Researchers ‘fascinated’ by works outside their fields

The OVPAA Symposium for CWRG and ECWRG Recipients last March 1 and 2 was nothing less than a medley of specializations.

From malaria detection and allopurinol to terahertz emissions and Ruthenium complexes, and from begonias and red frog crabs to acts of plagiarism and territorial disputes, the wide range of topics surely took the participants on an enjoyable ride of discovery.

Where else would one find, under one roof, scholars in the technical fields interacting with their artistic counterparts?

The natural scientists were curious about Jose Rizal’s portrayal in films, Shakespeare’s presence in Philippine literature, and the writing of the Palawan epic Dumaracol.

The geologist asked the mathematician about the nature of finite rings; the psychologist who restored native houses in Batad received suggestions from the architect in the audience. 

Biochemist Dr. Maria Constancia Carillo of UP Manila poses a question to poet Dr. Ricardo De Ungria of UP Mindanao about the writers in Davao (Photo by RWG)

According to Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (Research) Carla Dimalanta, it was the first time that UP faculty members from different fields “were provided a venue to interact and discuss their research and creative works.”

The defunct Creative Work and Research Grant (CWRG) as well as its successor, the Enhanced Creative Work and Research Grant (ECWRG), were established to create an enabling environment for scholarly and creative pursuits.

Dimalanta added that “while the amount of the ECWRG is smaller compared to the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) grant, ECWRG recipients have reported significant outputs in the form of publications and creative works.”

Both the ECWRG and EIDR programs are managed by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA).

Dr. Cynthia Zayas of UP Diliman shows the lighting guide that theater director Shoko Matsumoto passed on to her (Photo by RWG)

Dr. Rosalie Hall of UP Visayas talks about the “life after war” of former communist and separatist group members (Photo by RWG)

The eight sessions of the symposium were moderated by Professor Dimalanta, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs (Project Management) Mary Delia Tomacruz, UP Press Director Jose Neil Garcia, Center for Integrative and Development Studies Director Edna Co, and Professor Elmer Estacio and Professor Christine Villagonzalo of the National Institute of Physics. Garcia said that the symposium, which showcased 40 projects in all, was “a bird’s eye view of where the University is in terms of research.”

Dr. Armando Somintac of UP Diliman shares with the audience his project at the National Institute of Physics (Photo by RWG)

Funder’s perspective: Vice President Gisela Concepcion was present during the two-day event to comment on the projects and their outputs (Photo by RWG)

Vice President for Academic Affairs Gisela Concepcion expressed delight at seeing “young faces engaged in scholarly and scientific discussions.”  She hoped that similar meetings could be held more often as “they not only allow us to learn about the research and creative work of other people but also open up opportunities for collaborating or working with people we would not typically work with.”

ECWRG supports the faculty and REPS to produce publications or exhibitions or performances of creative work or other significant output such as patents, new software and advanced technologies.

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