Minor in Pharmaceutical Sciences- Call for Application (Semester 2, AY2012/13)

If you have 3 or more semesters to go before graduation, we invite you to consider the Minor in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The pharmaceutical industry in Singapore is undergoing a phase of expansion as more pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies set up new manufacturing and research facilities here. Along with such expansion plans, the industry will be seeking job applicants with relevant knowledge and skills. In addition to the requisite domain knowledge which may be science, engineering, law or business; the employers are also seeking to hire graduates with supplementary knowledge relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. The relevant adjunct knowledge is based on a foundation in pharmaceutical sciences. Having an understanding of pharmaceutical sciences will enable these graduates to quickly immerse in the environment of the industry and may ease the initial learning phase. With the Minor in Pharmaceutical Sciences, graduates will have a broader spectrum of technical knowledge and skills which may be useful during their postgraduate study in fields relevant to human health.

This programme is hosted by the Department of Pharmacy and aims to provide non-Pharmacy major students with an understanding of the fundamental technical language, knowledge and skill set relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. It also aims to raise the awareness among undergraduates from different majors about the potential applications of their domain knowledge in the pharmaceutical industry.

Application for Semester 2 AY2012/13 is now open till 3 January 2013. More information about this programme, as well as the application form, is available at http://www.pharmacy.nus.edu.sg/programmes/PharmMinor/.

Completed forms should be submitted to the Pharmacy Department Office (S4-02-18) or emailed to phabox2@nus.edu.sg by 3 January 2013.

* Please note that students are not allowed to opt for a new Minor beyond the end of the 5th semester of study.

Roundtable workshop: Children’s Agency in various contexts: Family, Health, Social Service and on the Streets, 21 December 2012

Organised by Social Work Department,
Funded by Family, Children and Youth Research Cluster

Chaired by Dr Esther Goh of Social Work Department, together with invited speakers: Prof Leon Kuczynski (University of Guelph, Canada), A/P Jan De Mol (Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium) and A/P Cheng Fucai (Shanghai Academy of Social Science), this round table stimulated enthusiastic interest among faculty members, research and undergraduate students on conceptualising children as agentic beings in research. Conventionally, children are often treated as passive recipients of external influences. They are commonly conceived as the ‘dependent variables’ with parents, schools, and other adults in their environment as ‘independent variables’.

Prof Kuczynski, a developmental psychologist and theorist, explained his Social Relational Theory (SRT) which is an interdisciplinary framework designed to understand how parents and children interact as human agents within a system of culturally embedded social relationships. It provides concepts for understanding various facets of children’s agency, including their capacities to make sense of the environments, act strategically to achieve their goals, and resist domination by others.

A/P Jan De Mol’s captivating presentation through enactment of a clinical case where he saw a family with a depressed teenage girl, explained to the participants how he utilised the concept of child agency as well as relationship contexts for expression of agency in family therapy. Wong Hui Mei, a fourth year Social Work major who worked on her honours thesis with Dr Esther Goh, shared with the group her discovery of child agency in ADHD children and their parents in Singapore.

A fascinating ethnographic work with 39 street children in Shanghai was presented by A/P Cheng Fucai. He lived with this group of street kids over a period of six months and witnessed how children survived the harsh underground world through their agentic strategies.

Dr Goh moderated a student panel where three 4th year Social Work students responded to the presentations and discussed how these conceptual tools could be useful in their own research projects which viewed children as actors instead of passive members of families and social service systems. Participants provided input and comments and posted questions to help them think further along their research projects.

The roundtable ended with a research gallery presented by Dr Goh to demonstrate how the Social Relations Theory (SRT) can be a productive research lens to examine phenomenon within and beyond social science borders. She illustrated the generativity power of SRT in studying children’s bargaining power in three-generational families, involvement in negotiating house chores, children’s agency in pediatric dentistry and in nutrition and food science. This gallery is an exhibition of the interdisciplinary relevance of SRT and its ability to generate productive research activities in various research contexts.


Comments from the student participants:

Chee Liping (4th year Social Work student):
Personally, the session has further enhanced my interest in working and research with children and widened my horizons about the breadth and depth of such undertakings. I was particularly inspired by Professor Cheng’s sharing about his ethnographic work with street children which showed the rich insights that can be gained when a researcher truly seeks to see from the children’s perspective without an imposition of adults’ beliefs.

 It was really good!

Wong Hui Mei (graduating 4th year Social Work student):
I was really excited to meet Prof Kuczynski in person after reading about his theory and articles and I’ve used the SRT for my honours thesis. So hearing him “live” and meeting in person was an amazing experience! All in all, the roundtable has been a wonderful closure for my undergrad life in NUS while at the same time, it has opened up the exciting path of research work in children and child’s agency for me!

Gina Chan (4th year Social Work student):
Thank you once again for organising this very insightful and interesting workshop Dr Goh!

ES2007S Professional Communication Skills: Principles & Practice

Dear Years 2, 3 and 4 Students

ES2007S Professional Communication Skills: Principles & Practice

 The Centre for English Language Communication (CELC) would like to invite you to read a practical and interesting module – “ES2007S Professional Communication Skills: Principles and Practice”.

ES2007S aims to help you become a more effective communicator in any professional context.  It is a module that marries some theory with a lot of hands-on practice, with many opportunities for you to work on and build your confidence in oral and written communication skills.  Among others, ES2007S covers interpersonal communication, the 7Cs of professional writing, persuasive presentations, job search skills (including writing resumes, job application letters, as well as conducting yourself at job interviews) and intercultural communication. These are all essential skills transferable to the workplace and any other professional platform.

ES2007S does not have a final examination. Instead, assessment is continual and based on a variety of oral and written assignments, classroom tasks, and quizzes.

To find out more about ES2007S, please visit our website at www.nus.edu.sg/celc/programmes/es2007s.php. Alternatively, you may email the Course Coordinator, Dr Radhika Jaidev at elrj@nus.edu.sg.

The ES2007S team welcomes you and looks forward to working with you to enhance your ‘personal brand’ in the professional arena.

Thank you.

Dr Radhika Jaidev

Course Coordinator


NUS Psychology Society End-Of-Year Gathering 2012

Hi everyone!

Check out our annual end-of-year gathering and grab the opportunity to know more friends!

Venue: Psychology Society Room (NUS Block ADM #02-10)

Date: 28th Dec 2012 (Friday)

Time: 6pm onwards

Food will provided but do feel free to bring some snacks along! =D



FASS Ageing Research Influencing Policy and Changing Mindsets

FASS’ ageing-related research has been in the spotlight lately.  Much of the media interest has focused on two conferences and one special research paper as below.

Most recently Mr Chan Chun Sing (above), Acting Minister for Social and Family Development and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, attended the ‘Europe-Asia Forum on active ageing and intergenerational solidarity’ on 30 November, a conference co-organized by the Health and Family Children and Youth Clusters of FASS and the EU Centre in Singapore. This special forum brought together a delegation of European, Asian and NUS experts to share their insights and discuss good practices. The Minister and participants agreed ageing is not a crisis but an opportunity. Ageing is only a crisis if we do not apply our minds and think through the issues and put into action some of the measures to pre-empt the challenges.

Earlier in October, Dr Amy Khor, Singapore’s Minister of State for Health and Manpower, also attended a roundtable discussion titled ‘Ageing in Place – How Prepared is Singapore?’ Hosted by the Singapore Research Nexus and the Health Cluster of the FASS, the roundtable discussion saw some 130 NUS researchers, eldercare practitioners, advocates for the elderly and policy makers converge to examine the issue of ageing and how prepared Singapore is for the inevitable process.
Photos and video of the workshop can be viewed here:  http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/srn/videos-from-srn-hosted-symposium-ageing-in-place


Finally, a Ministry of Manpower-comissioned study by Assoc Prof Chia Ngee Choon and Assoc Prof Albert Tsui from the  Dept of Economics was scrutinized extensively in the local media as it reviewed the projected sufficiency of CPF contributions towards retirement. The paper titled ‘Adequacy of Singapore Central Provident Fund Payouts: Income Replacement Rates of Entrant Workers’  revealed three caveats for adequate retirement CPF payouts for young working Singaporeans http://newshub.nus.edu.sg/news/1211/PDF/IF-st-15nov-pA2.pdf

Preallocation for CS4880, Digital Entrepreneurship – Semester 2, AY2012/2013

Dear student,


Professor Juzar Motiwalla will select students for his module, CS4880, on Digital Entrepreneurship.  The class is open to 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students from all faculties. The number of students to be enrolled for CS4880 is limited.

More details can be found on IVLE, http://courses.nus.edu.sg/course/dcsjm/internet/CS4880_Course_Preview.pdf

The lecturer is Professor Juzar Motiwalla, who was a Partner at a Venture Capital company. Previously he was CEO of Kent Ridge Digital Labs. He has worked closely with top executives of Apple, HP, IBM and other global companies as well as with leading venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and Asia. He has been on the Boards of many start-ups.

CS4880 is offered in Semester 2 (2012/13), on Mondays 6.30 – 9.30 pm in Executive Classroom COM2-04-02. The course can be only taken for credit and is graded. Full attendance is expected.

If you wish to sign up for CS4880, please e-mail directly to Professor Motiwalla (dcsjm@nus.edu.sg) by 26th December 2012, 12.00 noon with responses to the points below in the format shown. Please be diligent in your response. Students with questions about the course may contact Prof Juzar Motiwalla.

The students to be preallocated for the module will be selected by 2nd January 2013.



Matriculation Number:


Degree enrolled in:

Home Faculty (e.g SoC):

Department (e.g. Computer Science):

Year of Study (e.g. 2nd Year):

1) Please explain why you wish to take this module.

2) Please list any special achievements (academic and non-academic), interesting activities, employment, internships and attachments, or entrepreneurial experience.

3) Please point out if you have acquired similar knowledge elsewhere (for example, TR3002, IS5116/CS5263) or intend to take such courses in the same semester as CS4880.

4) Have you taken CP2201, Journey of the Innovator or CS3882, Developing Breakthrough Ideas?

5) Are you on internship in Semester 2?

6) Please describe prior relevant background if you are not SoC students.

Best regards,

Toh Mui Kiat

Economics Alumni’s Trishaw Fund-Raising Event

It was a gathering of new and old alumni together with members of the Department of Economics at the Economics Alumni Trishaw Fund-raising event. 30 trishaws were sponsored by our alumni members as part of fund raising for the NUS Economics Bursary Fund. Each trishaw was sponsored for $500. On 30 November 2012, 60 alumni, family members and relatives gathered at the Albert Mall Trishaw Park for a one-hour trishaw ride around Little India, City Hall and the Bugis area.

Donned in the NUS Department of Economics T-shirt and honoured by the presence of the Department Head, Prof Julian Wright, participants were treated to night scenes in Little India, passing by the all famous shop-houses specializing in Indian traditional produce as well as the Besar Food Centre and classic landmarks like the Raffles Hotel. The sights and sounds of night time city Singapore was a sight to behold and many enjoyed themselves in this event. Friends were made and old friends reunited in this event.

Overall the event raised $15,000 for the NUS Economics Alumni Bursary Fund with support from the NUS Department of Economics. The Economics Alumni thank Chan Kok Hoe, Daniel Lo, Monica Chang, Tang Wee Lip and Dr Lee Soo Ann for their effort in putting this event together.

Below are some pictures of the event:

Ride a Trishaw with Economics Alumni!

Join members of the Department of Economics, past and present at “Ride a Trishaw”!

In an effort to raise funds for the Economics Alumni Bursary Fund, the Economics Alumni Committee has put together this event where NUS Economics Alumni will cycle or ride 30 trishaws from Waterloo Street to Marina Bay and back. Established in 2009, the Economics Alumni Bursary is awarded to Second Year students majoring in Economics. Each recipient receives an amount of S$2,000.

Date: Friday 30 November 2012

Time: 6pm – 8pm

Venue: Waterloo Street Pedestrian Mall (walkable from Bugis Station)


6 pm                 : Assemble at Trishaw Station, walkable from Bugis Station (MRT)

6.15-6.45 pm: Light supper. All riders to wear Department of Economics t-shirt.

7.00 pm          : Start of trishaw ride. Follow the one marshal for every 10 trishaws.

30 trishaws have been sponsored by NUS Economics Alumni and supporters.

8.00 pm          : Return to trishaw station.

Berlin Summer School

By Dina Marie Delias (Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology), Department of Sociology

The Berlin Summer School is an intensive two-week program organised by the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS) at the Humboldt- Universitat zu Berlin and the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB). It is intended to be a venue for discussion between and among young and senior scholars, so the former can develop an even deeper understanding of the linkage of theory and empirical research. It’s pretty selective in choosing participants, and they look for research topics that can fall under the themes of Democracy and Democratisation, Social Inequality and Welfare, Civil Society, and Politics, Economy and Society in a Globalising World.

In this year’s summer school (July 15 – 27, 2012), there was a mix of big lectures, small group discussions, one-on-one consultations with senior professors, poster presentations and dialogues between the 30 participants from universities around the world. The first week involved lectures and/or debates between senior academics including Donatella della Porta and Ronald Inglehart on “Concepts as Building Blocks of Theory”, Peter Bearman and Craig Calhoun on “Linking Micro- and Macro- Perspectives”, Delia Baldassari and Henry Bradly on “Causation and Explanation in the Social Sciences”, Mark Bevir on “Epistemological Implications of Methodological Paradigms”, and the insightful keynote- lecture from Prof.Dr.rer.soc. Klaus Eder. These were apart from the more intensive theme-based lectures and small- group discussions on the second week. The program made sure that each of the participants would have the chance not only to talk about their research but also receive substantial feedback.

It was also a great bonus that the Summer School was in Berlin where you are surrounded by so much history that reminds you of the best and the worst that humanity can do. After the hard work put into the presentations and discussions, participants would be hard-pressed in choosing where to visit in order to know the city and its stories further, or to just sit back and take a break.

Humboldt University Summer School Venue
Summer School Participants during lecture
Discussion with Prof. Peter Bearman and Prof. Craig Calhoun
Post-Poster Presentation Review
Dina Marie Delias at the Brandenburg Gate