New Call for Research: An IFS Response to the COVID Pandemic in Southeast Asia

Published: 2020-11-26

On 26 November 2020, a signing ceremony for a new Memorandum of Agreement took place between colleagues from IFS and Philippines-based SEARCA, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture. Our two organisations will be collaborating again on a Mentorship Program for Advanced Grants, which presents IFS with an opportunity to try out this grant scheme in our new Strategy 2021-2030.

Also launched at the event was the MOA’s first activity – a Call for Research on Accelerating Transformation through Agricultural Innovation in Southeast Asia – with an overall focus on food security in these times of the COVID pandemic and its economic and social consequences. The Advanced Grants are being cost-shared by IFS and SEARCA, and will be awarded to 8-10 successful applicants who are nationals of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Philippines and Vietnam. The Call will be opened on 15 December 2020 on the IFS and SEARCA websites.

In her opening remarks at the ceremony, Dr Nighisty Ghezae, IFS Director, said:

… we are aware of SEARCA’s reputation for excellent work in this field and its strong commitment to creating a critical mass of early career researchers who can generate applicable knowledge. Likewise, over the past 50 years, IFS has earned its own place by providing support to early career researchers in Low- and Lower-Middle-Income Countries, many of whom now occupy leadership roles in the region and around the world.

No single organisation, no matter how large or well funded, can address future challenges by itself. In this era of interdependence, strategic partnerships with like-minded institutions are not an option, but a necessity. Thus, today’s signing of this MOA between our two organisations symbolizes a collaboration which we believe will lead to addressing short- and long-term food security challenges, enable us to invest in more resilient food systems, and take us closer to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.


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