The Scientific Career Council, the highest policy-making body of the Scientific Career System (SCS), approved the PhP 0.5M research grant for each SCS-conferred scientist every year to fund an approved short-term research project. This move came about after the SCC realized that access to research grant is one critical factor affecting scientists’ conduct of research.
While the amount of PhP 0.5 M will not be sufficient for most projects, this amount will help scientists to complete important studies earlier started.
The SCC Secretariat conducted a survey and needs assessment workshop among all active scientists in the System to determine the factors that may be affecting or hindering scientists in meeting their scientific targets. Among the most important factors identified are limited inhouse funding for researches, delegation of administrative works, and lack of research staff. Some institutions can provide only as low as PhP7,000 grants to their scientists per year to fund short term studies. Thus, majority of the scientists source their funds from external funding agencies.
The Scientific Career Council (SCC) formalized its approval of the proposed PhP 0.5M research grant through signing a resolution during their 37th Meeting on November 03, 2014. They also identified the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), an attached body to DOST, to administer and monitor this grant program following their existing guidelines.
Another initiative pushed by the Council is to make SCS scientists regular NRCP members for them to have full access to research grants without going through the usual membership process which requires nominees to become Associate Members first. Dr. Filemon A. Uriarte Jr., NRCP President and Ex-Officio Member of SCC, said that the recommendation was approved by the NRCP Governing Board and that the Board shall sign the resolution to formalize this new rule. Dr. Uriarte added that all SCS scientists will be invited to apply for membership at NRCP and those who will be willing to apply will be made automatic Regular Members.
As for the operationalization of the grant program, Dr. Uriarte said it will start in 2016 because the 2015 budget has already been approved by the DBM.
The SCC Secretariat is now in the process of setting a workable mechanism to efficiently and fairly implement the grant while making sure that the grant will also be an instrument to ensure scientist’s tangible outputs. Scientists who will avail of the grant shall be required to publish their research outputs in SCS accredited international journals.