Alibaba Group on Monday launched the Alibaba Talent Program in Singapore, looking to arm postgraduate students with R&D skill sets through practical work experience on real-world projects.
The program, with support from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore and the Singapore Economic Development Board, is open to Singapore citizens or permanent residents who graduated from a local university or one of a select group of top-ranked universities around the world. The first intake will be in January 2019.
“Singapore prides itself on world-leading educational and research institutions, as well as its strong pool of talent. Through this program…we want to identify and nurture the next generation of R&D talent from Singapore and further strengthen the research community here,” said Xiangwen Liu, senior director of the Alibaba Technology Strategy Department. “Developing new and disruptive ideas is crucial, and we are committed to nurturing talent who would be the driving force of the next wave of technology innovation.”
Candidates must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science or engineering, electrical, electronic, mathematics, physics or related subjects. They should be pursuing their Ph.D.s in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, Internet of Things, cloud computing, data analytics, cryptography, security or other similar fields.
As Ph.D. students, program participants will spend part of their studies at one or more of Alibaba’s research facilities, including the Alibaba-NTU Singapore Joint Research Institute at NTU, the group’s first facility of its kind outside China, and at Alibaba campuses in Hangzhou and Beijing. Students in the program will have their tuition paid and received a monthly S$5,000 stipend.
Research projects in which the students will participate will be led by Alibaba and universities in Singapore, supported with access to large data samples and business scenarios from Alibaba.
Top scholars in the program will have the chance to work full-time at Alibaba after they graduate.
The program dovetails with Singapore’s ambition to train AI and data-science talent to support the country’s “Smart Nation” vision and its transformation to “Industry 4.0,” a trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.
“All our Ph.D. students involved at the Alibaba-NTU Joint Research Institute will also have hands-on experience in developing and deploying systems involving AI, data analytics, blockchain, internet of things, neural networks, automation and cyber security, all of which are critical for the smooth running of a Smart Campus and a Smart Nation,” said Lam Khin Yong, an NTU vice president and co-chair of the Alibaba-NTU Singapore Joint Research Institute.
The application period started Monday and runs through Oct. 31. Students can access the application online.