About 30 faculty members and selected graduate students from UPM-Bintulu attended the event. Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, Program Head for GEID, and Ms. Mary Grace A. Aquino, Program Specialist, led the activity.
Apart from promoting the regular SEARCA grants, Dr. Cuaresma also provided a presentation on the grants of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC). Promotional materials were also distributed to all the attendees.
The team also met with key UPM officials to discuss possible collaboration with SEARCA and the UC, specifically on the project pertaining to indigenous crops, among others.
Prior to this event, SEARCA also conducted a simple Handover Ceremony of Scholarship Certificates at the UPM main campus in Serdang for the two new SEARCA-UPM scholars, namely, Mr. Philip Donald Sanchez, MS Agricultural Process Engineering student from the Philippines; and Mr. Truong Hong Vo Tuan Kiet, PhD Agricultural Policy student from Vietnam. The ceremony was held at the Faculty of Engineering and the certificates were formally handed over by Dr. Cuaresma and Professor Dr. Nor Kamariah Noordin, Dean of the UPM Faculty of Engineering.
Back-to-back with the handover ceremony was the orientation of new and ongoing scholars at UPM. Twenty-three scholars attended the meeting, which provided further information and clarification about the scholarship grant. The meeting was also an opportune time to discuss SEARCA's history and programs.
SEARCA provides high-quality academic grants, such as the full MS and PhD scholarships, Professorial Chair grants, Faculty and Student Mobility grants, and Academic Bridging programs. GEIDD holds an annual marketing roadshow at different agricultural universities across the region to promote its scholarships and other grants.