Special Programme in Science (SPS)

Mentorship in SPS

Mentorship is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.

— John C. Crosby, politician

Science is a collaborative discipline, and SPS reflects it in its heavy emphasis on peer-learning and peer-teaching. We have a very high mentor-to-student ratio of 1:2.

Students in our programme can expect to receive personal guidance on matters ranging from academics and research to personal development. Besides guidance from staff mentors who oversee the curriculum and conduct the lectures, our students are also provided close mentoring and assistance from our student mentors1 throughout the programme.

Student mentors assist staff mentors in the thematic modules where, as the term suggests, the content is centred on a theme (Atoms to Molecules, The Cell, The Earth, and The Universe). In the two research-based modules, Discovering Science and Investigating Science, student mentors play a more prominent role in imparting ‘soft’ skills, such as presenting effectively, communicating research ideas, and managing research projects. An aspect of mentoring serves to emulate the scientific peer-review process where mentors critically evaluate the research work of the students.

After completing the Integrated Science Curriculum at the end of their second year, students can apply for a mentorship role. Many of our students choose to become mentors not only to immerse themselves further in an academic environment, but also to pass on their research experience to the following cohorts.


  1. Run-down on terms: Graduate mentors have already received their degree but generously continue to donate their time to SPS. Student mentors are in their final year of an honours degree, whilst junior mentors are third year students.