Entry Requirements:

(1)     Must have a qualification of Bachelor Degree with Distinction of CGPA of at least 3.70/4.00 from:


-       The Universities which are listed by the QS World University Rankings in the current year as Top 10 Universities in Malaysia or Top 200 Universities in the world


(2)      Must not exceed 40 years of age at the time of application.


(3)      Secured offer letter of PhD admission at University of Malaya and has not registered as a PhD candidate.


(4)      International candidate must obtain a minimum English requirement of IELTS Band 6.0 or TOEFL 550 (paper based) / 213 computer based) / 80 (internet based). The validity of the IELTS/TOEFL is within 2 years from the date of the examination.


(5)      Must be unemployed and not attached to any organization.


(6)      Must not be sponsored by any Federal/State/Statutory Bodies or any other organization.


(7)      Must be free from any debt with the University of Malaya.


(8)      Must attend an interview conducted at the Faculty level.



Specific Requirements:


(1)      Must be supervised by the supervisor(s) who has good track record of at least 30 Index Journal of Web of Science (WoS) publications for Science Base or 30 Scopus journal publications for Arts Base.


(2)      The supervisor(s) must have at least RM200,000 research grants and valid for at least 12 months period of the Fast Track candidature.


Terms and Conditions:

(1)     Successful candidate will be offered the Scheme for Bright Sparks University of Malaya (SBSUM) with the following conditions:

(a)   Science base candidate is required to publish 2 Index Journal (WoS) (Q1/Q2) journals within the first 12 months candidature.

(b)   Arts base candidate is required to publish 2 Scopus journals within the first 12 months candidature. 

(c)   Should the candidate fail to publish 2 Index Journal (WoS) (Q1/Q2) publications (science base) or 2 Scopus journals (arts base) within the first 12 months candidature, the candidature will be automatically terminated. The candidate together with the supervisor(s) are responsible to refund to the university the total cost incurred during the 12 months candidature.

(2)     The candidate MUST sign the SBSUM Agreement with the University of Malaya.

(3)  The main supervisor MUST BE the First Guarantor in the SBSUM Agreement between the candidate and the University of Malaya. 

Important Notes:


1. The academic qualification for Bright Sparks entry requirement must be in accordance and equivalent to University of Malaya  Grading System based on CGPA out of 4.00.       


2.  Quota : 50% (local candidates) and 50% (international candidates) for each Faculties.


3. Completed application will be reviewed and processed in due time according to the rules, regulations, as well as the terms & conditions set by the authority in the University of Malaya.


4. False information provided in the online application may cause the application to be null and void.


5. The University of Malaya will not process any incomplete online application including those without complete supporting documents and processing fees.


6. Candidates will also be assessed based on:

  • Interest and commitment in research
  • Quality of PhD research
  • Assessment of ideas for research
  • Commitment to support UM via contribution in the field of research
  • Additional knowledge and skills (for example : knowledge in IT)
  • Communication and writing skills (in seminars and essays)
  • Feedback from supervisor and / or examiner
  • Excellent Personal Traits : attitude, discipline, communication skills, motivation, proactive, teamwork and other positive traits

7. Decision on the selection of candidates for this program is final.