PhD: Application Information
1. NUS PhD (Digital Financial Technology)
Financial technology (abbreviated as FinTech) refers to a broad spectrum of the technology and innovation of financial services. Examples of FinTech innovations include (mobile) payment solutions, cryptocurrency, smart contract, credit analytics, P2P lending and crowd-funding, robo-advisor, algorithmic trading, and various financial data analytics innovations.
The NUS PhD (Digital Financial Technology) programme is jointly hosted by the NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering (NGS) and the Asian Institute of Digital Finance (AIDF). It prepares students with a distinctive set of interdisciplinary skills for careers in academia or industry. With this PhD program, AIDF aims at admitting elite students with computing, finance, or STEM background. The goal is to train top graduates who can excel with a strong technical foundation and independent research ability for driving financial innovations in academia or in FinTech industries.
- Monthly stipend, up to 4 years of PhD studies, OR up to date of graduation, whichever is earlier. The amount of stipend is
- 6000 SGD per month for Singaporeans
- 5500 SGD per month for Singapore Permanent Residents
- 3000 SGD per month for International Students
- Full tuition fee subsidies for 4 years and the maximum candidature is 6 years.
- Open worldwide to bachelor degree holders (or above), with at least a very good 2nd Upper Honours (or equivalent qualifications), and outstanding research potential and strong research interests in related areas in finance and/or computing.
- Students are based in NGS and AIDF, and have to fulfil the following three requirements.
- 32 modular credits (7 classes and lab rotation) for students without a relevant postgraduate degree, or 24 modular credits (5 classes and lab rotation) for students with a relevant postgraduate degree.
- Required laboratory rotation
- PhD Thesis
- Work on a topic under the advice of AIDF faculty affiliates.
- This is a standard requirement under NUS-NGS. (See here)
- AIDF teaching/research support
- Participating in AIDF-based events
3. Why PhD in Digital Financial Technology at NUS?
“NUS’ thought leadership in digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, and data science makes us perfectly positioned to address the challenges of the digital economy in Singapore and other parts of the world.”
Professor Tan Eng Chye, NUS President
Singapore is widely regarded as a top global FinTech hub in recent years. For example, Singapore is ranked #1 in 2018 IFZ Global FinTech Rankings and #4 in Global Fintech Index City Rankings 2020 Report. To strengthen the nation’s strategic position as a financial hub, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the National Research Foundation (NRF), and the National University of Singapore (NUS) announced the setting up of AIDF in August 2020. AIDF is the focal point at NUS for developing interdisciplinary FinTech capabilities. It aims to push the frontier of FinTech through transdisciplinary upstream research, and to create real-world impact by translating the research outcomes into real-life applications through collaborating with partners in the industry and public agencies.
PhD students at AIDF will have the opportunity to join a growing group of researchers pursuing academic excellence in FinTech research that are of great relevance to the real world. With a uniquely curated PhD program offering a distinctive set of interdisciplinary skills for careers in academia or industry, opportunities are abound for students to benefit from a personalized and inter-disciplinary curriculum made possible by different schools and faculties in NUS and to work with world-class supervisors who are leading experts in multiple disciplines.
NUS has been ranked very high globally. For example, NUS is ranked 11th in QS Ranking in 2020. FinTech related subjects (Computer Science, Social Sciences and Management) are ranked 12th in QS Ranking 2020. Consistent with the university ranking, recent PhD graduates (from School of Computing and NUS Business School) have been recruited as assistant professor at almost all universities in Singapore and Hong Kong, The University of Arizona, University College London, University of Warwick, The University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Copenhagen Business School, Zhejiang University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and many other top universities in China and India.
4. Admission Requirements
AIDF invites candidates with passion in conducting novel research and advancing knowledge in FinTech. Candidates should have an outstanding background in computing, finance, statistics and machine learning, coupled with strong programming skills and a desire to develop solutions for real-world problems.
The programme is designed to admit top students with strong educational background and/or work experiences in both computing and finance. Exceptional candidates with background in only computing, business/economics, or STEM will also be considered. Master’s degree is preferred but not required.
Formally, the candidates must possess:
- A bachelor degree in computing, finance, economics, engineering, science, mathematics, statistics, or business.
- Applicants must also submit GRE or GMAT scores (these scores are valid for 5 years from the test date). However, this can be waived for exceptional candidates.
- Test scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) must be submitted for all international applicants except those whose undergraduate or graduate degrees are from NUS, NTU, SMU or SUTD, or from English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
5. Application Deadlines
There are two intakes per year – January and August. The application deadline for the August 2021 intake is 15th April 2021 – For this inaugural intake, international applicants are advised to submit application as early as possible (before 15th March 2021) because we may give offers before 15th April due to longer student visa processing time during the Covid-19 period.
7. Application Instructions and Document Checklist
8. Apply HERE