MSc Sandwich Research Program Opportunities in IRRI and UPLB (2022-2027)

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The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), is implementing a 6-year program on Capacity Building for Higher Education and establishment of UPLB Agricultural Genomics Center. The program includes opportunities to earn a doctoral degree from Korean universities, a national internship program opportunity at IRRI, and a MS sandwich research program at IRRI targeting incoming and continuing qualified Filipino MS students enrolled at UPLB. The MS program will run for the period 2022-2027 and will award research scholarships based on the following criteria:

Successful applicants will join advanced cross-cutting research activities in bioinformatics, genomics, computer science, and other related areas – such as molecular physiology, biotechnology, marker-assisted breeding – in the Rice Breeding Innovation, Sustainable Impact In Rice-based Systems, Integrative Research Support, and other research platforms.

On the part of the university or agency from which the participants will come, this is a very good opportunity to build networks for future collaborative research activities. To ensure that each participating intern will benefit academically from the internship, the program may be divided into two parts. For students, the first part will be done in the university and may be tied with the conduct of their thesis or academic courses and for early career professionals, with their organizations and support their current tasks. In such a case, the participants with their respective adviser or supervisors should clearly indicate which portion of the work will be conducted at IRRI and its corresponding relevance and benefit to their activities as a student and as a professional.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be an incoming or continuing Filipino MS students of UPLB
  • Must be pursuing a relevant Master’s degree
  • Should be willing to contribute to the program after completion of the study
  • Must possess adequate proficiency in English

Types of Scholarship and Duration

  • 1-2 years MS Sandwich Research program
  • Location: IRRI and UPLB –Agricultural Genomics Research Center (UPLB-AGRC)

Scholarship Privileges

  • 100% tuition fees
  • Monthly stipend
  • Research and publication support funds
  • Access to IRRI facilities
  • Medical insurance

Research Areas

Areas of research can cover a range of topics relevant to agriculture with the application of genomics, biotechnology, molecular biology, bioinformatics tools in the studies. Species and systems could include:

  1. One CGIAR mandate crops (rice, maize, beans, cassava, banana, chickpea, sorghum, millets, potato, yam, wheat)
  2. Livestock, aquatic species, indigenous flora and fauna, mainstream and heirloom horticultural/staple crops, and agro-forestry systems that are important for Filipino livelihoods
  3. Pathogens and pests of the aforementioned plants/crops, livestock, and aquatic species, and their microbiomes
  4. Studies that use ‘omics’ (genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, phenomics, …), bioinformatics and mathematical/statistical/computational/computer-based methods as tools for understanding and preserving genetic diversity and ecosystem services

Procedures and Requirements

All MS Research positions will be awarded on a competitive basis. For this program, a Selection Committee composed of representatives from IRRI and UPLB will guide the selection process. The program will award a total of 15 slots. Each student will have the opportunity to select a UPLB adviser and IRRI supervisor which will serve as Research Professors and guide the development and conduct of the research.

  1. Qualified applicants must fill-out an application and submit the documents listed below through this link.
    • Letter of application stating the intended research topic, university adviser (for continuing students only), and degree program addressed to the Scholarship Selection Committee.
    • Recommendation letter from a former professor or supervisor working on the same field/area of interest.
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • A one-page concept note/research proposal
    • Transcript of records from the last degree obtained;
    • True Copy of Grades for continuing MS student applicants only; and
    • Copy or evidence of registration or acceptance from UPLB.

Deadline of Applications

The program will recruit students on a yearly basis beginning 2022-2025. The table below shows the deadline of applications for each year.

Year Deadline for applications Announcement of successful candidates
2022 October 15, 2022 November 30, 2022
2023 June 30, 2023 August 15, 2023
2024 June 30, 2024 August 15, 2024
2025 June 30, 2025 August 15, 2025
  1. Nominees will be interviewed by the Selection Committee 15 days after the deadline of applications.
  2. Only complete application documents will be processed.
  3. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated after the closing date. Scientists and professors who may potentially supervise the scholar will be part of the selection committee.
  4. All applicants will be informed of the status of their applications.

IRRI promotes equal opportunity that values diversity. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.