Science Mentorship Programmes


Since the inception of the first Science Mentorship Programme in the form of the Defence Science Programme in 1992, the Science Mentorship Programmes (SMP) have expanded to 13 programmes (see Organisation) with generous and continued support from experts in various scientific fields. The SMP have provided young minds with an early exposure to research and laid a firm foundation for those who are interested in pursuing scientific research in tertiary institutions.

In addition to the SMP which involve external agencies and institutions as partners, there is the School-Based Science Mentorship (SB-SMP) where students initiate and design scientific investigations under the guidance of science teachers as their mentors. This will help to prepare and equip them better for a mentorship experience with a scientist when they are ready.

For more information on SB-SMP, click here.


The SMP are structured with the aim of developing students’ interest and talent in scientific research.

They provide opportunities for students to deepen their knowledge in a particular area, learn about the latest research developments, and be challenged by the intellectually stimulating process of scientific research.


  1. To provide students with enrichment that includes exposure to current scientific advances;
  2. To enhance students’ understanding of major concepts and theories in science;
  3. To develop skills for conducting investigations and inquiry in science;
  4. To stimulate and nurture students’ interest in science;
  5. To provide opportunities for students to interact with teachers and scientists for a better; understanding of the activities, beliefs and traits essential for the conduct of rigorous scientific research;
  6. To motivate students to contribute to society through scientific research.


Target Group

Year 3 and 4 students from School-Based Gifted Education (SBGE) and Integrated Programme (IP) schools with an interest in and aptitude for scientific research

Selection Criteria of Programmes

All students who are interested in scientific research and in our target group are eligible to apply. Students will be admitted to the SMP based on the following criteria:

  • Interest in science
  • Ability to grasp abstract scientific concepts
  • Motivation and initiative
  • Time-management skills
  • Commitment and discipline
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Ability to work with others in a team
  • Social skills needed to relate to adults
  • Recommendation by a Science or Mathematics Teacher
  • Recommendation by Head of Department or School co-ordinator


    The Science Mentorship Programmes are jointly organised by the Gifted Education Branch and the following institutions:



    Defence Science Programme (DSP)

    Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and DSO National Laboratories (DSO)

    I2R Mentorship Programme


    Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R)

    Nanyang Explorations in Science and Technology


    Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)

    Ngee Ann Polytechnic Biotechnology Programme


    Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP)

    NTU-Mentorship Programme (NTU-MP)

    College of Engineering & College of Science,
    Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

    Nanyang Technological University National Institute of Education Mentorship Programme

    (NTU-NIE MP)

    National Institute of Education (NIE), NTU

    National University of Singapore Faculty of Engineering Mentorship Programme


    Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS)

    National University of Singapore Faculty of Science Mentorship Programme


    Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore (NUS)

    Republic Polytechnic Science Exploration Programme


    School of Applied Science, RP

    Science Centre Mentorship Programme


    Science Centre Singapore

    Singapore Polytechnic Applied Science Programme


    Singapore Polytechnic (SP)

    Singapore University of Technology and Design Mentorship Programme


    Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

    Youth Research Programme @ NanoBio Lab (YRP-MP)

    NanoBio Lab (NBL), A*STAR

    Structure Of Programmes

    Mentors from the participating institutions are invited to offer projects for the programmes in November.

    Students who are keen to participate in the programmes apply for the projects that interest them in January the following year. Successful applicants will participate in SMP.

    While the SMP are organised jointly with institutions differ in their areas of expertise, they share the following programme structure:

    a) Mentorship Attachment

    SMP participants will work on their projects 3 hours weekly from February to JulyThis includes a 2-week full time attachment to the institutions during the June holidays. During the mentorship attachment, they will be exposed to the scientific process of problem solving, exploration and discovery to develop intellectual skills and curiosity. These experiences will stimulate them to evaluate and challenge information rather than be passive learners. At the end of the attachment, they will write a scientific paper for publication in the Proceedings of the Youth Science Conference.

    b) Research Methods Modules (RMM)

    The RMM are a series of lectures all SMP participants attend from January to July. They will learn about the philosophy of science, experimental designs and methodologies, scientific literacy, scientific writing and communications, and literature search. The lectures are conducted by faculty members from the partner institutions and Science Centre Singapore.

    c) Poster Judging and Plenary

    The Poster Judging and Plenary held in the beginning of September serves to assess the participants’ ability to present their findings succinctly and their depth of knowledge in their respective research areas. Participants will also receive feedback from professional scientists. Selected projects are awarded prizes in recognition of their excellent achievements.

    d) Youth Science Conference (YSC)

    All SMP participants are required to present their research findings in the form of a poster presentation during the Youth Science Conference (YSC). Held at the end of September, it showcases through poster exhibits, the projects in the programmes to an audience of peers, teachers and scientists. The Proceedings of the Youth Science Conference are published in a CD-ROM. Copies of the CD-ROM are distributed to SMP participants, teacher-advisors, mentors, as well as participating schools and institutions.