Travel Grants Program

To reinforce the Center's efforts and resources in accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation (ATTAIN) and become a leading enabler and champion of excellence in agricultural and rural development, SEARCA will provide travel grants of up to a maximum of US$1,200 to each qualified agriculture and agriculture-related professional, social scientist, or graduate student in Southeast Asia.

Objectives of the Grant

  • To provide opportunities to qualified Southeast Asian nationals to participate and present papers in ATTAIN-relevant scientific conferences and fora, locally or internationally.
    Note: Poster presentations are not covered.
  • To promote the dissemination of scientific knowledge/information vital to agricultural innovation.
  • To provide the Grantee a venue to discuss with other scientists, researchers, university faculty, and scholars about recent developments in their respective disciplines.
  • To facilitate linkages, partnerships, and active collaboration between SEARCA, or the applicant's home institution, with other development organizations and donors.
  • To produce articles or any publication out of the Grantee's presented paper, whenever appropriate and feasible.

Eligibility of Applicants

Applicants who will present scientific papers in international or local scientific conferences and fora are qualified for the Travel Grants. On a case to case basis, paper presentations may not be required if attendance to a conference/forum is expected to result in establishing formal linkages, partnerships, collaborations and strong development impacts to the Center.

Priority 1. Priority shall be given to the following:

  • SEARCA fellows (senior, adjunct, and visiting fellows);
  • SEARCA Graduate scholarship alumni;
  • Researchers of SEARCA-implemented/coordinated projects;
  • SFRT grantees;
  • Proponents from the University Consortium (faculty, staff, and graduate students);
  • SEARCA ongoing scholars; and
  • Faculty and staff of universities under the SEARCA's Institutional Development Assistance Program.

Priority 2. Applicants who are citizens of Southeast Asian countries who are regular staff members of non-profit development-oriented institutions or graduate students of other agricultural universities in the Region may be considered if not enough qualified applications under Priority 1 have been received.

At present, only citizens from the following countries are qualified to apply: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

Selection Criteria

A. Subject Matter

The focus of the paper should be aligned with SEARCA's priority thrusts under its 11th Five-Year plan (FY 2020/2021 – 2024/2025), as follows:

  • Agri-Business Models for Increased Productivity and Income
  • Sustainable Farming Systems and Natural Resource Management
  • Food and Nutrition Security
  • Transformational Leadership for Agricultural and Rural Development (ARD)
  • Gender and Youth Engagement in ARD
  • Enhanced ARD towards Climate Resilience
  • EcoHealth/One Health Applications to ARD

B. Conference Venue

Priority will be given to travel within the Southeast Asian region. Grants for travel outside the region may be considered on a case to case basis depending on how well the paper satisfies the selection criteria and the objectives of the Travel Grants.

C. Concrete Returns to SEARCA

Other than simply acknowledging SEARCA in the paper presentation (a PowerPoint template will be provided to the grantee), the grantee should be able to provide a version of the paper that can be published as a journal article, policy brief, research notes, or other format deemed appropriate by SEARCA. When possible, the grantee should be able to present in a seminar or a related forum sponsored/organized by SEARCA such as the SEARCA's Agriculture and Development Seminar Series (ADSS).

D. Re-applying Grantees

Previous applicants can re-apply, but must not have been awarded with a SEARCA Travel Grant in the last three (3) years.

Application Requirements

  1. A letter expressing interest to avail of the grant, addressed to:
    Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio
    Director Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)
    College, Los Baños, 4031 Laguna, Philippines
  2. A recommendation letter from the immediate head/supervisor/major professor of the applicant, if applicable;
  3. A two-page summary (single-spaced; A4 sheet) of the paper for presentation to the conference;
  4. A copy of the conference organizer's letter of acceptance of the paper for presentation;
  5. A copy of the conference program;
  6. The estimated budget for participation;
  7. A proof/copy of award of funding support from other organization(s) if travel is beyond Southeast Asia; and
  8. The applicant's curriculum vitae.

For non-paper-presenters whose purpose is for establishing formal linkages, partnerships, collaborations or will bring strong development impacts to SEARCA and/or his/her mother institution, items 3 and 4 are no longer required. Applicants under this category must show concrete proof of recent and on-going negotiations, liaisons and/or invitations between the parties involved, and must be able to establish that a face-to-face meeting may likely result to opportunities for collaboration or mutually beneficial impacts.

Note: Due to the high volume of applications received per quarter, only short-listed applicants will be notified.

All applications with complete documents should be submitted online through the SEARCA Grants Information System (https://grants.searca.org). Hard copies sent directly to the Center will not be accepted/processed. Applicants should fill out the system's online submission form completely for their application to proceed. In the event that a problem is encountered during online application, the applicant should inform SEARCA through email () so that said problem, if from SEARCA's end, can be addressed.

Post-Travel Requirements

Upon completion of travel, the grantee must submit the following to SEARCA within seven (7) days after the conference/fora:

  1. Travel report highlighting observations, learning, and recommendations;
  2. Publishable version of the scientific paper presented;
  3. A copy of the presentation (PowerPoint file);
  4. A short news article about the highlights of the conference/forum and the grantee's presentation; and
  5. Detailed expense report/liquidation together with original copies of plane ticket, boarding passes, and official receipts.

Note: Should the grantee fail to liquidate the full amount of the grant, he/she will be required to return the remaining funds to SEARCA.

General Schedule of Grant Cycle

Activity1st Quarter Travel
(July to September)
2nd Quarter Travel
(October to December)
3rd Quarter Travel
(January to March)
4th Quarter Travel
(April to June)
Deadline of Application 7 June 7 September 7 December 7 March
Processing of Applications and Shortlisting 2nd week of June 2nd week of September 2nd week of December 2nd week of March
Committee Evaluation 3rd week of June 3rd week of September 3rd week of December 3rd week of March
Issuance of Notifications to Selected Grantees 4th week of June 4th week of September 4th week of December 4th week of March

Note: Quarters follow SEARCA's fiscal year which is from July to June.

For inquiries, please email:

Research and Thought Leadership Department (RTLD)
SEARCA, College, Los Baños, 4031 Laguna, Philippines
Email: