May 21, 2017 – The SEARCA Seed Fund for Research and Training (SFRT) is accepting applications for promising research and training programs that may be inputs into scientific discoveries with applications in promoting rural economic development.

Recognizing the serious lack of funds hinder pursuit of potential programs, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has opened the SFRT.

Deadline for application for the grant this year is on August 1, 2017.

The SFRT is only a start-up fund amounting to $15,000 per beneficiary. It should help scientists or potential techno-entrepreneurs with limited funds to do initial research and subsequently secure long-term support from donor agencies.

“To address this concern and in line with SEARCA’s thrust of promoting, undertaking and coordinating research programs relevant to inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development of the region, SEARCA will dedicate funds for SFRT,” according to SEARCA.

The fund may also be used to build capacities of researchers to develop research proposals and conduct the research, according to SEARCA Director Gil C. Saguiguit.

While SFRT prioritizes funding of researchers who are graduates or faculty of SEARCA or members of its University Consortium, it is also open to other researchers.

Other proponents may come from development organizations, academic institutions, and government agencies of any of member Southeast Asian countries.

The proposed project should be aligned with Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD), the overarching theme of SEARCA’s Tenth Five Year Plan (FY 2014/2015 – 2018/2019), along at least one of the following elements:

1. Social Inclusion in Agricultural and Rural Development
• Participation of poor and vulnerable sectors of rural societies in food and agricultural value chains and agribusiness commodity systems;
• Food and nutrition security for poor and vulnerable sectors of rural societies ; and
• Productivity-enhancing innovations and modern technologies.

2. Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development
• Natural resource management;
• Climate change mitigation and adaptation in agricultural and rural development; and
• Resilience of agricultural systems to climate impacts.

3. Regional and Sub-regional Cooperation
• Sub-regional cooperation in trade and investments; and
• Regional market, trade and economic integration.

4. Institutions and Governance
• Government policies, institutions and governance mechanisms and reforms for ISARD

The proposed project should be all of the following:

· Innovative and is accompanied by an appropriate plan for developing it into a potentially large-scale research/training program greatly relevant to the agricultural and rural development needs of the region;

· Has strong potential for generating significant long-term funding support;

· Can be completed within a period not exceeding one year;

· Details plans for generating future funding support; and

· Specifies a plan for dissemination of results, including policy recommendations, to various stakeholders in modes deemed appropriate

Output: The proposed project should be able to generate:

· A research report which can be published as a discussion paper

· At least one policy brief or research/learning/experience note

When possible, presentation of research results in at least one scientific forum/conference.

   All proposals and related documents should be submitted online ( All applicants will fill out the system’s online submission form completely for their application to proceed. The proposal may also be be emailed to

   Guidelines on proposal format and required documents can be downloaded through (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)