Biostatistics and bioinformatics are increasingly important areas for advancement of biomedical research. There is high demand for trained professionals in these areas, locally and internationally.

Biostatistics and health data science is responsible for experimental design, data analysis, and evidence synthesis and interpretation for answering questions in translational, clinical, epidemiological and health services research. Recent years have seen major changes in the medical landscape, such as the needs for rapid responses to infectious diseases, personalised medicine, and the availability and connectivity of big data. They demand innovative approaches to statistical problem solving. Some examples include adaptive clinical trial designs, dynamic treatment regimes, and high-dimensional data analysis methods.

Computational biology is an integration of data analytics, statistics, machine learning, modelling, software engineering, and computer science to answer questions in basic and translational biomedical research. The explosion of demand for bioinformatics in the last five years has been driven partly by huge decreases in the cost of next generation DNA sequencing, which is 10,000 times cheaper than it was in 20061. As a result, next-generation sequencing is now a foundational technology for much of biological research. The rapid development of many other high throughput technologies is also driving demand for bioinformatics experts.

Duke-NUS will launch its inaugural PhD programme in Quantitative Biology and Medicine (QBM) in August 2017. The programme distinguishes itself from others by focusing on issues in modern biomedical research and preparing researchers to take their skills to advance medicine.

Students will complete their training in Duke-NUS’ Center for Quantitative Medicine (Biostatistics and Health Data Science) and Center for Computational Biology (Computational Biology).

The degree, which will take on average 4 to 5 years to complete, culminates with the development of a written thesis and a successful oral dissertation defense.

Programme Structure

The Duke-NUS PhD program in Quantitative Biology and Medicine provides training in quantitative methods in biomedical sciences, covering a broad spectrum of disciplines including molecular and cell biology, genetics and genomics, modern clinical trials, epidemiology, and healthcare analytics. Students choose one of two concentrations and a thesis mentor:

•    Biostatistics and Health Data Science
•    Computational Biology

During the first two years, students will complete a core set of courses including “Core Concepts in Biostatistics” and “Core Concepts in Bioinformatics”. The degree, which will take on average 4 to 5 years to complete, culminates with the development of a written thesis and a successful oral dissertation defense.

Admission Requirements

 PhD in Quantitative Biology and Medicine

  • Depending on your intended concentration area,
    • Biostatistics and Health Data Science: a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in a quantitative discipline (Statistics/Biostatistics/Math/Computer Science/Epidemiology).
    • Computational Biology: a bachelor’s degree in biological, computational, or quantitative discipline.
  • All applicants must have completed, or be in the final year of, a bachelor or honours degree
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test results
  • 3 – 5 recommendation letters, typically from professors, mentors and/or employers.

English Proficiency

Results of TOEFL or IELTS are required only if English was not the language of instruction during undergraduate studies. English is the language of instruction at Duke-NUS. Applicants whose medium of instruction during undergraduate studies was not English must submit either TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) scores or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores as evidence of their proficiency in the English language. The following are the minimum scores that should be achieved: 

  • 600 on the TOEFL paper-based test; OR
  • 85 on the TOEFL internet-based test; OR
  • an overall band score of 7 on the IELTS
Dates & Fees

For more information on Application Dates, click here.

For more information on Fee, Scholarships and Finance matters, click here.

Contact Details

Duke-NUS Medical School
8 College Road
Singapore 169857

Tel: +65 6516 7666