The project titled “Leveling Up Philippine Higher Education Institutions in Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Resources (LevelUPHEI AFAR)”, funded by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), was completed on March 11.
The project was led by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Studies and Research in Agriculture (Searca). This was a 10-week online training course on Research Designs and Methods for Higher Education Institutions (Research4HEI) through the Searca Online Learning and Virtual Engagements or Solve platform.
There were 18 faculty members, researchers and education officers from 16 universities and state colleges of the Association of Agricultural Colleges of the Philippines (SUC-ACAP) Inc. member institutions from all over the Philippines who attended the training workshop.
With scientific research being one of the mandates of CUS, Searca said the training course aims to build the capacity of HEI faculty members and researchers to come up with well-planned research designs and methods to generate evidence. effectively and efficiently.
Participants had to design a research proposal ready for submission as the end result of the online training.
Dr. Edgardo Tulin, President of Visayas State University and Concurrent Chair of SUC-ACAP, emphasized the importance of understanding how to develop a robust research plan that is internally and externally valid, and the use of appropriate analytical methods as critical factors in achieving high quality research.
He also expressed satisfaction that the training course included interesting and relevant topics that are important for young researchers when conducting research.
Dr. Glenn Gregorio, director of Searca, also pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted rapidly changing food systems and its effect on the changing landscape of agricultural education.
Gregorio challenged each participant to stay focused and to be able to demonstrate the ability of higher education institutions to be creative and innovative in developing their research agenda.
Dr. Maria Ana Quimbo, Professor at the Institute of Governance and Rural Development, College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf) at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), served as the technical coordinator and lead faculty of the online training courses. .
According to Quimbo, the 10-week online training course was designed to build participants’ ability to develop a research framework focused on their goals/hypotheses based on their knowledge of the situations/conditions in which they must conduct their research.
She emphasized that the main outcome of Research4HEIs is a Reintegration Action Plan or REAP which includes the development of a research proposal that provides the participant with an opportunity to apply the acquired learnings and skills for which they will receive constructive and academic comments.
This online training was organized and coordinated by Searca’s Department of Education and Collective Learning – Development Training Unit with assistance from its Management Information Systems Unit.