Thai university explores SEARCA grants, scholarships, capacity-building programs

DELEGATES from the Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand visited the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) in Los Baños, Laguna, to explore scholarships, grants and capacity-building opportunities for their faculty and students.

The KU Kamphaeng Saen Campus-Department of Human and Community Resource Development (HCRD) Faculty of Education and Development Sciences delegation was led by Asst. Prof. Dr. Varaporn Yamtim, deputy dean for Research and Academic Service, on Oct. 19, 2023.

Faculty members joining Yamtim were Dr. Issaree Supnui, Dr. Supharuk Aticomsuwan, Dr. Sunti Srisuantang and Orawan Boontu.

SEARCA director Dr. Glenn Gregorio said the SEARCA team gave an overview of the center's thrusts, programs and offerings to the visitors from KU-Kamphaeng Saen, where four SEARCA scholars are currently studying.

The SEARCA team that received the visitors were Associate Professor Joselito Florendo, deputy director for administration; Dr. Maria Cristeta Cuaresma, Education and Collective Learning senior program head; lawyer Eric Reynoso, Emerging Innovation for Growth program head; Corinta Guerta, technical adviser to the director; Sharon Malaiba, Partnerships unit head; Paula Grace Muyco, Graduate Scholarship and Institutional Development Unit program specialist; and Partnerships Unit staff.

Cuaresma introduced to the group several Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) offerings that their faculty and students can avail of as KU is a consortium member, which included faculty travel grants for research and conference and seminar and student travel grants.

She shared with them SEARCA-led grants, such as the Travel Grants Program and Faculty and Student Mobility Grant, and encouraged KU's faculty and students to apply as SEARCA scholars.

Reynoso also introduced the Grants for Research Toward Agricultural Innovative Solutions (GRAINS), which provides starter funds to researchers, scientists, inventors and agripreneurs to scale up their technology or innovation model.

Cuaresma also mentioned the approaching deadline for the Seed Fund for Research and Training (SFRT) on Oct. 31, 2023.

Like the GRAINS, she said SFRT provides starter funds to researchers and scientists who can contribute significantly to Southeast Asian agriculture but lack the funding to carry out their projects.