Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)

Official website for the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) >>

PLEASE NOTE: For official information, specific details, and updated deadlines and instructions, please check the organization’s website and current application forms. If you have any problems or questions, please contact us.

Application deadline: 30 July 2013

All applicants are required to check from their Ministries of Education for the deadline of applicants’ submission set by the Ministry. Deadline for the Ministries to send endorsements to SEARCA is 30 July.


SEARCA is one of the “centers of excellence” established by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO). As such, SEARCA assists SEAMEO member countries in producing highly trained human resources in agriculture and related sciences to accelerate agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia.

SEARCA’s Graduate Study Program was initiated in school year 1968-69. Its aim is to ensure the relevance and responsiveness of Southeast Asia’s agricultural scientists and professionals to global sustainable development issues.

The program provides support for advanced studies leading to the MS and PhD degrees in agriculture, forestry, and related fields. SEARCA aims to prepare highly qualified professionals working in agricultural and rural development for positions of leadership in SEAMEO member countries.

The full SEARCA graduate scholarship entitles the recipient to the following benefits and privileges:

  • Financial Support covers stipend, tuition, international and domestic travel allowances, thesis/dissertation support, book allowance, and health insurance. The domestic travel allowance may also be used to support registration fees and domestic travel to conferences where the scholar will present a paper or poster on results of his/her thesis or dissertation research.
  • Discounted Accommodation. Scholars studying at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) are encouraged to stay at the SEARCA Residence Hotel (SRH) where they can closely interact with other graduate students of different nationalities. Scholars studying at UPLB who bring their families with them can stay in SEARCA apartments at a subsidized rate.
  • Assistance with Student Visa Processing. SEARCA takes care of processing the student visa extension of its scholars for the duration of their scholarship.
  • In-house and Other Training Courses or Seminars. Scholars may avail of opportunities to participate in SEARCA training courses and seminars upon request, especially in fields related to their studies. The SEARCA Agriculture and Development Seminar Series, which is held every Tuesday, and other symposia organized by SEARCA are also open to them and provides a venue for exposure to and participation in exchanges of ideas outside the classroom.
  • Use of SEARCA Facilities. Facilities open to SEARCA scholars are the Center’s Library and Email Room. Scholars studying at UPLB are given free SEARCA e-mail accounts and e-mail access.
  • Participation in Sociocultural Activities. SEARCA scholars are introduced to the SEARCA family through orientation/welcome party. Being part of the SEARCA family, they are invited to the Center’s summer outing, sportsfest, anniversary celebration, and Christmas parties.
  • Counseling. Scholars who are experiencing academic difficulties and those with personal problems may seek guidance from the Graduate Scholarship Department.

Any of the following universities, as well as those that have institutional arrangements with SEARCA, may serve as study posts of SEARCA MS and PhD scholars:

Eligibility and Restrictions:

Open to nationals of SEAMEO member countries, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam, who are regular employees of academic or research institutions or government agencies. Applicants must not be more than 35 years old. Proposed thesis research of applicants should focus on SEARCA’s priority thrusts.

The scholarship is granted on a yearly basis up to a maximum of four semesters for a master’s degree program and six semesters for a doctoral program.

The scholarship covers tuition and other school fees; book and supplies allowance; thesis/ dissertation support; insurance and travel (roundtrip air ticket from home country to study post and local transportation), and a monthly stipend of $500 for food, lodging, and incidental expenses.

The scholarship has no provision for any member of the scholar’s family.

The scholar is required to undertake the degree program on a full-time basis and should not engage in any work for pay or accept any other scholarship/ assistantship/special detail, local and abroad, throughout the period of his/her scholarship award. However, the scholar may seek additional support from other sources if the financial support for thesis/dissertation work provided by the scholarship is not sufficient to cover all of the necessary expenses for the research.

The scholarship recipient is required to abide by all rules and regulations set by SEARCA in relation to the scholarship award and the requirements of the study post.

The scholarship recipient must be a regular employee of an educational or research institution, or government agency.

Application Procedure:

Applicants should apply directly to the Graduate School at one or more of the universities listed above. Applications and information can be found at the universities’ websites.

Click here to download the SEARCA scholarship application

Any interested national of a SEAMEO member country may apply for the scholarship. Applications may be submitted to any one of the following Ministries of his/her own country:

  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Forestry
  • Ministry of Fisheries
  • Ministry of Rural Development

Where to apply in Myanmar:

Department of Education, Planning, and Training
Ministry of Education
Thein Byu Road
Botahtaung Township
Phone: (95-1) 286-704, 289-538

Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation
Thirimingala Lane
Yankin Township
Phone: (95-1) 663-270

Ministry of Forestry
Thirimingala Lane, Kabe Aye Pagoda Road
Mayangon Township
Phone: (95-1) 289-184


Each applicant is required to submit the following documents:

  • SEARCA Scholarship Application Form (2 copies);
  • Application forms for admission to the Graduate School of the universities where the applicant may pursue graduate studies under SEARCA scholarship;
  • Official transcript of academic records of each degree completed (BS transcript for MS applicants and BS and MS transcripts for PhD applicants);
  • Certification of employment;
  • A two-page write-up on agricultural competitiveness or natural resource management;
  • A brief description of the research that the applicant plans to conduct for thesis/dissertation. The research topic must be in line with the priority thrusts of SEARCA.
  • Two copies of passport-size pictures of the applicant;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Certification from a medical doctor that the applicant is in good physical and mental health condition and is fit to undertake graduate studies;
  • Official endorsement from the employer; and
  • Results of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): score of 550 for paper-based and 213 for computer-based) or IELTS results (6.0). The TOEFL results must be issued by Princeton, New Jersey, USA.