. You can find their details in the University’s online directory.