August 2015 | Issue 19


New PhD programme shot in the arm for biomedical research

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LKCMedicine PhD students will be supervised by at least one medically-qualified faculty member to ensure that their research looks beyond healthcare to population health

LKCMedicine launched its brand new PhD by Research programme this month. The innovative four-year programme, which kicks off in January 2016, will contribute to an evolving healthcare system that looks beyond healthcare to population health.

By 2030, close to two million people in Singapore will live with chronic conditions and one in five residents will be over the age of 65. Older people and those suffering from chronic diseases often require longer hospital stays and get admitted more frequently, putting additional strain on healthcare resources.

Through the new PhD programme, LKCMedicine aims to nurture the next generation of biomedical scientists who can lead their fields by delivering innovations to healthcare and treatment that improve the lives of patients in Singapore and around the world.

LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best said, “Our innovative PhD programme leverages on our own research excellence and international partnerships, especially with Imperial College London, to equip students with the scientific, interpersonal and management skills required of the next generation of leaders in heath policy, medical research and industry.”

The programme will select the brightest students from backgrounds as diverse as the natural and clinical sciences, engineering and mathematics, and equip them with the research skills necessary to address the healthcare challenges facing Singapore, particularly Metabolic Disorders, Infectious Diseases, Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders and Skin Disease.

Unique pathways
The PhD programme is shaped by Singapore’s healthcare needs and delivered with several innovative features, including clinical attachments for students without clinical background to provide a deeper understanding of local healthcare needs. There will also be laboratory rotations to broaden the students’ range of skills, as well as overseas attachments with academic medical centres for all students to give them an international perspective.

Vice-Dean for Research Professor Philip Ingham FRS said, “With our innovative PhD programme, global outlook and strong foundation in modern medicine, we aim to attract outstanding applicants from a variety of backgrounds. We want people who think outside the box, expect the unexpected, follow their intuition and above all, want to contribute to a healthier society.

“Like our medical undergraduates, our PhD students have a unique opportunity to become an integral part of our vibrant, dynamic research team and contribute to the spirit of the School as its pioneers.”

Capitalising on LKCMedicine’s strategic partnerships, students will be able to choose from three different pathways for their research training:
  • The first pathway will see the students based mainly at LKCMedicine, with a three to six-month overseas attachment
  • The second pathway will also see students based mainly at LKCMedicine, but coupled with a six to 12-month attachment with an industry partner
  • The third pathway will see them undertake their research project at both LKCMedicine and Imperial. Students will spend at least 12 months at Imperial
For the final year, all students will be based at LKCMedicine to prepare their thesis for submission and examination.

To ensure their research remains focused on the clinical needs, students will be supervised by two members of LKCMedicine’s faculty, at least one of whom is medically qualified. For those choosing to complete a project at LKCMedicine and Imperial, they will also be co-supervised by a member of Imperial’s faculty.

Applications are now open and will close on 31 August. For more information, click here.