The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) teams up with another DOST agency, the Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), to offer an innovative scholarship program. The program is expected to enable qualified graduate students to become active players in generating quality research that addresses the country’s priority concerns in the Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources (AANR) sector.
The fellowship program, dubbed as the Graduate Research and Education Assistantship Program for Technology (GREAT), is now seeking qualified graduate students for the current academic year. Eligible for the said program are graduate students who are about to start their graduate programs or have enrolled in at most 12 units of course work, at the time of application. The applicants should have identified the proposed DOST-PCAARRD or DOST project that they will be involved with and should seek the endorsement of the project leader, who will later serve as their thesis adviser or guidance committee member.
Aside from the usual financial entitlements like monthly stipend, book allowance, tuition fee, thesis budget, travel allowance and insurance, the program provides its scholars the opportunity to be involved in identified DOST-PCAARRD funded project, which will also serve as the platform for the graduate scholar’s thesis or dissertation.
“With this approach, the graduate students can complete their study program on time while the project achieves its goals and objectives, in general,” underscored Dr. Juanito T. Batalon, IDD Director. “This is why we prefer that at the start of their study program even before starting their thesis or dissertation, the graduate scholars can already immerse themselves with the project,” he added.
Under the GREAT, the graduate scholars are also qualified to submit to DOST-PCAARRD a re-entry grant proposal related to their thesis or within the DOST-PCAARRD priority R&D programs, after they graduate. The maximum grant for an approved re-entry project proposal is P5M.
“We would like to attract the best graduate students for this new and innovative program, which is why we are providing above-industry standard benefits,” emphasized Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, DOST-PCAARRD Acting Executive Director. At the same time, Dr. Ebora disclosed that the program, which has a global perspective, would eventually evolve to include providing opportunity for selected scholars to conduct a portion of their research in a partner R&D institution abroad.
As the newest capacity building initiative of the agency, Dr. Ebora also foresees the assistantship program as a vital element of DOST-PCAARRD’s Industry Strategic Science and Technology Program (ISP) Strategic Roadmap. In particular, GREAT can supply their needed human resources through strategic graduate education coupled with an efficient implementation of R&D projects.