“The IRRI Scholarship has provided me with the academic training I needed to engage in research on agriculture and sustainable development.”
Degree/Program: MSc in Sustainability (Environment and Development)
Country: United Kingdom
Scholarship: Global Rice Science Scholarship and Lee Foundation Rice Scholarship
Field of study: Social learning in agricultural innovation systems
- Climate change and policy
- Food security governance
- Community-based environment management
Growing up in the Philippines, I have a good understanding of the complexity of development issues and challenges, especially in terms of food security and agriculture. Like any small town in rural areas, a number of my neighbors are rice farmers. Knowing the hard work they do, I have since appreciated their importance in ensuring the availability of food in every household.
As such, after finishing my bachelor’s degree in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines with units in Environmental Science from Michigan State University, I was motivated to get involved in this sector. My professional experience has allowed me to work with and learn from a variety of actors in the agriculture sector—from rice farmers and extension workers to scientists and policymakers. Through my work, I realized the necessity for a sustainable agricultural development, especially amidst climate change and the importance of ensuring that smallholder farmers are part of this process. This is why I have decided to expand my career path and get involved in research.
By doing so, I seek to be a new breed of scientist who can work across disciplines and whose research has positive social impact.
The IRRI Scholarship has provided me with the academic training I needed to engage in research on agriculture and sustainable development. It has also allowed me to diversify my knowledge and skills in ways that could benefit my career in the long term. I was also able to establish relevant contacts and build connections through IRRI’s global network in CGIAR.
Most importantly, I see this scholarship as an important part of my personal development. It has improved my self-confidence and motivated me to do better in my field. Working with international experts in agriculture and rice research, who share the same passion in ensuring food security and sustainability of the sector, has especially been inspiring to me as an IRRI scholar.