WHO Scientist Dr. Bernadette Ramirez gave emphasis on the importance of participatory research in health during her keynote speech at the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development 36th Anniversary last March 16, 2018 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Roxas Boulevard, Manila.

According to Dr. Ramirez, one of the objectives of participatory research in health studies is capacity building. “We actually have one goal which is capacity building for research. Capacity building means strengthening our ties with individuals and communities through involvement when it comes to health research and innovation.”

Dr. Ramirez defined community involvement as a process of engaging with communities to form a dialogue and/or collaboration at the grass roots level. She explained that in health research, including people in the process means providing what the people actually needs instead of delivering research results and research products aimlessly.

Participatory research sees communities as co-producer of knowledge and action. She added that the benefits of including individuals and communities in the dialogue of health research and innovation does not only encourage them to take action and responsibility for their own health but also fosters change in people.

She stated that the problem in the current health research practices is the need of the communities, “Ang mentality kasi natin ay one-size fits all; we forget that in health research, we are actually dealing with people. We need transformative change. We don’t want to be stuck in one size fits all because people come in different shapes and sizes.”

Dr. Ramirez explained that we should move forward from this practice and start banking on personalized healthcare that is more understanding of what is important to the people and community. The on-going evolution and demand for quality healthcare necessitate a parallel need for professional development with guided principle that is rooted in the needs of the people.

She urges everyone to take part in creating and providing a better healthcare to millions of Filipinos. Dr. Ramirez said, “Health research is multi-trans disciplinary; we need to combine our expertise. We have to understand our problems together. Healthcare is a complex problem and a complex problem requires a complete set of system to address that problem.”

In the end, she reiterated and reminded everyone that research on social innovation in health accompanied by community involvement is key in developing better healthcare system and programs.

JSPS International Fellowships for Research in Japan
Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research in Japan
Invitational Fellowships for Research in Japan
FY 2018 (2018-2019) Application Guideline

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) carries out programs that provide overseas researchers who have an excellent record of research achievements with an opportunity to conduct collaborative research, discussions, and opinion exchanges with researchers in Japan. These programs are intended to help advance the overseas researchers' research activities while promoting science and internationalization in Japan.


All fields of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences are included under this program.


(1) JSPS Electronic Application System
Host researchers are required to use the JSPS Electronic Application System when applying for fellowships.

Please refer to JSPS’s website for more details on JSPS Electronic Application System.
If you have already obtained the applicant ID of international exchange projects, you do not need to ask your affiliated institution to issue the new ID and password.

(2) Application periods (for host institution)
Applications must be submitted to JSPS by a host researcher in Japan via the head of his/her university or institution. Overseas researchers wishing to participate in the program are advised to establish contact with a
Japanese or foreign-resident researcher in their field and to ask him/her to submit an application. They should make this contact well in advance of the host institution’s application deadline (depending on the institution, it may have its own deadline more than one month before the application deadline set by JSPS).

For more information, visit www.jsps.go.jp 

Communication experts shared their experiences, best practices, and effective ways to engage audience during the 36th Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Anniversary Session - Engaged: Communicating Health Research in Everyday Language at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on 16 March 2018.

Thirty-five (35) Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) research utilization committee members from regional health research and development consortia learned how to effectively communicate health research and improve audience engagement through use of simpler language and laymanized terms.

Dr. Cecilia Acuin, Senior Scientist of the International Rice Research Institute and Chair of the Research Utilization Committee of the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) started the session by giving a presentation on Trust in Science: The Role of Communication. She emphasized the responsibility of health research communicators in developing and maintaining trust with their audience by addressing misconceptions and supporting statements with facts.

Mr. James Mendoza, Chief Executive Officer of Maroon Studios, discussed website content management and highlighted the importance of security and website design to users.

Mr. Ron Villagonzalo, co-founder of the Philippine Bloggers Network and Ms. Rosario Juan, CEO of Commune discussed analytics, creating a voice, brand, and style for social media pages and explained how current pop culture trends could be harnessed to create engaging and meaningful posts.

Rounding the roster of speakers for the session was University of the Philippines Los Banos, College of Development Communication Dean, Dr. Ma. Theresa Velasco, who shared that establishment of the vision, mission, and goals can set the working standards and policies for effectively communicating and disseminating health research results.

The Council organized the Engaged: Communicating Health Research in Everyday Language as a parallel session during the 36th PCHRD Anniversary to assist the research utilization committee members in their communication efforts and dissemination of research results in their respective regions.

Call for Proposals

PhilHealth STUDIES: Informal Economy Segmentation Study

PhilHealth and PCHRD, together with the International Labour Organization (ILO), are inviting researchers (affiliated with research organizations) to submit proposals for the Informal Economy Segmentation Study: Towards Universal Health Coverage in Philippines – Reaching and Retaining Members in the Informal Sector.

The project Terms of References can be downloaded HERE. 

We encourage interested parties to submit their capsule proposals via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and attach the following documents by April 16, 2018:

1. Letter of Intent
2. Curriculum Vitae of Lead Researcher
3. Profile of Institution
4. Capsule Proposal Format 

If you have queries, please contact Mr. Marc Enrico Hasta @ (02)837-75-34 or 83 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The National Women’s Month Celebration every March is part of the worldwide observance of the International Women’s Day (IWD) which brings together global governments and organizations under the same cause. The Department of Science and Technology held its celebration of women's month on March 23 at the Philippine Science High School Gymnasium, Quezon City to honor women’s rights movement and to celebrate achievements of women in science.

Women of Science

In celebration of IWD 2018, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development honors outstanding women of the Balik Scientist Program (BSP). BSP is an initiative of DOST encouraging Filipino scientists to return to the country and aid in strengthening the country’s S&T.

BSP awardees in health research are Dr. Georgina Cruz, Dr. Annabelle Villalobos, Dr. Rose Eva Constantino, Dr. Cheryl Andam, and Dr. Doralyn Dalisan. The awardees are distinguished scientists in their feild of expertise and have made valuable contributions in health research and development.

As women and torch bearers of progress in S&T, the awardees were asked to answer the question “How will you continue to #PressforProgress in health research?”

“I relish the opportunity to continue to mentor women and men on science and health by helping them discover new and easily available drugs with due diligence and market-driven output. Encourage and guide them to engage in collaborations with experienced groups to bring safe, quality and efficacious drugs to the market.

Dr. Anabelle Villalobos’ field of expertise is on Biochemistry, Analytical Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Biopharmaceutical R&D. She assisted in the functional and operational organization of the Natural Products Research and Development Center (NPRDC).

In health research, I would like to see greater support for basic research, including those that are high-risk, low-yield research programs that seek to address more fundamental questions in the field. This is how I would press for progress in health research.”

Dr. Georgina Cruz assisted in the translation of brain-based research into strategies for Philippine science and technology education. Aside from this, she worked on the Philippine Normal University Brain-Based Research and Educational Neuroscience Program by conducting neuroscience workshops and scientific and technical consultations.


As a DOST Balik Scientist at University of San Agustin, I have inspired young scientists to pursue career in science and technology. I am now mentoring eleven young women, research assistants and faculty members of University of San Agustin who are currently enrolled in MS Pharmacy, MS Biology, MS Chemistry and MS Biochemistry program.

Dr. Doralyn Dalisay is an expert on Microbiology and Natural Products Chemistry. She mentored USA Pharmacy Faculty Members on teaching strategies and research, conducted workshops on “The Art of Preparing Oral and Poster Research Presentation," and established linkage between USA and Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore.

“Health research programs and initiatives should encompass both fundamental/basic and translational questions that integrates human health, animal health and the environment. With my background in environmental and clinical microbiology and genomics, I will continue to elucidate the evolutionary and ecological factors underlying disease emergence, distribution and transmission.”

Dr. Andam is currently a Professor of Microbial Ecology at the University of New Hampshire, USA where she and her research group worked on investigating environmental microbes that have public health and medical importance.

To continue to Press for Progress in Health Research in the Philippines, Dr. Constantino believes that she has to go back to the Philippines and finish her project on “The HEARTS of Older Filipino in Manila.” This is important because almost 40% of older persons in the Philippines are burdened with insecurity, poverty, and poor health thus posing a great challenge to the economic, welfare and healthcare system.

Dr. Constantino drafted a full research proposal for the Ethics Committee review on “The HEARTS of Older Filipinos in Manila”, which will be extended to “The HEARTS of Older Persons in Pittsburgh.” She also conducted seminars and workshops on Forensic Nursing, Partner Violence, and GPS on Health.


This year’s theme for the IWD campaign is #PressforProgress which is a call to press forward and progress gender parity fueled by other campaigns such as #MeToo and #TimesUp. These global initiatives serves as a beacon for all women that there is still hope for a society with equal rights and opportunities for all gender.

Furthermore, it is a call-to-action to unite everyone to do their part in creating a more gender inclusive environment by thinking and acting progressively towards gender equality.

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to honor the achievements and successes of women from all backgrounds and fields of study while underlining the importance of women’s right and gender equality. Now more than ever, we must #PressforProgress for us to become a force of positive change and social empowerment.