Newton Fund seeks PH researchers for food self-sufficiency
The British Embassy Manila recently sounded the call for new tie-ups for food security studies, especially rice resilience, production and sustainability, between Filipino researchers and their counterparts in the United Kingdom.
Through its Newton Fund, the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the UK Natural Environment Research Council, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, and the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute, are calling for research proposals dealing with greater resilience, improved resource use, improved quality, utilization of byproducts, and novel research tool and technology development for rice.
“In a country where rice is a main part of almost every meal, enhancing rice production is a major priority,” British Ambassador Asif Ahmad said. “Studies have shown that climate change will have a devastating effect of food security if it is not addressed now. This project will help farmer productivity and enhance trading in rice, when necessary.”
Proposed projects should be up to a maximum duration of three years and will require a counterpart British principal investigator, with the options of additional principal investigators from other partner-countries.
An initiative by the UK government, the Fund aims to strengthen research and innovation partnerships with emerging economies such as the Philippines. Launched in 2014, the Fund is to be shared across 15 partner-countries in the course of five years for joint research on development topics, capacity-building projects, student and researcher fellowships and other partnerships.
Covering three broad activities, the Fund focuses on:
- People by improving science and innovation expertise (capacity-building), student and researcher fellowships, mobility schemes and joint centers;
- Research, through collaborations on development topics;
- How to apply them in actual practice.
The call adds more opportunities to the Fund, which had already been looking for health research collaborations between the country and the United Kingdom. It has also paved the way for PhD programs and travel grants for individual researchers and institutional links for academic institutions. Workshops to allow Filipino researchers to connect with their international counterparts are also being offered.
The deadline for submission of applications is on Aug. 13, 2015. For more information on this opportunity, please visit the UK BBSRC website: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/opportunities/2015/newton-fund-joint-call-in-rice-research.
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