The National University of Singapore and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ), Israel’s second-oldest university, are set to further the study of biomedical science with the roll-out of a Joint Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programme in August this year.

NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost Professor Tan Eng Chye and HUJ President Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson inked the agreement on 3 July 2013. Witnessing the signing ceremony was Ambassador of Israel to Singapore Her Excellency Amira Arnon.

(From left) Prof Ben-Sasson, H.E. Arnon and Prof Tan at the signing ceremony. Photo credit: National University of Singapore  

NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said: “As the programme leverages on the complementary academic strengths of our two institutions, I am confident that it will offer a unique and world-class learning experience for our students and an excellent platform for our faculty to drive for even higher levels of excellence.”

Concurring, Prof Ben-Sasson noted that the course will offer students exposure to “their host country’s scientific advances and cultural experiences – a major asset in today’s interconnected global scientific community.”

The joint PhD programme is a collaboration between the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Faculty of Science at NUS, and the HUJ Faculties of Medicine and Science. For a start, the two universities will each conduct their own selection, choosing two to three students for the programme in the next four years. The PhD candidates will spend at least nine months at each university.

At NUS, two students have already been chosen for the maiden intake. They will be paying tuition fees set by NUS for the duration of the programme.

The two universities’ relationship can be traced back to 2010 when the NUS-HUJ Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Inflammation Research Programme was set up. It is a part of the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise programme by the Singapore National Research Foundation.