DoST expands science scholarship program

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The Department of Science and Technology hopes to support 33,256 scholars overall next year, with a target of 26,935 undergraduates by 2019.

THE Science and Technology department said it is expanding its department scholarship program in 2019 by admitting more participants and upgrading benefits.

The expansion was announced by the Department of Science and Technology — Science Education Institute (DoST-SEI).

DoST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said in a statement: “Through the new benefits in our Scholarship Program, we hope to get more scholars and graduates who will eventually work in the science and technology (S&T) field for the country.”

DoST hopes to support 33,256 scholars overall next year, with a target of 26,935 undergraduates by 2019. It did not provide comparative figures.

Undergraduate scholars will enjoy “an increased monthly stipend of P7,000 per month, in addition to P40,000 per year tuition and other school fees subsidy, P10,000 per year book allowance, a one-time P1,000 uniform allowance; a one-time graduation allowance, one economy-class round trip fare per year for those studying outside of their home province, and group insurance” DoST said.

It did not say what the previous benefits were.

DoST is authorized to support S&T students under Republic Act 7687, or the Science and Technology Act of 1994. In exchange, scholars agree to a service obligation, which requires them to practice S&T in the Philippines. Any periods of overseas study require the signing of a commitment to return.

The service obligation takes effect “immediately upon completion of a Bachelor of Science course,” according to the law, with scholars required to serve full-time in his or her selected field “for a minimum period equivalent to the length of time a scholar enjoyed the scholarship.”

The eligible activities for service obligations are “organizing technology-based livelihood activities or enterprises, teaching, or such other service related to the course or training he has completed, and, for this purpose, requiring the execution of a contract between the Government and the scholar incorporating the details of the said service obligation.”

“Some 80% of our undergraduate scholars come from poor or near poor families,” said DoST-SEI Director Josette T. Biyo.

“We believe that a degree is the greatest equalizer,” she added.

“Through the scholarship programs, we aim to increase the pool of competitive young scientists (and) experts and also improve the lives of the Filipinos,” Ms. Biyo said.

The 2019 DoST-SEI Undergraduate Science and Technology Scholarship is open to Grade 12 students.

Interested applicants must be Filipino citizens and Grade 12 students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) strand in the 2018-2019 academic year or a qualified Non-STEM Strand student in AY 2018-2019.

The application period started on July 2 with a filing deadline for applications of Aug. 31, 2018.

The applicant can obtain and file an application through the Science Education Institute, Provincial Science and Technology Centers, and DoST Regional Offices.

A downloadable application form is also available in SEI’s website Qualifying examinations will be on Oct. 21, 2018. — Gillian M. Cortez