ERMITA, Manila – Researchers from the health, agriculture, industry, and the academe sectors come together at the 2nd National Research and Development Conference held 15 February 2017 at The Manila Hotel, Ermita, Manila.

The annual activity led by the research councils of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) served as a venue to present their S&T research priorities for the next five years, collectively termed as the Harmonized National Research and Development R&D Agenda 2017-2022. 

Plans and programs under DOST Science for Change Program (S4CP) emphasize the importance of collaborative research among stakeholders in the government, industry, and the academe to leverage growth in the Philippine economy. Through S4CP, DOST will focus its research outputs on addressing the country’s issues on inequality, employment, and economic competitiveness.  “In fact, in all three areas, reducing inequality, creating opportunities, and expanding potential for (economic) growth are areas where science and technology, research and development can contribute significantly,“ DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña said in his opening message.

DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara also mentioned that the national agenda will promote cohesiveness among research outcomes and ensure that DOST researches are relevant to economic growth.

The National Health S&T Agenda was presented by Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). The S&T agenda was consolidation of health research priorities set by DOST with inputs from health experts and stakeholders from the public and private sectors. Health research priorities include diagnostics for priority diseases, herbal drug discovery and development, functional foods from local species, affordable hospital equipment and biomedical devices, ICT for health policymaking, dengue trends, nutrition and food safety, disaster risk reduction, and health and climate change adaptation.

Current issues, trends, and opportunities in health research were also discussed during the afternoon breakout session. Dr. Montoya also provided an in-depth discussion on PCHRD’s proposal application and evaluation processes. He assured the group of PCHRD support in every step of their research endeavor as long as it is in line with the health S&T agenda.

Writing for a scholarly journal publication is entirely different from thesis-writing. While the aim of your thesis is to present everything you know and discover on a particular topic, the goal of a journal article is to present research findings in a shorter and more focused format that scientists and researchers can read despite their hectic schedules. Moreover, journal editors sift through several submissions every publication cycle and would not bother reading an article that lacks clarity and brevity. 

In the recently concluded 11th National Medical Writing Workshop and 4th Writeshop for Young Researchers held January 30-31 at the Isabela State University – Cauayan Campus, journal-writing experts from the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors, together with proficient mentor-facilitators from different health fields, trained health investigators in developing/refining manuscripts that are worthy of a scholarly journal publication. Here are few practices researchers should avoid when writing a scientific journal article as pointed out in the writeshop*:

Mr. Diomerl Baldo, Bicol University, reviews the draft journal article of his groupmate during the small-group exercises at the
11th National Medical Writing Workshop and 4th Writeshop for Young Researchers held January 30-31 at the
Isabela State University – Cauayan Campus

Writing only in the active voice

More often, research writing guidelines encourage writing sentences in the active voice rather than in the passive voice. Recently, journal editors encourage writing in both the active and passive voices depending on what section you are working on. Writing in the passive voice would enable you to focus more on the results of your study. e.g. (active) The researcher classified vapor as gas. (passive) Vapor was classified as gas. 

Presenting data in both narrative and illustration forms

http://www.phdcomics.com

Avoid redundant data presentation when writing for journals. This can be achieved by carefully choosing which presentation form would best express your data. If data cannot be explained in three to four paragraphs, it is best to use illustrations. Graphs effectively present trends and relationships among variables.

Using statistical terms that have common meanings

Using the statistical words such as random, correlate, significant, and normal in non-technical parts of your journal article may confuse readers into the meaning of your statements. Save statistical words for your materials and methods prose. All statistical terms should be defined if used in the Results section. 

Presenting all the results of your research

Only include results that are relevant to your stated problem whether or not they support the hypothesis. This technique would also make a journal article more focused and specific.

Including only the references that agree with your research

http://www.phdcomics.com

Journal manuscripts can be venues for discussion and scholarly disputes. Try to argue and provide enough data on why you don’t agree with previously published results and contribute another perspective to existing research. 

Using one writing style for all your journal submissions

Journals do not follow a single format. While most of scholarly journals go by the IMRAD (Introduction-Methodology-Results-Discussion) format, it is best to check the corresponding guidelines/instruction to authors of your prospective journal to know about their style requirements. 

Journal articles should be short, sharp, and swift, says Dr. Jose Florencio Lapeña, President of the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors during his talk. A clear and concise journal manuscript is your best bet to get published. 

 

Dr. Jose Florencio Lapeña, Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors President, lectures on how to prepare journal manuscripts for submission at the 11th National Medical Writing Workshop and 4th Writeshop for young Researchers

 

*taken from the presentations of the 11th National Medical Writing Workshop and 4th Writeshop for young Researchers' resource persons: Dr. Jose Florencio Lapeña, Dr. Wilfred CG Peh, and Dr. Cecilia C. Maramba-Lazarte

Engaging in health research activities and promoting research results are definitely a must for health researchers in the country.

This is why, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), as the national coordinating body for health research, offers grant and scholarship services to develop and strengthen capacities for health research as well as ensure the dissemination and utilization of health research outputs.

Here are four grant and scholarship services that health researchers should know:

1. Research and Development (R&D) Grant

The Council funds research proposals aligned with the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA), the national template for health research and development efforts in the country which specifies the areas and topics that need to be addressed in line with global and national initiatives influencing the health sector.

 

2. Scholarship Grant

PCHRD supports scholarship programs for MS/PhD to sustain much needed health research human resource. In line with the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Council evaluates applications and monitors progress of qualified scholars under the health sciences category.

 

3. PCHRD Scholar’s Society

With 300 graduates in medical and allied health disciplines produced, the Scholarship Program of the Council became a major strategy to develop a critical mass of health researchers in the country. 

The PCHRD Scholar’s Society (PSS) was also organized and launched in 2007 to promote research productivity among new graduates and provide a venue for networking and exchanging health research information.

 

4. Regional Research Fund

Regional Research Fund (RRF) encourages new researchers to be actively involved in health research activities without having to compete with more experienced researchers. RRF projects are intended to increase capabilities of individual researchers in designing, implementing, and managing health research projects.

 

PCHRD also supports projects and activities on research dissemination such as publication, paper presentation, and events. To apply for grant/support, visit www.projects.pchrd.dost.gov.ph.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), as the national coordinating body for health research, recognizes health researchers and health research groups for their exemplary research efforts and contributions in enhancing our country’s health research capabilities.

The following are three awards created specifically for our health researchers:

 

1. Alberto Romualdez, Jr. Outstanding Health Research Award (AROHRA)

AROHRA encourages researchers to be sensitive to the scientific and technological requirements of the health delivery system as well as rewards those whose research has contributed significantly to addressing prevalent health issues.

Given by PCHRD, in collaboration with the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) partners, the award gives recognition to a research program or project that demonstrates the link between research and practice through the utilization of research findings in the health delivery system.

The call for nominations is ongoing, visit http://bit.ly/2fcA9T0!

 

2. Best Mentor in Health Research Award

The Council recognizes the vital role of the research mentor who selflessly shares knowledge and skills, instills values and attitudes, and inspires those involved in the research process.

The award is offered biennially to reward mentors in health research who built the capacities of researchers in the health sector and propelled significant advances in the PNHRS thrusts, as identified in the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA), the country’s template for health research and development efforts.

The call for nominations is ongoing, visit http://bit.ly/2fxKpJ5!

 

3. DOST-PCHRD-Gruppo Medica Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis in Herbal Medicine

PCHRD, in collaboration with Gruppo Medica Inc. (GMI), gives the award to provide motivation for students to view undergraduate thesis not merely as an academic exercise, but as an excellent opportunity to contribute to national interest.

The award recognizes relevant and innovative research works on herbal medicine that have potential practical and/or commercial applications.

 

For more information on PCHRD Health Research Awards, visit www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph.

Want to learn updates on dengue? Want to read some indigenous practices on health?

Whether you’re a professor, student, health researcher looking for grant and/or information, or simply a person who wants to learn something new, take note of these four information services or websites maintained by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). You never know, these websites might be useful in the future!

 

HERDIN

The Health Research and Development Information Network (HERDIN) is an online database that enables online publishing, exchange, and dissemination of quality health information. It provides quick and easy access to more than 50,000 citation and bibliographic information from published and unpublished health researches in the country.

Access HERDIN at www.herdin.ph!

 

TKDL

The Philippine Traditional Knowledge Digital Library on Health (TKDL) is the national database on traditional knowledge and practices on health of indigenous people (IP) which aids in developing culture-sensitive health information, education, and communication (IEC) materials. The data gathered in its website supports creation of health policies and programs for improving the health status and health services delivery of IP communities.

Access TKDL at www.tkdlph.com!

 

PHRR

The Philippine Health Research Registry (PHRR) is a publicly accessible database on health researches and clinical trials being conducted in the country allowing researchers to input and update data entries. It aims to track the kinds of on-going and newly-approved researches, avoid duplication of researches, and ensure equal access opportunity for prospective clinical trial participants.

Access PHRR at www.registry.healthresearch.ph!

 

PCHRD Project Management System

Project Management System is an online submission, review, approval, and monitoring platform for health research proposals/projects. Applicants interested to apply for research grant may submit proposals through the system.

Access the Project Management System at www.projects.pchrd.dost.gov.ph!