Travel Grants Program

To reinforce the Center's efforts and resources in the promotion of inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD) toward food security and poverty alleviation in the region, 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 ISARD-relevant scientific conferences and fora, locally or internationally. (Poster presentations are not covered.)
  • To promote the dissemination of scientific knowledge/information vital to agriculture and rural development.
  • To provide the Grantee a venue to discuss with other scientists, researchers, university faculty and scholars, developments in their respective disciplines.
  • To facilitate linkaging, 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 fora are qualified for the Travel Grants. On a case to case basis, paper presentations may not be required if attendance to a conference 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, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

Selection Criteria

Subject Matter

The focus of the paper should be aligned with SEARCA's priority thrusts under the Tenth Five-Year plan (FY 2014/2015 - 2018/2019), as follows:

Social Inclusion in Agricultural and Rural Development
  • Participation of poor and vulnerable sectors of rural societies in food and agricultural value chains and agribusiness commodity systems;
  • Food and nutrition security for poor and vulnerable sectors of rural societies; and
  • Productivity-enhancing innovations and modern technologies.
Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Natural resource management;
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation in agricultural and rural development; and
  • Resilience of agricultural systems to climate impacts.
Regional and Sub-regional Cooperation
  • Sub-regional cooperation in trade and investments; and
  • Regional market, trade and economic integration.
Institutions and Governance
  • Government policies, institutions and governance mechanisms and reforms for ISARD

Conference Venue

Priority will be given to travel within the 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.

Concrete Returns to SEARCA

Other than simply acknowledging SEARCA in the paper/presentation, the grantee should be able to provide a version of the presentation/research that can be published as a journal article, monograph, 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).

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:
    The Director
    College, Los Baños 4031, Laguna
  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.

Upon completion of travel, the grantee must submit a post-travel report within seven (7) days after the conference, highlighting observations, learning, and recommendations.


  • 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 ( Applicants should fill out the system's online submission form completely for their application to proceed and be submitted. In the event that a problem is encountered in uploading the application, the applicant should inform SEARCA through so that said problem, if from SEARCA's end, can be addressed.

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
Committee Evaluation 2nd week of June 2nd week of September 2nd week of December 2nd week of March
Issuance of Notification to Applicants on Outcome of Applications 3rd week of June 3rd week of September 3rd week of December 3rd week of March

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

For inquiries, please email:

Research and Development Department (RDD)
SEARCA, College, Los Baños 4031, Laguna, Philippines