Manila – Six female researchers were awarded the DOST-Newton PhD scholarships on 26 February 2020 at Marco Polo Hotel, leading the next batch of DOST-Newton Fund research and studentship grants co-funded by the British Council in the Philippines and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
In 2015, the British Council and DOST partnered to co-fund the Newton Fund programme to support collaborations between the Philippines and the UK on science and innovation. Since then, the DOST-Newton Fund programme has supported 15 PhD candidates, two researcher links travel grants, eight research links workshop grants and one institutional links grant.
2019 DOST-Newton PhD Scholarships:
1. Criselda Bautista from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine will study molecular epidemiology at the University of Glasgow. She intends to develop surveillance, understand the true burden and guide the elimination of rabies in the Philippines.
2. Maria Carmen Fernandez is a research consultant from the Far Eastern University Public Policy Center. Her research at the University of Cambridge will focus on spatial modelling. The datasets and methods to be used will build on Fernandez’s work on conflict displacement in cities in the Philippines particularly on spatial justice in Cotabato and Maguindanao, post-Marawi reconstruction and the impact of punitive urban policy on Philippine cities.
3. Maria Jowina Galarion is a research specialist from the University of the Philippines Manila. She is set to study at the University of Glasgow to enhance the molecular surveillance and diagnostics of the dengue virus in the Philippines. Jowina aims to develop a sample-to-sequence approach for the MinION device as a field-deployable tool used to speed up the identification of the dengue virus.
4. Carla Mae Pausta of the De La Salle University will study at the University of Surrey to develop an integrated lake model to understand the environmental impacts with respect to water quality and pollution loading. Using the case study of Laguna de Bay, she aims to improve urban wastewater management and protect water quality in lakes.
5. Pamela Louise Tolentino is a research specialist from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She will study at the University of Glasgow to investigate the role of catchment characteristics in the response of different basins across the country to hydrometeorological events. She also seeks to generate evidence on the effectiveness of nature-based solutions as response to mitigating the impacts of climate change on water resources.
6. Julianne Vilela of the University of the Philippines Los Baños will do her research on the utilisation of next-generation technologies at Lancaster University. She strives to develop novel vaccines against viral diseases affecting poultry production.
The Newton Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with 17 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK government investment of £735 million until 2021, with matched resources from partner countries.