Visiting Research Fellows Program

Rationale and Objective

The Visiting Research Fellows (VRF) Program is intended for researchers, within or outside Southeast Asia, who are conducting research along the SEARCA's strategic intent of accelerating transformation through agricultural innovation (ATTAIN). Transformation efforts will focus on conceptual, policy, institutional, social, and technological innovations that will allow transitions to occur in the agricultural industry.

The objective is to enhance and harness the technical expertise, networking and managerial skills of agricultural and rural development practitioners to contribute to the acceleration of transformations that elevates the quality of life of farmers and farming families. The Fellow and SEARCA can work together to provide more context-relevant and valuable services to target stakeholders, in more effective and efficient ways. and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The products and services will be repositioned based on the needs of stakeholder groups to enhance their impact at the ground level.

Eligibility and Appointment

  1. The VRF Program is open to:
    1. Researchers with their own research funding, and who are expected to manage their fund. Participation in the VRF Program shall be by invitation or application to the program.
    2. Researchers without funds but whose research experience will highly contribute to SEARCA's research programs and whose outstanding reputation will enhance the Center's standing and profile as an international organization. Qualified researchers shall be invited to the program.
  2. The appointment, to be issued by the SEARCA Director, shall be determined based on the duration of the proposed project activities. A Visiting Research Fellow shall not be considered a regular employee of SEARCA.


A Visiting Research Fellow shall be provided with the following:

  • Workspace, office supplies, and access to necessary office facilities and equipment such as Internet connection, telephone, fax machine, photocopying machine, and printer.
  • Limited travel funds to attend meetings in Metro Manila.
  • Others that may be jointly agreed upon by the contracting parties.

Accountabilities and Expected Output

The responsibilities of a Visiting Research Fellow are as follows:

  • Carry out the approved research activity within the expected appointment period.
  • Provide regular progress reports/updates on the research being undertaken.
  • Generate a publishable material, which shall acknowledge the assistance of SEARCA and other involved parties/institutions.
  • Present the results of the study in a public seminar at SEARCA or elsewhere more convenient for stakeholders/target audience.

Guidelines for Invitation and Application

In determining the suitability of an individual to participate in the VRF Program, whether by invitation or application, the following guidelines shall be applied:

  1. Invitees or applicants must:
    • Have the intellectual capacity to undertake productive agriculture and rural development research within the priority themes of SEARCA.
    • Display evidence of their capability of doing high-quality/publishable research.
    • Be established and well-respected in their field.
    • Researchers with funding who are affiliated with a research institution should obtain their institution's approval to apply or accept SEARCA's invitation to the VRF Program.
  2. The research activity to be undertaken should complement the Center's thrust on ATTAIN and must be highly relevant to SEARCA's programs.

Application is open any time of the year.

Completed forms can be emailed through addressed to:

The Director
College, Los Baños
4031 Laguna, Philippines
Fax: +63 49 536 4105

Application Form

Screening and Final Invitation Process

  1. Researcher identified and invited by SEARCA to participate in the VRF Program will not go through the regular selection process.
  2. Applicants of the VRF Program will go through the following screening process:
    1. First Screening – A Committee, chaired by the Program Head of the Research and Thought Leadership Department, shall undertake a preliminary evaluation of the applicants based on the preset criteria and make recommendations to the SEARCA Directorate for final approval.
    2. Final Selection - The Directorate shall evaluate the recommended applicant(s) based on the preset criteria and approve the appointment of the qualified participant(s).
  3. Upon the approval of the Directorate, an official invitation letter will be sent.

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