In partnership with Camarines Norte State College (CNSC), the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) initiated a capacity building drive designed to strengthen the research capability of the former’s faculty members last April 19-20, 2022 at the CNSC Amphitheater, CNSC Main Campus, Daet, Camarines Norte.

This initiative is in support of the NRCP S&T Experts Pool (NSTEP), a project implemented by the Council that aims to strengthen the research capacity of researchers in the regions through various forms of capacity development activities and small R&D support to budding researchers.   

The two-day activity included a MAP Orientation: An Introduction to NRCP Membership and Application Procedures and lectures on techniques for writing winning proposals and fundamentals of scientific publications. At least 100 faculty members of the College coming from different CNSC campuses in Bicol attended the activity.   MAP Orientation is one of the Council’s efforts to expand its membership throughout the country and provide equal opportunities for research and career growth enhancement especially to researchers outside the National Capital Region.

CNSC Vice President for Research and Extension Dr. Rosalie Almadrones delivered the Welcome Remarks to kick off the activity. It was followed by a Welcome Message from Dr. Mario M. Dela Cruz, CNSC President who stated that they must “move forward with research through innovation.”

Dr. Cristine Villagonzalo, NRCP President, delivered her welcome message live via Zoom. She noted that a strong research community at CNSC is essential to promote research throughout Camarines Norte.

An overview of the NRCP as a research and collegial body was presented by Dr. Geraldo S. Petilla, Chief of NRCP Finance and Administration Division. He discussed the historical basis of the Council as well as its alignment to the Philippine Development Plan under the National Integrated Basic Research Agenda. Dr. Petilla elaborated that being a researcher is an “advocacy that they have to commit for a lifetime.”

Ms. Mary Charlotte O. Fresco, Senior Science Research Specialist, delivered her talk on the NRCP Membership Benefits Criteria and Requirements. Research grants, expert engagement opportunities, and capacity development activities were some of the perks that were highlighted during Ms. Fresco’s talk. She added that starting May 2022, the Council will accept applications for Associate Membership twice a year – the first call is on May 25 to July 20 and the other is on October 1 to November 26 for 2022.

In a recorded message via Zoom, Dr. Catherine Roween Almaden, President of Northern Bukidnon State Collage and NRCP Division VIII Associate Member, showed her journey on hew she became an NRCP Member. Noting the importance of participation, Dr. Almaden stressed that a researcher must be “consistent and actively involved to succeed” in his/her respective field.

Dr. Jonel Saludes, DOST Balik Scientist Program Awardee and NRCP Division X Regular Member, talked about the Fundamentals of Grant Writing through a recorded AVP. He stressed the importance of intensive and meticulous proofreading in order to create a coherent submission.

The first day was concluded by Dr. Eduardo Abad, CNSC Director of Research Services, wherein he presented the results of the survey on CNSC Researchers’ Needs. These include: ICT and laboratory facilities, trainings and seminars on data analysis and interpretation, linkages and collaborations, funding and publication support.

During the second day, NRCP Division I Associate Member and Colegio de San Juan de Letran Professor Dr. Glen Mangali discussed about the Fundamentals of Scientific Publishing. According to him, creativity and critical thinking are must-have skills in order to obtain progress in research. He stressed the importance of partnerships, noting that “there is beauty in research if researchers are open to collaboration.”

The Perils of Predatory Journals was presented in an AVP by Dr. Fidel Nemenzo, NRCP Division II Chair and UP Diliman Chancellor. Afterwards, Dr. Mangali and Dr. Nemenzo entertained several questions during the Open Forum.

Dr. Dela Cruz provided the Closing Message to conclude the overall event. Hoping that CNSC will one day house the most NRCP Members in Bicol, he encouraged the attendees to submit their applications for membership and research grants to the NRCP.