smart nation scholarship

Frequently Asked Questions

Application Timelines

  1. Submission of online application via BrightSparks Scholarship Portal during the application period
  2. Review of applications by sponsoring agencies
  3. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for further assessments and interviews
You are strongly encouraged to be in Singapore for the interview process. If shortlisted, do let the sponsoring agencies know of your current location and your travel schedule to best coordinate the interview.
Applications will open from September to April each year. Please click here to submit your application.
Yes, you need to select at least one agency. If you are interested in more than one agency, you are required to rank your preference.
You may be invited to participate in the selection process of one or more sponsoring organisations, based on your preference of agencies in your application. If you are successful, you will be offered the scholarship by your sponsoring agency for your acceptance. Your preference of agencies (indicated during your application) and the observations gathered during the selection process will be taken into consideration when deciding which agency is most suitable to award the scholarship.
You may choose only one offer and you must accept in writing by the deadline indicated in the scholarship offer letter.
The scholarship offer will include the scholarship scheme, the sponsoring agency, the courses of study and universities that are supported, and other terms and conditions. You will also need to sign the Letter of Undertaking and Sureties Form.
The acceptance deadline will be detailed in the scholarship offer letter presented to you by the sponsoring agency.
Applications are accepted any time before you commence your studies. For successful scholars who are serving their National Service, the scholarship will only take effect upon the commencement of undergraduate studies.
This depends on the assessments done by the different agencies.
Yes, you have to indicate the scholarship that you've applied for.
All scholarship holders will be expected to fulfil their bond period. In cases where they wish to break their bond, the agency will review their request accordingly.

Selection Criteria

We consider several factors in determining the suitability of our applicants, such as academics and co-curricular achievements, strength of character and a strong interest and passion in technology and Smart Nation.
  • Singapore Citizens (includes Singapore PRs who are taking up Singapore Citizenship)
  • Students with GCE "A" Level results or equivalent (e.g. International Baccalaureate, NUS High School Diploma or Polytechnic Diploma)
  • Exemplary co-curricular activities record
  • Passionate about having a technology career
  • Will be pursuing an ICT-related degree or double degree in ICT
  • Past participation in technology or ICT-related events or competitions will be considered favourably, but is not compulsory
  • Singapore Citizens (includes Singapore PRs who are taking up Singapore Citizenship)
  • Must have at least one semester of university results at the point of application and have not embarked on final year of study.
  • If currently not in a ICT related course but interested to take up a double degree in ICT, you will also be considered.
  • Exemplary co-curricular activities record
  • Passionate about having a technology career
  • Past participation in technology or ICT-related events or competitions will be considered favourably, but is not compulsory
Applicants should have at least 10 AUs for GCE "A" Levels, or 6 subjects for International Baccalaureate.

For GCE "A" Levels subjects, General Paper, Project Work, Mother Tongue, H1 and H3 subjects count as 1 AU; Knowledge and Inquiry, and H2 subjects count as 2 AUs
No. But you must have at least 10 GCE 'A' Level units.
Knowledge and Inquiry is not a necessary criterion to be considered for this scholarship.
Yes, you can apply for the Scholarship because such participation is not compulsory.
To qualify for application, you must have not embarked on your final year of study.

Scholarship Terms

The scholarship will cover the following benefits:

  • Tuition, examinations and other compulsory university fees
  • Airfare (only for overseas scholarship holders)
  • Living allowances
  • One-time pre-studies allowance
  • Medical insurance (if needed by university)
  • Visa processing fees (where applicable)
  • Courses/certification allowance
  • Application fees for up to 5 universities
  • Baggage allowance for final return trip to Singapore
For mid-term non backdate, benefits will start from the point of scholarship award.

For mid-term backdate, benefits will be prorated accordingly.
6 years for overseas and 4 years for local studies. Mid-term scholars will serve a pro-rated bond if they opt not to backdate the scholarship.
Yes, you may opt to backdate your scholarship award date to the start of your degree programme and your bond will be the full duration, i.e. 6 years (for overseas) or 4 years (for local). If you opt not to backdate your scholarship award date, your bond will be pro-rated.
No, the terms are the same across all 3 sponsoring agencies.

University Application

No, you do not need to secure place in a university before your application. However, you must indicate the universities and courses that you have applied for.

The application for the scholarship can be submitted after the release of the A level/IB/NUSHS/Polytechnic final examination results. We encourage you to submit your application early, as it gives us more time to process your application, and to contact you in advance for interviews and assessments. In the event that you are shortlisted for an interview, we will get in touch for an update on your university application status.
The Smart Nation Scholarship is meant to develop individuals for technical leadership positions in the technology sector in the Public Service. The course should be ICT related and from a renowned university.

Here are some examples of the courses but the list is not meant to be exhaustive:
  • Business Analytics / Data Science
  • Behavioral Science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computing / Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Electrical & Electronic Engineering
  • Engineering
  • Engineering Product Development
  • Engineering Science
  • Geospatial Technology
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Information Engineering
  • Information Security
  • Information Systems & Communications Technology / Design
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics / Statistics / Economics (Case-by-case basis)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Operations Research
  • Science and Cybersecurity
  • Systems Engineering
If the applicant fails to gain acceptance into an approved course, the scholarship will not be awarded.
You must consult and seek approval from your sponsoring agency before making any changes to your approved or existing course of study.

Internships and Career Related

Yes, while pursuing your degree programme, you will have an internship with your sponsoring agency.
If you intend to secure a vacation attachment or internship on your own, you will need to consult and seek approval from your sponsoring agency before accepting such opportunities.
Upon graduation, you will gain direct admission into a talent programme within your sponsoring agency for fast-tracked career development, where you will be given opportunities and be groomed into a young leader.
It will be planned according to the career development plans the sponsoring agency has for you.
Gap year application is assessed on a case-by-case basis and approval will be given based on merit. You should consult and seek approval from your sponsoring agency before accepting any gap year offer.
Although there is no limit to the number of exchange or summer programmes you can attend, it is important to note that you are expected to attain at least a Second Class (Upper) Honours or Cum Laude, or equivalent, throughout your course of studies and at graduation. Hence, the sponsoring agency will only support if it is confident that you are able to cope.