Special programmes

These special programmes encourage students to deepen their interests in specific domains. Learn how you can take part.

The Gifted Education Programme (GEP) is known for the wide array of Special Programmes (SP) that are offered to its pupils as extensions of the enriched curriculum. The intent of SP is to:

  • Identify and reach out to motivated and high-ability pupils in a specific domain.
  • Offer them opportunities to deepen their interest in the field and learn from practising professionals and academics.

There is usually a mentorship component to SP. Typically for these programmes, the Gifted Education (GE) Branch works closely with organisational partners in tertiary education, the industry or the community. Some programmes also cater to pre-university (JC/CI) students.

The philosophy behind SP is that strong interest in a subject or topic provides unequalled intrinsic motivation and acts as a powerful driving force along the way of self-directed and independent learning. The role of SP would be to stoke that special passion in the individual learner and open doors for the willing and committed.

Humanities and Language Arts Programmes

Creative Arts Programme (CAP)


The aim of the CAP is to nurture talented young writers.

  • Expose participants to local literature and other forms of art.
  • Enable participants to understand and appreciate the local, regional and global literature scene.
  • Provide participants with the opportunity to pursue their interests as well as learn and work together with like-minded peers.
  • Provide the opportunity for participants who show commitment to and potential in writing to be mentored by a published author.
  • Instil in participants a sense of the writer’s responsibility to society and the impact of the written word on the well-being of others.
Programme description

The CAP is jointly organised by the Gifted Education Branch, Ministry of Education and Yale-NUS College. It comprises a Creative Arts Seminar and a Mentorship Attachment.

The Creative Arts Seminar offers an annual literary adventure for selected pupils. It comprises the following:

  • Writing Workshops, which give young writers a chance to work with other young writers and to learn from established writers.
  • Plenary Sessions and Forums which expose participants to exciting issues on writing and the arts.
  • Performance Workshops which give participants the opportunity to learn an art form under the guidance of a professional artiste and perform it at the closing ceremony of the Seminar.

A 9-month Mentorship Attachment is offered to selected participants as a follow-up to the Seminar. Participants are selected by the mentors based on their portfolios of creative works and their participation during workshops. The mentored participants are given the opportunity to work under the guidance of a writer, and learn from the expertise and experience which only a writer can provide. The works of mentored participants are published in the annual publication "Eye on the World".

Target group

Secondary 2 – 3 or IP Year 2 – 3 and JC 1 or Pre-U 1 & 2 in CI or IP Year 5 students

Find more information on the programme.

Humanities and Social Sciences Research Programme (Secondary) (HSSRP)


The Humanities and Social Sciences Research Programme (Secondary) (HSSRP) is jointly organised by the Gifted Education Branch, Curriculum Planning and Development Division, Ministry of Education, and the following partner institutions:

  • ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute
  • Nanyang Technological University
    National Institute of Education
    S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
    School of Humanities and Social Sciences
    Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
  • National University of Singapore
    Division of Social Sciences, Yale-NUS College
    Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
  • Singapore Management University
    School of Social Sciences
  • Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS)

The HSSRP aims to provide participants with the opportunity to engage in research under the guidance of mentors in the various fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Its aims are to:

  • Extend and deepen participants’ understanding of the individual and society through an examination of human experiences and interactions in the fields of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Equip participants with knowledge of research methods used in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Develop an awareness of the social responsibilities and ethics of researchers and commitment to use research for the greater good.
  • Develop participants’ skills in communication, interpretation, linking and synthesising domains of knowledge, and imbuing facts with meaning and value.
  • Nurture in participants a passion for independent learning.
Programme description

This programme comprises 5 components.

  1. Mentorship attachment: This is the period when participants work with their mentors on projects proposed by the mentors or projects that have been crafted by the participants. Mentors and participants will meet for discussions for a minimum of three contact hours (excluding correspondences and editing of reports).
  2. Research workshop: Participants attend a series of research workshops in the course of the mentorship. At these workshops, participants are given the opportunity to gain new research skills and knowledge from trainers and peers through hands-on activities and sharing.
  3. Project review: The Project Review provides participants with the opportunity to present their papers to a Review Panel.
  4. Symposium: This Symposium offers selected participants the opportunity to communicate their research findings to others.
  5. Publication of project papers: At the end of the mentorship period, participants will submit their papers to their teacher-mentors and expert-mentors for vetting and approval for publication. The Publication offers a platform for selected participants to share their research findings.
Target group

The programme is open to Year 3 and 4 students from School-Based Gifted Education (SBGE) and Integrated Programme (IP) schools.

For Pre-University students

Since 2006, the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Programme (Pre-U) [HSSRP (Pre-U)] has been replaced by the NUS-MOE Humanities and Social Sciences Research (HSSR). It is no longer offered as an enrichment programme. HSSR is offered only as an H3 option.

Target group

JC1 / Pre-U2 in CI / Y5 in IP ‘A’ Level students who demonstrate outstanding aptitude and ability in specific subjects taken at the H2 level: Chinese Language and Literature, Economics, Geography, History, Literature in English, and Malay Language and Literature

Moot Parliament Programme (MPP)


The Moot Parliament Programme (MPP) is organised by the Gifted Education Branch, Curriculum Planning and Development Division, Ministry of Education. It was first piloted in 2003 as an enrichment programme for Secondary 3 students in the Gifted Education Programme, and became a full-fledged Special Programme in 2005. The MPP depends heavily on community support, primarily from legal professionals who volunteer as expert-mentors, trainers and evaluators in the programme. In addition, the programme also enjoys the support of law undergraduates from NUS and SMU who serve as student-mentors.

This programme aims to:

  • Educate Secondary 3 and Secondary 4 SBGE/IP pupils on the Singapore model of democratic government, with particular focus on parliament as a legislative institution.
  • Enhance pupils’ interest in parliamentary debates and legislation through developing their awareness of the democratic parliamentary process in action.
  • Instil a sense of ownership and ‘rootedness’ to Singapore amongst gifted and highly able teenagers through experiential learning which would take the form of researching social and community issues, drafting legislation, and role-playing active leadership in moot parliament.
Programme description

The MPP comprises 2 tiers.

Tier 1

Involves participation at the MPP Symposium.

Tier 2

Offered to teams (of 4 to 5 pupils) whose proposals have been selected by an evaluation panel. Participation in Tier 2 comprises:

  • A 6-month mentorship attachment for selected teams (March to August).
  • Attending a bill writing workshop.
  • Attending a seminar to present ideas for the proposed bill.
  • Attending a public policy workshop.
  • Attending a forum on active citizenry.
  • Participating in a learning journey to Parliament House.
  • Debating bills in Parliament House.
Target group

All Secondary 3 and 4 SBGE/IP pupils in participating schools (by invitation only).

Innovation programme

Innovation Programme (IvP)


The Innovation Programme (IvP) provides a unique opportunity for pupils to develop their problem-solving and thinking skills.


At the end of the programme, pupils will be able to:

  • Think critically about existing problems.
  • Generate ideas to improve the situation.
  • Develop prototypes to test and improve their ideas.
  • Be exposed to knowledge and experiences beyond the classroom through interaction with innovation mentors from tertiary institutions and other organisations.
Programme description

IvP, which is scheduled to run from January to September, seeks to develop pupils' creativity through the following components:

  • IvP school-based launch
    The IvP cycle is kick-started with a school-based launch. Every participating school is provided a launch package with activities and video resources to introduce participants to the concept of innovation.
  • IvP lessons
    Lesson resources have been developed for teachers to guide and support participants throughout the learning process. The focus of these lessons is to teach pupils the skills and strategies for: 
  1. Understanding the challenge.
  2. Generating ideas.
  3. Developing solutions.
  • Draft sessions
    Innovation mentors from the partner institutions are each assigned a school where he/she can provide mentorship to IvP participants. During three draft sessions, which take place from March to July, innovation mentors provide direct guidance to their mentees by sharing knowledge and expertise to stimulate creative thinking, providing advice and feedback on the feasibility of ideas, and proposing changes and improvements mentees can incorporate into successive prototypes.

  • IvP project judging
    The two half-day sessions in July/August provide a platform for (i) participants to present their innovations and receive feedback from a panel of judges with expertise in different fields, and (ii) the selection of projects to be showcased at the Young Innovators’ Fair. All participants in IvP Project Judging will be awarded Certificates of Distinction, Merit or Participation based on their combined score from school-based assessment and IvP project judging.

  • Young Innovators' Fair
    IvP culminates in the Young Innovators' Fair, where selected participants will showcase their projects through a stage presentation and poster exhibition. It presents an opportunity for the young innovators to be recognised and celebrated. It also serves as a platform for pupils to learn from the best work and efforts of IvP participants.
Partner organisations

IvP is jointly organised by the Gifted Education Branch and the following institutions:

  • National University of Singapore
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Singapore University of Technology and Design
  • Nanyang Polytechnic
  • Ngee Ann Polytechnic
  • Republic Polytechnic
  • Singapore Polytechnic
  • Temasek Polytechnic
  • Innovators and Entrepreneurs Association
  • SG Enable
  • 3M Singapore
Target group

Primary 5 and Secondary 2 & 3 students in selected schools, who have an interest in innovation and invention

For Primary GEP pupils, the IvP Project can be done as an Individualised Study Options (ISO) Project in P5.

Useful links

Science programmes

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 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.


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.

  • To provide students with enrichment that includes exposure to current scientific advances.
  • To enhance students’ understanding of major concepts and theories in science.
  • To develop skills for conducting investigations and inquiry in science.
  • To stimulate and nurture students’ interest in science.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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:

SMP Institution
 Defence Science Programme (DSP)  Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and DSO National Laboratories (DSO)
 I2R Mentorship Programme (I2R-MP)  Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R)
 Nanyang Explorations in Science and Technology (NEST)  Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)
 Ngee Ann Polytechnic Biotechnology Programme (BP)  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 (NUS-EMP)  Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS)
 National University of Singapore Faculty of Science Mentorship Programme (NUS-SMP)  Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore (NUS)
 Republic Polytechnic Science Exploration Programme (RP-SEP)  School of Applied Science, RP
 Science Centre Mentorship Programme (SC-MP)  Science Centre Singapore
 Singapore Polytechnic Applied Science Programme (ASP)  Singapore Polytechnic (SP)
 Singapore University of Technology and Design Mentorship Programme (SUTD-MP)  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:

  1. Mentorship attachment
    SMP participants will work on their projects 3 hours weekly from February to July. This 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Science Research Programme (SRP)


The aim of the SRP is to provide selected science students in Junior College (JC) Year 1 or Integrated Programme (IP) Year 5, who have demonstrated interest in and aptitude for scientific research, the opportunity to participate in research projects in Life/Medical Sciences, Chemical/Physical Sciences and/or Engineering under the guidance of scientists and engineers from NUS and established research centres.

  • To encourage students to undertake research projects in a scientific and technological community;
  • To promote an early appreciation of the content, methods, culture and ethos of research through immersion in the process of scientific inquiry; and
  • To enable students to engage actively in research by carrying out substantial parts of the research independently and responsibly.
Programme description

Admission criteria
Interested JC1 H2 and IP Year 5 science students should first register to sit an aptitude test and apply for participation in the Research Methods Module (RMM) conducted in April. The shortlisting criteria for participation in the RMM include: (a) above-average performance in the aptitude test; (b) demonstrated interest in scientific research-related activities in Secondary School; and (c) JC/School Principal's recommendation.

The RMM equips students with specific research skills, and introduces students to the library resources and current R&D available in participating departments/research centres. A student who intends to proceed to SRP then identifies and matches a self-selected research topic with that of the prospective faculty research mentor or H3 supervisor, conducts a background literature search, and formulates a viable research plan. 

On completion of the RMM, attendance at the Science Research Congress in April/May and acceptance of the approved research plan by a research mentor or an H3 supervisor, the students will be admitted to the SRP. SRPians can offer their research projects either as a form of enrichment or as a H3 subject.

Of the annual intake of around 130 each year, close to 110 RMM students with approved research plans choose to continue with the Mentorship Attachment component of the SRP.

Mentorship attachment
The mentorship attachment commences in May/June, during which the students spend at least 2 weeks working full-time on their research projects.

Thereafter, the students meet with their mentors or supervisors on a regular basis to complete the research work. Every SRPian writes a scientific paper at the end of the attachment. The papers are published as the Proceedings of the Science Research Congress.

Science Research Congress
The H3-SRPians present their findings through an oral defence in February/March and the Enrichment-SRPians, a poster presentation at the annual Science Research Congress in April/May. A panel of assessors/judges comprising faculty staff assesses the oral defence/poster presentation. On the successful completion of the research project, Certificates of Participation in the SRP will be presented to the SRPians at the Congress.

The SRP is a joint collaboration between the Science Faculty of the National University of Singapore and the Gifted Education Branch of the Ministry of Education. The SRP is sponsored by Shaw Foundation & Lee Foundation.

Target group

All JC1 H2 and IP Year 5 science students who have interest in and aptitude for scientific research

Useful links

For more information on the SRP, please visit the following websites: