Nagoya U-Ph campus webinar promotes PhD programs, scholarships for Filipinos

  • Written by  Harlene May Viesca
  • Published in News

Officials and resource persons from Nagoya University (NU), Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and UPLB encouraged faculty members, researchers, extension personnel, professional staff, and government employees to join NU’s projects so they can grow professionally, and earn doctorate degrees from one of Japan’s top national universities.

“Leading the Way: The Nagoya University Transnational Doctoral Programs for Leading Professionals in Asian Countries'' held on 18 January 2021 presented the first phase of NU Asian Satellite Campuses Institute’s (ASCI) project called Transnational Doctoral Programs for Leading Professionals in Asian Countries, as well as the second phase called International Station for Tropical Agricultural Sciences (ISTAS).

Available scholarships, and opportunities for joint research projects and academic mobility within the NU Japan-Cambodia-Philippines network were also introduced.

According to NUASCI Director Isoda, the first phase of ASCI emerged from their previous students’ struggles to earn doctoral degrees because they are unable to leave their offices for a long period of time.

NUASCI and Transnational Doctoral Programs for Leading Professionals in Asian Countries were launched in 2014 in Cambodia, Mongolia, and Vietnam. It features a hybrid education system in the fields of legal development, medical administration, food production and agricultural development, economic and social development, and environmental policy.

Under the Transnational Doctoral Program, students based at the satellite campuses across Asia are remotely supervised by NU academic advisers through communication tools like videoconferencing. Students also occasionally visit Nagoya University’s main campus for short-term intensive academic seminars.

On the other hand, NUASCI-Philippine campus and the program was established in 2016 at UPLB GS, and is currently open to government employees, researchers of international organizations such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), faculty and research, extension, and professional staff (REPS) of the UP System, and faculty members of the Visayas State University (VSU) in Leyte.

According to Professor Isoda, 80 students have enrolled since 2014 in the doctoral programs across six satellite campuses. Twenty of them already earned their degrees, including two Filipinos – Dr. Ronilo De Castro and Dr. Dennis Gilberto. He also thanked SEARCA, UPLB, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for offering scholarships to their PhD students.

NUASCI Deputy Director Akira Yamauchi highlighted Nagoya University’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through promoting science, technology, and innovation. In his discussion of the ASCI-Phase 2, he described the ISTAS as the “center for international collaborative research and education in Asian universities and research institutions, and center for on-site field research and education responding to the Nagoya Protocol.”

Aimed at deploying and mobilizing human resources for agriculture and international development, ISTAS was officially launched in the Philippines last 11 February 2019. The sub-station located at the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) in Cambodia has already been established and equipped with a central laboratory and experimental research dairy farm.

While in the Philippines, NUASCI has proposed to build a central laboratory at the Main Station in UPLB and sub-station in VSU to house the remaining facilities and equipment, since some of these are currently maintained by UPLB colleges and professors.

NU Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences (GSBS) Dean Satoru Tsuchikawa, Animal Science Professor Satushi Ohkura, Graduate School of International Development (GSID) Professor Yuzuru Shimada, and GSID Designated Professor Ayako Ido also promoted their respective doctoral program offerings through the UPLB-based NUASCI-Philippines campus, along with the eligibility requirements, application guidelines, and admission procedures.

NU-GSBS offers the Doctor of Agricultural Science program in the fields of Forest and Environmental Resources Sciences, Plant Production Sciences, Animal Sciences, and Applied Biosciences. Applications will be accepted until 25 June 2021, while the program will start on 01 October 2021.

“This is exclusively for government officials engaged in policy making, researchers or technical staff at government institutions working on conducting research and developing technologies, and faculty members,” Prof. Okura added.

NU-GSID offers the Doctor of International Development program in the fields of Economic Development Policy and Management, Peace and Governance, Education and Human Resource Development, Inclusive Society and State, and Poverty and Social Policy. Its application period is from 08 February 2021 until 30 March 2021.

“Eligible applicants are those currently employed at a government or core national institution involved in policy making, or at an organization which conducts international development- or cooperation-focused activities,” Dr. Ido explained.

Dr. Ma. Cristeta Cuaresma, Head of SEARCA Education and Collective Learning Development, discussed the history, funding details, and selection criteria of NU-SEARCA Joint PhD Research Scholarship in Agriculture.

There are 4 vacant scholarship slots, and Dr. Cuaresma emphasized that interested applicants must align their research topics with SEARCA’s new theme, “Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation.”

Dr. Jomar F. Rabajante, OIC dean of UPLB GS, talked about coverage and components, eligibility requirements, scholarship privileges, pre-qualification requirements, and admission requirements of the NU-UP Joint PhD Research Scholarships that are open to two UP faculty members and REPS every year.

NUASC-Philippines Designated Professor Editha C. Cedicol also mentioned the IRRI-NU Scholarship that currently supports three scholars from IRRI, RUA, and General Directorate of Agriculture in Cambodia. The VSU-NU Scholarship is also open to VSU faculty members who have been involved or will be involved in the ISTAS sub-station.

Other scholarship sponsors include JICA, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science under the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, and Ohgaki Kyuuritsu Bank. Interested students and professors must jointly develop and submit their research proposals.

Dr. Cedicol also said that NUASC-Philippines is working on their scholarship project proposals with the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute and Commission on Higher Education to support government employees who will pursue further studies in the fields agronomy, animal science, entomology, forestry, plant breeding, plant pathology, soil science, veterinary entomology, agricultural education, social sciences, public management and governance, and international development.

Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Merdelyn C. Lit in her closing remarks said that NU’s program is a “great testament to the commitment of NU towards advancing agriculture and international development by giving due importance to human resources.” Vice Chancellor Lit also thanked the resource speakers and participants, and congratulated current NU scholars.

The webinar was organized by the NUASCI in cooperation with the UPLB Office of the Chancellor and UPLB Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension.

More than 58 UP faculty and REPS, partner institutions, international organizations, government agencies, SUCs, and potential scholarship partners participated in the event.