• Searca launches agri research grant program


    The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) has launched a funding program that will provide up to $15,000 each to promising research and training programs with applications in promoting rural economic development, the center announced this week.

    “Recognizing the serious lack of funds hinder pursuit of potential programs, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture has opened the Searca Seed Fund for Research and Training (SFRT),” the Los Baños-based organization said in a statement.

    “To address this concern and in line with Searca’s thrust of promoting, undertaking, and coordinating research programs relevant to inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development of the region, Searca will dedicate funds for SFRT,” it added.

    The SFRT is considered a start-up fund intended to help researchers or potential entrepreneurs carry out initial research and subsequently secure long-term financial support from donor agencies or investors, Searca Director Gil C. Saguiguit explained.

    While the SFRT will prioritize funding of researchers who are graduates or faculty of Searca or members of its University Consortium, it is also open to other researchers.

    Other proponents may come from development organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies of any of member Southeast Asian countries.

    Eligible projects
    Searca said the proposed project should be aligned with Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD), the overarching theme of Searca’s 10th 5-year plan (FY 2014/2015 –2018/2019), in at least one of the following areas: Social inclusion in agricultural and rural development; sustainable agriculture and rural development, which includes natural resource management and climate change mitigation; regional and sub-regional cooperation; and institutions and governance with respect to management of ISARD.

    Searca also explained that acceptable projects must be innovative and contain an appropriate plan for scaling up into a large-scale program; must have strong potential to attract long-term financial support and has a plan for obtaining it; and can be completed within one year.

    In addition, the project must be able to generate a research report that can be published as a discussion paper; at least one policy note or research note; and if possible, a presentation at one or more scientific conferences.

    Searca said that applications must be made online at http://sfrt.searca.org, or that proposals could be emailed to sfrt@searca.org. Guidelines on the proposal format and required documents can be downloaded through Searca’s website.

    The deadline for application for the grant this year is August 1.


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