The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), in partnership with the De La Salle University (DLSU), launched the new Tuklas Lunas Research Fellowship Program in a virtual event last 19 October 2020.

The program aims to capacitate researchers from the Tuklas Lunas Implementing Agencies (TLIAs) in the discipline and in the conduct of natural products research. This also entails sharing of DLSU’s available expertise and instruments to help equip and capacitate TLIAs in natural products research, specifically the molecular level study of secondary metabolites.

In its Phase 1 of implementation, 15 selected researchers from TLIAs will get to participate in online courses starting 1 October 2020 until 28 February 2021. The courses are designed to train and capacitate them on research topics including Chemistry of Natural Products, NMR Spectroscopy on Natural Products, and Chromatography for Natural Products. These courses will be delivered through online lecture sessions, online laboratory activities, and individual mentoring sessions through Zoom and AnimoSpace.

To further help the researchers in their studies and practice, the research fellows will also be trained on the discipline of journal reading using the vast DLSU collection of journals and online subscriptions, and training and access to the SciFinder, which is a powerful search engine especially in searching for chemical structures.

During the event, the selected Tuklas Lunas fellows and designated mentors were presented and introduced. The fellows were also oriented on what to expect during the four-month engagement in the program.

In their messages, both DOST-PCHRD Director Dr. Jaime Montoya and DLSU College of Science Dean Dr. Glenn Alea agreed that the Tuklas Lunas Research Fellowship Program will enable researchers to discover new knowledge and develop breakthrough technologies on natural products in the future. They viewed the program as a huge opportunity to develop a new breed of scientists who will provide research-based solutions to clinically unmet needs by leveraging on the country’s rich biodiversity.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) invites interested Filipino researchers to submit proposals for COVID-19 under the e-ASIA Joint Research Program (e-ASIA JRP). 

Possible research fields identified by the e-ASIA Joint Research Program include but are not limited to: 
  1. Public health and epidemiology 
  2. Drug discovery 
  3. Vaccines 
  4. Inspection and diagnostic technology 
  5. Fundamental technology of inspection, prevention and medical treatment
    1. Bio-nanotechnology
    2. Chemical biology
    3. Biomaterial sensor
    4. Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
    5. Model organisms 
  6. Immunology (Immunology of coronavirus infection)
  • Disease Immunopathogenesis
  • Immunological Predictors of Disease Severity
  • Immunological Host Response to Infection
Develop and/or Improve:
  • Diagnostic + Immunological Assays
  • Immunotherapies for Prevention and Early Treatment 
  1. Evolutionary biology of SARS- CoV2, including phylogenetics and mechanisms of emergence (e.g., animal-human interface) 
  2. Clinical Characterization / Management of Disease Caused by the Virus
PCHRD as one of the Member Organizations of –e-ASIA JRP will select two (2) COVID-19 proposals.   
Review Procedures Approval of proposals for research grants will be based on a multi-level review process:
  1. In-house screening and evaluation in terms of alignment to the research priorities, duplication, and completeness of requirements. 
  2. Technical review and scoring by external consultants (Technical Panel) based on the following criteria: 
    1. Relevance & Sensitivity
      • Alignment to national S&T priorities, strategic relevance to national development and sensitivity to Philippine political context, culture, tradition and gender and development.
    2. Technical/Scientific
      • Merit Sound scientific basis to generate new knowledge or apply existing knowledge in an innovative manner. 
    3. Financial Feasibility 
      • Financial viability of the undertaking with proponent’s and institutional capacity to manage R&D funds vis-à-vis the proposed work plan and budget Proponent’s / Institutional Capacity Good track record or CV with proven competence to implement and complete the R&D program / project within the approved duration and budget. 
    4. Program Contribution 
      • How much the proposal will contribute to the overall achievement of the program? Other potential socio-economic, environmental, and health impact. 
  3. Final approval by the PCHRD Governing Council or the PCHRD Executive Director depending on the recommended total budgetary requirement of the proposal. 
  4. In each stage of the review process, the proponent may need to revise the proposal on the basis of the recommendations of the reviewers. The review process will take 40 working days or less provided that all the requirements had been submitted. 
Who may apply for the grant?
 Filipinos with at least a Master’s Degree in a relevant field, have proven research competence / track record, and employed in universities/colleges, research agencies/institutes, hospitals, and other health related agencies are eligible to apply for the research grant. 
How to apply:
The Filipino research proponent who have his/her research project endorsed by e-ASIA for further evaluation should submit the following requirements online through the PCHRD Project Management System ( from 22 October 2020:
  • Project Proposal following the PCHRD Detailed Proposal Form (downloadable from the DOST-PCHRD website)
  • Work plan Schedule (Gantt Chart of Activities)
  • Proposed Line-Item Budget (LIB) (DOST-GIA LIB Form)
  • Counterpart Funding of Implementing Agency
  • Informed Consent Form
  • Case Report Form, if applicable
  • Endorsement of Agency Head
  • Curriculum Vitae of Proponent(s) 
  • Duties and Responsibilities of each Project Personnel 
DOST-PCHRD will also require the proponent to submit the following documents before the start of project implementation: 
  • Biosafety Clearance, if applicable
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Clearance, if applicable 
  • Bureau of Animal Industry Clearance, if applicable
  • Ethics Clearance (for studies involving human subjects)
The DOST-PCHRD will allocate up to 200,000 USD for each research project for a duration of 1 year and can be extended following DOST Grants-in-Aid Guidelines. In-kind modality will be an option. This Call shall be subject to rules and regulations set by the DOST Grants-in-Aid Guidelines. 
For further information on eASIA COVID 19 Call, you may visit the eASIA website:

To showcase the latest health research developments in the country while observing safety protocols for COVID-19, the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) is joining the DOST’s National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) 2020 through virtual activities from October to November 2020.

The DOST-wide celebration, to be held on 23-29 November 2020 with DOST line agencies, carries the theme, “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, at Kinabukasan.” This major event aims to showcase research and development initiatives of the DOST and the entire scientific community that aim to improve the quality of Filipino lives during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To kick off this year’s series of NSTW activities on health research, the Council is holding the HERDIN Plus Online Learning webinar to guide students, researchers, and educators on how to access health and health research-related information through HERDIN Plus. The event will be held this 22 October 2020 through Zoom and broadcasted on DOST-PCHRD’s Facebook page.

A  mental health research writeshop will also be conducted in anticipation of the DOST-wide celebration. With the recent launch of the mental health research agenda, outputs of the writeshop will help participants gear for the next mental health research call for proposals.

Hataw Agham, an annual DOST-PCHRD promoting physical activities for health, is also pushing through via online platform this year. In partnership with the PCHRD-funded project Improving Neurocognition through Dance and Kinesthetics (INDAK), Hataw Agham will be showcasing the benefits of dance in improving cognitive health among the elderly through online dance modules to be released via the DOST-PCHRD Facebook page.

As its flagship event for NSTW 2020, the DOST-PCHRD will hold a virtual session highlighting PCHRD-funded technologies and programs in response to COVID-19. Through the official NSTW virtual platform to be announced on the NSTW website (, the session will be streamed live on 23 November 2020.

Other DOST-PCHRD projects on functional food, biomedical engineering and hospital technologies, and ICT for Health will be featured in the NSTW virtual exhibit as well.

For more updates on the DOST-PCHRD’s activities for NSTW 2020, tune in to our online platforms― on Facebook at, on Twitter at, and our website at


UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD)  as one of the 15 eminent scientists to draft the 2023 Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) in a UN official announcement yesterday in New York City.

Produced once every four years, the SDG report aims to employ the scientific perspective in guiding policymakers on the state of global sustainable development, and serve as a ‘strong evidence-based instrument’ in eradicating poverty. The said report will also feed the ‘high-level global review” of the 2030 Agenda at the United Nations in September 2030.

The designation of the independent group followed an extensive consultation process that involved nominations from UN member states which concluded in December 2019. The 15 scientists were selected by UN Sec-Gen Guterres to author the GSDR and conduct a follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs. 

We are honored to be selected as part of the distinguished experts to author a very significant report on the global SDGs. Being a health research scientist in the Philippines, a developing country, enables us to contribute unique and substantial information that is relevant to sustainable development.  It is without a doubt that I assure our UN member states and our fellow Filipinos that our efforts will always be directed towards the benefit of all through science and technology,” said Dr. Montoya.

The “diverse group,” according to the UN, represents a wide range of disciplines and are composed of the following scientists: John Agard (Trinidad and Tobago), Kaltham Ali Al-Ghanim (Qatar), Sergey N. Bobylev (Russian Federation), Opha Pauline Dube, (Botswana), Ibrahima Hathie (Senegal), Norichika Kanie (Japan), Nyovani Janet Madise (Malawi), Shirin Malekpour (Australia), J. Jaime Miranda (Peru), Jaime C Montoya (Philippines), Jiahua Pan (China), Åsa Persson (Sweden), Ambuj D Sagar (India), Imme Scholz (Germany), Nancy Shackell (Canada).

Led by Dr. Agard and Dr. Scholz, the independent group will author the second report of its kind. The first GSDR has been released in September of 2019 entitled “The Future is Now: Science for Achieving Sustainable Development.”

As the country’s lead coordinator for health research and development initiatives, PCHRD supports Filipino researchers in health research innovation, policy recommendations, and technology commercialization, provides scholarships to Filipino students in the field of health and medicine, and establishes information and communication systems to disseminate health research information both for local and international stakeholders. PCHRD is also at the forefront of the country’s fight against the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) fellows and interns under the 2018-2020 Department of Health-Advancing Health through Evidence Assisted Decisions (DOH-AHEAD) Health Policy Systems Research Fellowship and Internship Program graduated last September 30, 2020 in a recognition ceremony held online.

The DOH-AHEAD HPSR Fellowship and Internship Program is an initiative of the Department of Health (DOH), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), that responds to the increased demand for evidence-informed policies and programs in the health sector. It engages professionals both in health and non-health fields in a two-year fellowship and internship with selected DOH offices.

Designed to help HPSR fellows and interns gain firsthand experience in health systems and policy making, OIC-Director of the Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau (HPDPB) of the DOH Dir. Francis Rose Elgo-Mamaril expounded on the objectives of the program saying , “The overarching goal was to develop the next generation of researchers and policymakers to bridge the shortfall in the capacity of research and policy in the health sector.”

In light of the many healthcare gaps and issues that the health sector is striving to address, DOH Assistant Secretary of Health-Health Policy and Systems Development Team Dr. Kenneth Ronquillo stressed the responsibilities of the graduates in contributing to the creation of progressive health solutions for all. “The public health sector and the communities are in need of skilled and devoted young professionals,” he said in his address to the graduates.

Currently, the DOH along with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is gearing for the implementation of the Universal Healthcare Law which aims to provide equitable access to quality and affordable healthcare to every Filipino.

Representing this batch of HPSR fellows and interns, Gabrielle Anne Gabaton called on the youth to contribute to the realization of universal healthcare. “There is much to be done and much we can contribute to public health no matter what our background is,” she said, emphasizing the importance of interdisciplinary research in building robust health policies and systems. 

The DOST-PCHRD, through its Executive Director Jaime Montoya, expressed the Council’s commitment to support the program and its objectives. “May this fellowship program continue to be an avenue of learning for researchers and for the attainment of health policy systems and research goals,” he said.