PCHRD opens door for Pisay students in science immersion program

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) hosted 22 scholars from the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) CALABARZON regional campus in a Science Immersion Program (SIP) on 4-22 July 2022, which enabled the high school students to be exposed to ongoing health researches and initiatives all over the country and encouraging them to pursue future careers in S&T.

The Council provided a three-week mentorship to students through a hybrid setup, with synchronous lectures via Zoom and complementary facility visits to different implementing agencies. The S&T Fellows facilitated the curation of lectures and facility visits with  PCHRD’s research partners aiming to maximize the students’ awareness  of the research programs being done in the Philippines.

The curriculum consisted of lectures that were common to all students, covering topics on research methods and design, research proposal writing, and intellectual property and technology transfer. It also included specialized lectures on three tracks, depending on the students' choice:  Functional Foods, Nutrition & Food Safety and Tuklas LunasTM (Drug Discovery and Development); Diagnostics and Omic Technologies for Health; and Biomedical Devices Engineering and Digital & Frontier Technologies in Health. As a final output, the students presented their capsule proposal on 21 July 2022 to their assigned S&T fellows who served as their mentors and panelists.

The closing ceremony was held on 22 July 2022, at Savoy Hotel, Pasay City. It was attended by Ms. Ullyann C. Garcia, Division Chief of PCHRD-Research Information, Communication and Utilization Division and the OIC of PCHRD Executive Director Jaime C. Montoya, PCHRD-Research and Development Management Division Chief Mr. Paul Ernest N. de Leon, DOST-PCHRD S&T Fellows, PCHRD-RDMD Section and Program Heads, and representative Project Managers. The ceremony was also attended by PSHS  Regional Campus Director Dr. Jose M. Andaya, PSHS Student Affairs Coordinator Ms. Mabelle V. Furto,  SIP Coordinator Ms. Cladys M. Falcunaya, selected PSHS faculty members, and the student participants. After the awarding of certificates, each of the student participants expressed their commitment to pursue science and technology research in the future.

The SIP is a regular summer activity organized by the PSHS that aims to develop science research laboratory skills among their students, as well as help identify and formulate research problems for their future research work.

Based on the evaluation, the PSHS students mentioned that they were “very satisfied” with the entire SIP program hosted by PCHRD. The students added that the whole program was well-prepared and that PCHRD fostered a good learning environment for all of them. The students also stated that the topics presented and projects showcased to them were very relevant.

The SIP program served as an avenue for some students to strengthen their interests and others to rediscover their passion for science and technology. One student mentioned: “this program helped me become more decisive with my future career” indicating that the SIP conducted by PCHRD was truly successful in its aim of inspiring future scientists of our generation.    

The first PCHRD-hosted SIP was conceptualized and led by Mr. Paul Ernest N. de Leon, Chief SRS, PCHRD-RDMD, and was pioneered by the Council’s S&T fellows: Dr. Phoebe Nicole G. Perez, Dr. Karell Jo Angelique C. Calpito, Dr. Sarah Jane A. Jimenez, Dr. Christian Adam L. Espiritu, Dr. Ma. Neda A. Catalma, Dr. Albert Remus R. Rosana and Dr. Aimee Yvonne Criselle L. Aman.