By ANTONIO G. PAPA, Ph.D.
At present, there are available scholarship programs and financial assistance being provided by the government and other entities that support graduate studies either in the Philippines or abroad.
The graduate scholarships and financial assistance are provided by the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) and Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR); Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD); Foreign Universities Worldwide; Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study in Agriculture (SEARCA); and United States Agency for International Development.
DA-ATI and DA-BAR Scholarship Programs
The degree programs include: The Expanded Human Resource Development Program (EHRDP) and Master in Public Management major in Rural Development (MPM-RD).
DA-ATI offers an EHRDP program of continuing education and expand existing program of scholarships in national and international institutions for deserving technical, scientific, and extension workers and practitioners in agriculture and fisheries.
Likewise, the MPM-RD is intended for the permanent employees of the three major rural development-oriented line agencies, namely: Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), we offer an 18-month MPM-RD scholarship program to create a pool of managers capable of handling the dynamics in the rural development sector.
The DA-BAR as the national coordinating agency for agriculture and fisheries, established and instituted the Degree Scholarship Program (DSP).
The DSP is a highly competitive, merit-based Institutional Development Grant (IDG) for the National Research and Development System for Agriculture and Fisheries (NaRDSAF) member-institutions composed of the Department of Agriculture (DA) national and regional R&D Centers, national and regional state universities and colleges, and Provincial Technological Institutes for Agriculture and Fisheries (PTIAFs). DSP aims to achieve maximum competency among NaRDSAF member-institutions to efficiently and effectively implement and manage R&D programs/activities in agriculture and fisheries.
The DSP is centered on producing a dedicated circle of experts who can deliver the needed scientific information and matured technologies in agriculture, fisheries, and other related fields. The scholars receive the best quality of higher education in any of the following universities which are considered as the Centers of Excellence. Among them include the: University of the Philippines (UP) System (UP Diliman, UP Manila, UP Los Baños, UP Visayas, UP Mindanao); Central Luzon State University; Visayas State University; University of Southern Mindanao; De La Salle University; Ateneo de Manila University; and Mindanao State University (MSU) System.
Scholars are entitled with a substantial budget for the conduct of their thesis/dissertation, enabling them to conduct basic/ applied research that can be translated to the development and commercialization of technologies.
DOST-PCAARRD Graduate Assistantship and Non-degree Training
The DOST-PCAARRD Human Resource Development Program has the following offerings: Graduate Research and Education Assistantship for Technology (GREAT) Program, Thesis/Dissertation Assistance, Re-Entry Grant for Returning Scholars, Publication Incentives, and DOST-PCAARRD Sandwich Program Grant for Graduate Research in the AANR.
The GREAT Program is an innovative way to support qualified graduate students in completing their degree programs by providing sufficient financial and technical support, particularly in the conduct of their research/thesis.
Through this research assistantship, grantees can conduct their research/thesis under the umbrella of an identified DOST-PCAARRD funded R&D project. Benefits of a Graduate Research Associates (GRA; Masters) and Graduate Research Fellows (GRF; PhD) will include tuition and other school fees (2 years for GRA; 3 years for GRF), monthly allowance, transportation allowance, insurance, thesis/dissertation budget of up to P50,000 for GRA or P100,000 for GRF, and graduation fees.
A Research Grant is likewise built-in in the identified R&D project funded by DOST-PCAARRD. Upon completion of their study program, the GRA/GRF can also be entitled to a proposal-based reentry research grant of up to P5M by DOST-PCAARRD when he/she returns to his/her mother agency.
This enables graduate students to address the research priority areas identified in DOST-PCAARRD’s current Medium Term Plan/Industry S&T Strategic Plan (ISP). This is granted to Masters and PhD students from NAARRDN-member institutions and non DOST-PCAARRD scholars. Financial support covers full thesis/dissertation expense of up to P100,000 (PhD) or P50,000 (Masters). It can also serve as an augmentation fund of another scholarship grant.
Re-Entry Grant for Returning Scholars
This grant enables newly graduated DOST-PCAARRD scholars to pursue, in their mother agency, an R&D project related to their thesis/dissertation and in support of DOST-PCAARRD research priority areas, as well as their regional and organizational plans. Currently, maximum budget support is P250,000.00 for PhD scholars and P150,000.00 for Masters scholars. This is also the platform to be used in the re-entry program component under GREAT.
Publication Incentives for NAARRDN researchers
Promotes scientific productivity, knowledge sharing, and eventually application of R&D results by encouraging and rewarding NAARRDN researchers and scholars to publish, as principal authors, their research results in approved local and international refereed journals. Financial incentive ranges from P25,000.00 to P80,000.00 per published article depending on the impact factor, among other criteria. Journal articles that have already received financial incentive from other institutions are no longer eligible for this program.
DOST-PCAARRD Sandwich Program Grant for Graduate Research in the AANR
Open to graduate students enrolled in the fields related to agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources sector from DOST-PCAARRD accredited universities who need to conduct their research in reputable foreign universities and research institutions to avail of the host institution’s facilities and research expertise. The graduate research work must be aligned with the PCAARRD priority areas and the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda for the AANR.
SEARCA Full Masters and Doctoral Scholarship Program
SEARCA Graduate Study Program provides scholarships to nationals of SEAMEO member countries, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
The scholarship program aims to enhance human resource capacity in agriculture and create agents of change and thought leaders that will transform the landscape of agricultural and rural development in the region.
It connects students, professionals, scientists, executives, teachers, and progressive farmers to partner universities and research institutes to pursue graduate studies and professional learning in fields significant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Graduate studies may be taken at Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) in Bogor, Indonesia, Kasetsart University (KU) in Bangkok, Thailand, Universitas Brawijaya (UB) in Malang, Indonesia, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia, and University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.
Foreign Universities’ Agriculture Scholarships around the World
In addition, there are available agricultural scholarships for graduate students from foreign donors.
In Hungary, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Hungarian Government Scholarship is a scholarship available for international master’s students from listed countries (the Philippines is included) to study agricultural sciences or a similar subject at one of three participating universities in Hungary.
In the United Kingdom, the Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Scholarships in the UK is a list of scholarships to study agricultural and veterinary medicine in UK universities.
In Canada, the Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture Graduate Scholarships offers various scholarships available for both international and home students to study agriculture at graduate level at Dalhousie University.
The University of Guelph Undergraduate Scholarships likewise offers various scholarships available for undergraduate students of agriculture from both Canada and abroad. The university also offers postgraduate agriculture scholarships.
In China, the Chinese Government Scholarships has various scholarships for international students at all study levels to study agriculture.
In Japan, the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (OUAVM) has scholarships that are available for international postgraduate students at Japan’s Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine.
In Thailand, the ASEAN International Student Scholarship at Kasetsart University is a full scholarship covering tuition fees and providing a monthly stipend for 24 months, to study the Master of Science in Agricultural and Resource Economics at Kasetsart University. You must be a citizen of a country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), excluding Thailand.
In Australia, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is part of the Australian Government’s Australia Awards, the John Dillon Memorial Fellowship and John Allwright Fellowship, that aims to build agricultural research at ACIAR partner countries.
In New Zealand, the Lincoln University Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences Postgraduate Scholarships offer various scholarships available for both international and home students to study agriculture at postgraduate level at Lincoln University.
In the USA, the USAID-RTI GraSST Scholarship Program, or the Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (GraSST), is a merit-based, open, competitive national scholarship program that gives Filipinos the opportunity to study or do research at the graduate level in a U.S. university. USAID awarded the scholarships to talented individuals who were able to demonstrate potential as future leaders and decision-makers in the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) fields, and to contribute towards an innovation-led economic development.
The Fulbright-Philippine Agriculture Scholarship Program is being coordinated by the Philippine-American Education Foundation.
With the above given information, the human capital of the agriculture and fishery sectors would be enhanced and boosted with the graduate education obtained from various educational institutions locally and worldwide.