NUS: Call for application for PhD positions in Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore - Aging Cluster

Opportunities for Research Studies

The Department of Architecture is offering research studies opportunities in Degree programmes leading to Masters of Art (Architecture) or PhD (Arch).

Please view the respective Programme pages for more information (Link:


Call for application for PhD positions in Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore

Ageing in an urban highrise, high-density environment requires new integrated solutions that transcend prevailing practices based on an increasingly obsolete set of socioeconomic premises. Today’s needs are much broader and more complex with socioeconomic ramifications that warrant a substantial rethinking of existing concepts of ageing support including the physical environments that facilitate them. The profile of the aged a decade from now is expected to be significantly different from the present. Similarly, our understanding of ageing and its impact on society is progressively more nuanced and varied. The urgent imperative is to transit to new solutions for the elderly involving multi-faceted relationships encompassing the community’s collective needs, contemporary lifestyles, an improved quality of life and the integration of smart technologies in this present digital age; all while retaining the values of what it means to be human.

Research Focus
A community-based model for ageing in a highrise high-density urban environment is the broad framework of this research agenda. The research impact horizon is set as 10 to 15 years from now in preparation for the year 2030 when there is expected to be a significant increase in aged populations globally. The research proposition here is that in the long term, the most sustainable model of aged care and support has to be community-based. The imperative is to develop a framework that builds upon different aspects of collective living while ensuring the person-centric needs of the elderly for self-reliance and fulfilment. Achieving this in a highrise, high-density urban setting is in response to intensifying urbanisation of world cities, particularly in Asia.

There is no precedent for the integrated model of aged care that we envision here; and thus, the value proposition of this research proposal is to investigate, innovate and establish such a community-based model in an urban environment that Singapore is well-positioned to lead. This new approach entails physical planning with seamless integration of community support, personal mobility and smart technologies, while creating new socioeconomic opportunities for the young and old alike. Smart technologies across different scales from big data analytics of behaviours to home sensing, alert and safety systems offer both the critical infrastructure that supports ageing while enabling individual choices of contemporary living. The scope of the graduate research programme involves theoretical and applied research in the following but not restricted to mobility, wayfinding, and stress alleviation in an increasing compact community environment such as Singapore’s.

The best candidates would be those with a strong interest in the above-mentioned research area.

Successful applicants must be available to enrol in January 2016.

The two PhD positions are funded by 4-year full scholarships. The scholarship will provide the full tuition fee subsidy for Singaporean Citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents and International Students. Apart from tuition fee subsidy, scholars shall receive a monthly stipend depending on nationality: International Student (SGD2,000), Singapore Permanent Resident (SGD2,200) and Singapore Citizen (SGD2,700). Scholars in a PhD programme may be eligible for an additional stipend of up to $500 per month upon passing the PhD qualifying examination, which is normally held 12 to 18 months after registration of candidature. The additional stipend is renewable annually subject to good performance and duration of the additional stipend varies among the different faculties and schools.
The school also provides financial support for students to present their work at international conferences. On-campus housing opportunities are available at reasonable cost to graduate students.

The school:
The School of Design and Environment (SDE) is one of the 16 schools and faculties at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Consistently ranked as one of the best universities in Asia and in the world, NUS is internationally respected for its high-quality research in science, technology and the humanities—and, increasingly, at the interfaces between these fields. Research at SDE covers a wide spectrum of areas such as housing and community, mobility and urbanism, household finance, consumer choices in residential context, building technologies, urban environmental sustainability, and urban policies.
The PhD positions will be based and enrolled in the Department of Architecture

For those interested, please email Ms. Katherine Chong ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) the following documents:
1. CV (including GPA/CAP ranking);
2. Personal Statement (up to one page with a brief description of why you want to apply);
3. Proven design or research experience with aged design or ageing issues, if applicable
4. Sample publications, if available (no more than two)
5. A copy of official transcripts (Bachelor degree and Master degree);
6. A copy of GRE/GMAT score sheet and, for those whose undergraduate education is not in a native English-speaking environment, a copy of TOEFL/IELTS score sheet.

Potential candidates will be contacted for further information.
Application deadline: 29th September 2015.

Inquiries can be directed to:

Ms. Katherine Chong
Department of Architecture
School of Design and Environment
4 Architecture Drive, Singapore 117566
Tel: +65-6516 7628
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SingaPlural 2016 - Open Call for Interest