LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines – A program to develop young scientists and researchers in six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, along the climate change theme is on.
Titled “Collaborative Research Grants in Southeast Asia,” the program is being implemented by the Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEAMEO) and the International Foundation for Science (IFS).
It officially started last August and runs through Dec. 21, 2019.
SEARCA and IFS will pilot the 53-month program covering the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Timor-Leste.
SEARCA is one of 21 regional centers of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), an inter-government treaty body founded in 1965 to promote cooperation among Southeast Asian nations in the fields of education, science and culture. The center is hosted by the government in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
Based in Stockholm, Sweden, IFS contributes to strengthening the capacity of developing countries to conduct relevant and high-quality research on the sustainable management of biological and water resources.
The two institutions are aligned in their mission to develop and nurture budding scientists and researchers who have the potential to become their country’s future leaders and scientists.
Under the joint SEARCA-IFS program, research grants will be awarded on merit to small teams composed of young scientists and researchers from the six countries, which are all members of SEAMEO. The organization is observing its 50th anniversary this year.
SEARCA and IFS will issue the joint collaborative research call for expression of interest to eligible universities and institutions in Southeast Asia by January 2016.
Theme of the grants is “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for Agriculture and Rural Development,” with the following as research areas:
- Assessing climate change impacts and risks for policies, plans and investments.
- Advancing low-carbon agriculture and rural development.
- Enhancing proactive adaptation to climate change, vulnerability and extremes.
- Enabling policies and governance for climate-resilient agriculture and rural communities.
“These identified areas of study are also in line with SEARCA’s Umbrella Program and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for Southeast Asia,” said director Gil Saguiguit Jr., who has been reappointed as head of the 50-year-old SEAMEO center.
The collaborative research approach has been twice piloted by IFS in sub-Saharan Africa and is considered the first in Southeast Asia.
Young researchers who have expressed interest will be invited to join in an online collaborative environment where they will be given the opportunity to form teams and formulate proposals for funding.
IFS provides the digital platform called PODIO and will administer the online application and review processes. SEARCA will lead the capacity building workshop for participants who pass the prescreening stage.
IFS and SEARCA will provide assistance through team grants and mentoring.