The Defence Merit Scholarship (DMS) is a top-tier scholarship offered by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) for civilian appointments in the organisation or Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA). Awarded to a select number each year, the DMS paves the way to a world-class education at some of the world's most eminent universities. More importantly, DMS recipients enjoy a highly rewarding and challenging career serving the nation within MINDEF or DSTA upon graduation. As a Defence Executive Officer (DXO), you will play a strategic role alongside the uniformed personnel from the SAF in the defence and security of Singapore. Some examples of the job domains include:

  1. (1) Defence Diplomacy where you will formulate policies to advance our strategic interest.
  2. (2) Formulating Manpower and National Service, Finance and Audit policies/plans to enhance the welfare and development of our people as well as oversee financial governance and optimisation of our defence budget.
  3. (3) Communications where you will learn the art of relaying key messages to both our internal audience (such as our national servicemen) and external audience (e.g. members of the public).
  4. (4) Cyber Defence and Technology where you will be responsible for acquiring advanced capabilities to ensure that MINDEF/SAF maintains our technological edge as well as develop policies to build our cyber resilience to deal with future challenges.
  5. (5) Defence Procurement in DSTA in which you will be involved in requirement definition, sourcing strategy formulation and contract management as prudent stewards of defence resources pertaining to defence technology.
  6. (6) Corporate Functions in DSTA such as Human Resource, Corporate Planning and Corporate Communications where you will drive initiatives that provide strategic vision, support and synergy for defence technology development.


  • Good GCE 'A' Level or International Baccalaureate results, Polytechnic Diploma (with Merit) or equivalent
  • Good co-curricular activities (CCA) records
  • Singapore citizens or permanent residents intending to take up citizenship
  • All MINDEF/SAF scholarships are open for application to both genders
  • Note:

    The eligibility period for all mid-term applicants is from the start of your undergraduate studies till the day before the 1st semester of your final academic year.


  • Full tuition fees and other approved academic charges
  • Maintenance and other allowances, e.g. books, clothing, computer
  • Return airfare
  • One-time sponsorship for summer exchange programmes
  • Sponsorship for up to 4 years of studies, inclusive of Master’s if applicable


You can choose to pursue your studies in any of the following disciplines:

  • Arts / Social Sciences
  • Economics
  • Engineering*
  • International Relations
  • Law**
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy, Politics & Economics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Science / Natural Sciences

*Specialisation in particular fields of Engineering are considered on a case-by-case basis

**Applicants intending to pursue a degree in law should note that they will not be called to the Bar while serving in MINDEF/SAF


Our scholars typically go to top and renowned universities in the UK or USA.

United States of America
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Yale University
United Kingdom
  • Imperial College London
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University College London
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford

The above lists are not exhaustive. You may also apply if the universities you're interested in are not listed, but applications are subject to approval.