SEARCA, Taiwan university renew joint scholarship for agritech, genomic science

REAFFIRMING its commitment to furthering agricultural development in Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) renewed its joint scholarship partnership with the National Taiwan University (NTU) International College for the Global Agriculture Technology and Genomic Science (Global ATGS) program.

SEARCA Director Glenn Gregorio said the NTU-SEARCA Joint Scholarship Program for Global ATGS aims to empower Southeast Asian scholars by pursuing graduate studies under the Master Program in Global ATGS.

Gregorio said the program, which is conducted in English, has a comprehensive curriculum on smart farming technology, genome science research and breeding science and technology.

He added that the program's multidisciplinary approach features opportunities for internships and field visits "to capacitate bio-agricultural professionals in addressing the changing needs of the agriculture sector with advanced knowledge and practical skills."

The renewed joint scholarship agreement was formalized in a ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan on October 31, 2023 and was attended by ongoing scholars along with alumni who are based in Taiwan for work or further studies.

Gregorio and SEARCA Deputy Director for Programs Nur Azura Adam led the delegation in Taipei and were joined by NTU Associate Dean Jiun-Haw Lee of the International College and Director Chih-Wei Tung of the Master Program in Global ATGS.

The SEARCA-NTU joint scholarship partnership commenced in 2020 when both institutions signed the initial agreement.

Gregorio noted that after three years of fruitful collaboration, SEARCA and NTU agreed "to extend their cooperation to further nurture agricultural experts, encourage academic excellence, and promote research and development in Southeast Asian agriculture."

Since the joint scholarship's inception, both institutions have jointly supported at least 15 scholars.

Gregorio said SEARCA covers stipends, book allowances, insurance and international travel, while both institutions offer tuition support.

He said scholars engaged in research projects in their professors' laboratories are also granted stipends as part of NTU's research project-based, part-time research assistantship program.

Meanwhile, SEARCA's Graduate Scholarship and Institutional Development Unit or GSIDU met with Chih-Wei Tung to evaluate the academic progress of scholars.

In another meeting, the scholars and alumni were gathered at NTU to address any concerns or questions related to their scholarship benefits and to learn more about their campus life.

Both members of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC), SEARCA and NTU have also been active partners in various activities.

Poised to host the 8th UC Summer School in 2024, NTU had hosted significant events for the consortium, including the 32nd and 36th UC executive board meetings in 2019 and 2023, the 2nd UC Faculty Forum in November 2020, and the 7th UC Graduate Forum in December 2021.

SEARCA said more information on the joint scholarship is posted at, and to apply for the NTU-SEARCA Joint Scholarship Program for Global ATGS, visit