Many organizations have very competitive internship selection processes, and may receive over 100 resumes from students of both local and overseas universities. These are usually seen by a single university recruiter, who usually takes just 20-30 seconds to skim through each resume – this means a high possibility of good candidates being crowded out. To circumvent this, CIPE works with our partners to secure interview opportunities for students recommended by CIPE. This offers a more direct route for students to the interview stage, even if the organization may still sometimes choose not to proceed with an interview.
The close relationship that CIPE manages with our partners also helps us prepare students to put their best foot forward when customizing their application materials and interviewing with the organization. At the same time, these partnerships imply that CIPE has to consider multiple factors, including students’ growth and partners’ needs when managing the process.
Prior knowledge and experience are helpful, but not always. For example, experience writing biology papers would not be very useful for a biology research project that requires programming skills.
However, a seeming lack of relevant experience should not deter you from applying. Summer research is about learning and exposing yourself to new experiences; research work also involves many possible activities, including literature reading and reviews, coding, fieldwork, working with test subjects and handling equipment. Even if you haven’t studied a particular subject, skills you have picked up in other ways could still be relevant and useful.
Student-initiated project proposals are typically submitted by students who already have some research experience (preferably a year or more). If you have an interest but little or no prior experience in research, consider applying for a faculty-led research project through the SRP or the Student Associate Programme, or approaching a faculty member directly for potential research opportunities.
The Summer Research Programme is open to all majors.
Faculty-led opportunities are open to only first- and second-year students. Student-initiated project proposals can be submitted by first, second or third-year students, and academic standing is one of the evaluation criteria.
Certain faculty-led research projects may require a specific skill set and therefore favor candidates with a particular background – e.g. in biology, psychology or computer science.
Faculty-led SRP opportunities are posted by individual faculty supervisors on the Symplicity system, similarly to CIPE-coordinated internships.
If you want to pursue a student-initiated project, you must approach and secure a research supervisor – a faculty or another professional with relevant expertise. You must discuss the project with your supervisor at least a month in advance, and gain their feedback and informal approval for your proposal before submitting it to CIPE.
We encourage you to apply for up to two projects, unless there are very compelling reasons to apply for more. This allows you to focus your efforts and ensure that your applications showcase your best work.
The level and type of funding support varies depending on the location and the type of project (faculty-led vs student-initiated). Please refer to the SRP page for details.
Faculty-led summer research projects are based mainly in Singapore. Student-initiated research projects could be based in Singapore and/or overseas.
The Summer Research Programme deadline is in mid-February. Results are announced in mid-March. You will be notified via email from CIPE.
You will have a week to decide whether to join the programme. You will be expected to reply in writing via email to either accept or decline the offer.
CIPE can only grant you an extension in exceptional circumstances, such as a sudden illness or a family emergency. We cannot grant an extension if you want to see the results from all your other applications before making a decision, since the delay in your reply holds back other students from a spot in the SRP.
Once you have confirmed your spot in the SRP, you will be expected to withdraw in writing from all other application for CIPE opportunities. You may pursue other external (non-CIPE) opportunities, as long as they do not clash with your SRP dates.
Typically, you will be working on one project with one faculty supervisor. With faculty permission, you can also work on a joint project with two faculty members. We advise against working on two completely separate projects, as it affects your focus and the amount of learning you gain from each individual project.
For students pursuing research projects in Singapore, CIPE organises discussions, field trips, workshops and social events to help develop a better understanding of various kinds of research, share stories and impressions and learn to present your work in an accessible manner to non-specialists. If you have ideas for other activities, please share them with the SRP programme coordinator.
When you commit to the SRP, you also commit to being present from the entire duration of your research project. In most cases, that entails 8-10 consecutive weeks of research. If there is a break in the project schedule (due to faculty supervisor commitments, etc), you are welcome to arrange personal travel during that time. Please inform CIPE of any planned interruptions in your programme schedule, since that affects your programme support.
The SRP aims to promote skill and knowledge building, sustained interest and deep immersion in research, and reflection on whether it is a good career fit for you. You will not be graded on your research work or on your symposium presentation after the SRP.
All SRP participants must complete a post-summer survey about their programme experience and give a poster or multimedia presentation about their work at a research symposium in Semester 1.
After completing the SRP, you may be able to continue your research during the school year as a Student Associate appointment or as an independent study. CIPE may approach you for help to mentor future SRP participants.