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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 research students 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.

Stephen Wearne

"Manchester is world-renowned for its research and the A*STAR institute is quickly becoming a major powerhouse of cutting-edge research. The fact that I am able to work at both as part of my PhD is amazing. Being a scientist is an international profession and I hope the experience I have gained from working in these labs will provide me with expertise necessary for a successful future in science."

Stephen Wearne / A*STAR PhD programme student


Each year, we recruit up to 20 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 fees
  • monthly stipend (equivalent to RCUK rate)
  • airfare grants
  • settling in allowance (Singapore)
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 students with backgrounds including science and engineering.

Christoph Ballestrem - pullquote image

"Many of our current students 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 all students on the programme with the transition between Manchester and the Institute abroad."

Christoph Ballestrem / Programme Director

Making an application

Applicants should be from the UK/EU and have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the overseas equivalent, in an appropriate area of science or technology.

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

We can consider non-UK/EU nationals who are able to finance the difference between the home and overseas tuition fees (approximately £19,000 per year).

Full details on eligibility and residence criteria are available on the How to apply page.

Please follow our instructions on how to apply for an A*STAR PhD programme.

Key dates

Applications for 2020 are now closed. Applications will re-open in October 2020.

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.