June 14, 2024

The Department of Science and Technology in partnership with Balik Scientist Program (BSP) and DOST S&T Fellows Program Project Management Office organized the Balik Scientist Program and S&T Fellows Program Orientation and Needs Assessment among RDI Networks in the Cordillera recently in Baguio City.

The BSP and S&T Fellows are DOST flagship programs that aim to engage the services of highly qualified researchers, scientists, and engineers in various DOST RDI and councils to increase and strengthen the human resource complement of the department’s Research and Development (R&D) group.

DOST Usec. for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevera emphasized the importance of the programs.

“Through the BSP and S&T Fellow Programs, we would be able to encourage more S&T experts to contribute in shaping the country’s R&D landscapes and help cultivate our leaders and various key industry players to invest more in R&D,” Guevera said.

Through the activity, the BSP and S&T Fellows were introduced and promoted among RDIs in the region. With the hope these programs will be maximized, research gaps and opportunities among institutions that could be addressed through the BSP and S&T Fellows were identified in a need assessment workshop with the DOST Councils, namely the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development; Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development; and Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

“The Cordllera is among the regions with the least number of Balik scientists engaged since BSP was established. Other regions with more Balik scientists definitely had improved their competencies on research, development and innovations including their R&D infrastructure,” DOST-CAR Director Nancy A. Bantog said.

With this, she encouraged RDIs to take part in the programs to develop quality interventions in addressing research gaps and opportunities in the region.

“May this serve as a challenge to our CAR-RDI ecosystem especially the higher educational institutions to engage with the programs in pushing more R&D initiatives in the region. May we continue to learn, inspire and serve through research, development and innovation for a better Cordillera and a better country,” Bantog said.

S&T Fellows program manager Anichie Itoh and BSP program manager Idohna Jomao-as said these programs provide S&T experts with financial benefits and incentives to encourage them to contribute in R&D capacity that will address development gaps in the country.

Dr. Christian Crisostomo, an S&T Fellow, pointed out the benefits provided to him such as working with best and brightest in the country, free travel, and doing a meaningful work while enjoying a competitive compensation.

For interested BSP and S&T Fellows applicants and prospect host institutions, send an email to [email protected] and [email protected].  To learn more about the programs, visit the DOST website at https://www.dost.gov.ph/. – Ezra James Felix