UPLB, SEARCA offer customized training for scholars, grantees

WITH the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Development Communication (UPLB-CDC) as training coordinator, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has organized online training and workshop as part of the customized training for its scholars and grantees for Academic Year 2021-2022.

Led by Director Glenn Gregorio, SEARCA said the training scheduled from Jan. 10 to 25, 2022 aims to build the capacity of future agriculture leaders and professionals and enhance 21st-century skills.

Dr. Maria Cristeta Cuaresma, senior program head for Education and Collective Learning Department (ECLD) at SEARCA, welcomed the scholars and training team during a short opening program on January 10.

Cuaresma said the SEARCA scholarship does not only give monetary benefits but also builds the capacities of individual scholars and their home institution as part of the Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (Attain) initiative.

Dr. Benjamina Paula Flor, UPLB-CDC officer in charge dean, inspired the scholars to finish their degrees despite the challenging times and advised that the scholars' first concern in their research should be what they would like to be known, something they are passionate about and not what their adviser just told them.

Flor shared four tips in doing research during the pandemic: focus, keep a proper mindset, choose a research method that can be done online or through secondary data analysis, and motivate yourself.t

Organized through SEARCA's ELCD, the online training-workshop includes Scientific Writing and Presentation and Quantitative and Qualitative Research Designs and Data Analysis.

On the Quantitative and Qualitative Research Designs and Data Analysis training-workshop, the 11 participants who registered are provided an overview of concepts and principles in research design alternatives, encompassing elements like units of analysis, types of data, methods, and ethical issues in the context of experiments, surveys, qualitative, evaluation and policy research.

In this training, the participants will also learn about analyzing data gathered from different methodological frameworks. Recognizing the critical role of close guidance when graduate students embark on their theses/dissertation, the training workshop is primarily coaching/mentoring-based.

Resource persons from the UPLB Institute of Statistics and industry experts will join CDC in conducting the training program.

Meanwhile, the Scientific Writing and Presentation training with 30 participants aims to improve competence in scholarly communication by deepening knowledge of the core features of the scientific writing style.

In this course, candidates will write clear, detailed and well-structured scientific texts appropriate to a suitable academic journal and will develop skills for self-editing and revision techniques, including editing for precision and clarity.

Participants will also gain a deeper understanding of how to prepare a scientific paper using the IMRAD — Introduction, Method, Results and Discussion — format. The candidates will develop an enhanced understanding of the concept of academic integrity and the ethics of scientific writing to overcome anxiety about academic publishing and get their research papers published in international journals.

For the Quantitative and Qualitative Research Designs and Data Analysis, the attendees met UPLB Assistant Professor Rosa Pilipinas Francisco and CDC Affiliate Assistant Professor Miguel Victor Durian, who serve as training coordinators.

The scholars also met with UPLB Assistant Professor Avril Adrianne Madrid and Charlene Mae Arkaina, University Extension specialist, CDC, for the Scientific Writing and Presentation.

In addition to the CDC faculty members, managing editors of journal publications were also invited by the training coordinators for a meet-and-greet panel discussion.

Gregorio said SEARCA has been organizing training workshops for scholars to equip them in accomplishing their academic requirements and prepare them for their future roles as champions of inclusive agriculture and innovations for development.

He said other training programs offered include the Basic English Course for New Scholars, and the Writing Thesis/Dissertation Proposals.

"At SEARCA, we also organize social activities such as team building trips and meetings but we have shifted the activities online, including the training programs due to the pandemic," Gregorio said.