IFS and SEARCA to hold event for ceremonial MOA signing and launch of call for research

  • By Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel
  • 25 November 2020, Wednesday

The International Foundation for Science (IFS) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) will have a ceremonial signing of its latest Memorandum of Agreement on the Mentorship Program for Advanced Grants (July 2020- June 2023) and launch a call for research borne of this agreement on 26 November 2020, 1:00 p.m. (GMT +8:00) via the platform Zoom and Facebook.

IFS and SEARCA share a desire to strengthen parallel efforts in building research capacities in Southeast Asia. The complex and evolving contexts in the region call for developing researchers and the next generation of young scientists who can contribute to addressing the attendant challenges.  This underpins the mentorship program which will support early career scientists who will be awarded IFS-SEARCA grants to carry out individual or collaborative research. They will be provided with various opportunities to work with established researchers who will guide them through a range of capability-enhancing interactions that are specific to grantees’ professional needs, from their particular discipline’s content to research and interpersonal skills.

The Advanced Grants (up to US$20,000) is open to nationals of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, and Timor Leste, provided that they are enrolled in a PhD program or have recently completed a Master’s or PhD degree within the five years before the call, with proven limited access to start-up funds for their research.

The IFS-SEARCA grant is intended to enhance the research capacity of early career scientists in the specified Southeast Asian countries. The proposed project, with its contribution to knowledge and practice in food security, must fall within the common thematic priorities of IFS (Biological Resources in Terrestrial Systems, Water and Aquatic Resources, and Food Security, Dietary Diversity and Healthy Livelihoods) and SEARCA, and must be applied or developmental research (drawing upon explicitly-referenced basic research).

SEARCA, in its 11th FYP (2020/2021 to 2024/2025), commits to accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation, with these areas as priorities for research activities: Agri-Business Models for Increased Productivity and Income, Sustainable Farming Systems and Natural Resource Management, Food and Nutrition Security, Transformational Leadership for Agricultural and Rural Development (ARD), Gender and Youth Engagement in ARD, Enhanced ARD towards Climate Resilience , EcoHealth/One Health Applications to ARD.

This is the second collaboration of the two organizations.  The first was in 2015-2019 on the IFS-SEARCA Collaborative Grants Pilot in Southeast Asia which awarded research grants to 12 teams composed of a total of 41 researchers/scientists from seven countries in Southeast Asia. The research focus then was on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

IFS is a non-government organization based in Stockholm, Sweden which fosters original Research and Scientific growth within Low- and Lower -Middle Income Countries (LLMICs).  Its vision is for LLMIC scientists to assume ownership and development of local and regional research agendas and contributing to a global research community committed to supporting sustainable development and building science literacy.

SEARCA is  the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization’s (SEAMEO) center of excellence in agriculture mandated to provide to SEA high quality graduate study in agriculture; promote, undertake, and coordinate research programs related to the needs and problems of SEA; and disseminate the findings of agricultural research and experimentation.