Tuesday, 11 December 2012

IRRI honors 105 staff for long service


IRRI recognized 105 employees for their commitment to the Institute's mission, values, and goals. These staff members, who have contributed 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, or 35 years of service to the Institute, were given service awards on 4 December 2012.

A special lunch was also held on the same day in honor of all employees who have served IRRI for 25, 30, and 35 years.

This year’s theme “Gems of IRRI” reflects the precious quality and rarity of our employees. Like precious gems our people are our most valuable resource. The Institute and our stakeholders benefit from a diverse talent base, and we recognize that all of our employees, regardless of race, gender and ethnicity have unique and valuable perspectives that enhance our organization. We value our people and our values come from them.

Like gems which are formed, polished, and made sparkling by the elements of nature, these employees were acknowledged for their services that have sparked examples of hard work and dedication, and their stories are worthy to be treasured.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Joyce Finegan, Business Partner for Workplace Relations and Advisory at Human Resource Services (HRS) and Jeshurun Asher Tarun, Assistant Scientist at Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology (PBGB). Guest performers were UP Rural High Glee Club, UP Rural High Dance Troupe, Rainier Pagcaliwagan, Leo Mar Edralin, and selected IRRI Dancers.

The service awardees were:

35 years (15 staff members; photo above) – Joel Janiya, Agnes Padre, Errol Rico, and Isidro Tolentino of Crop and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD); Jose Manuel of Experiment Station (ES); Irene Escoses of Food and Housing Services (FHS); Romulo Aquino of Grain Quality and Nutrition Center (GQNC); Modesto Amante, Virgilio Ancheta, Jr., and Panfilo Domingo, Jr. of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology (PBGB); Marissa Templanza of Physical Plant Services (PPS); Felicisimo Kalaw of Supply Chain Services (SCS); Mirla Domingo of Social Sciences Division (SSD); and Bonifacio Palis and Oscar Templanza of Transport Services (TS).

30 years (28 staff members) – Ma. Carmelita Alberto, Nonnie Bunyi, Helen Grace Centeno, Lamberto Licardo, Briccio Salisi, and Jagdish Ladha of Crop and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD); Vilma Ramos of Controller (CNTRL); Adonna Robles of Office of the Deputy Director General for Research (DDG-R); Luis Calma, Godofredo Mercado, and Nestor Rizaldo of Experiment Station (ES); Francisca Oro of Food and Housing Services (FHS); Rosario Jimenez of Grain Quality and Nutrition Center (GQNC); Manuel Alejar and Margaret Ann Jingco of National Programs Relations (NPR); Benedicto Consignado, Elma Nicolas, Honorio Oboza, Renato Pizon, Sr., and Alexander Ramos of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Bioetechnology (PBGB); Apolinario Armia of Physical Plant Services (PPS); Maria Lourdes Velasco of Social Sciences Division (SSD); Crisostomo Dela Rueda of Safety and Security Services (SSS); Reynaldo Elmido, Emilio Gonzalez, Jr., and Rolando Santos of Transport Services (TS); and Felix Llanes and Mario Rodriguez of T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Center (TTC-GRC).

25 years (12 staff members) – Josie Lynn Catindig, Roland Dizon, and Ma. Rebecca Laza of Crop and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD); Rogelio Quintos of Communication and Publications Services (CPS); Cecilio Villamayor of Experiments Station (ES); Alicia Bordeos of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology (PBGB); Regalado Alcachupas and Virgilio Verano of Physical Plant Services (PPS); Joel Reaño, Gina Zarsadias, and Florencia Palis of Social Sciences Division (SSD); and Vitchu Chowanapong of IRRI Thailand Office.

20 years (16 staff members) – Mary Jacqueline Dionora of C4 Rice Center (C4C); Paterno Borlagdan and Roland Buresh of Crop and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD); Paulito Oleta of Controller (CNTRL); Maria Liza Milante of Human Resource Services (HRS); Fernando Salisi of Grain Quality and Nutrition Center (GQNC); Diah Wurjandari Soegondo of IRRI Indonesia Office; Emily Alcantara, Socorro Carandang, Nancy Castilla, and Noel Salac of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology (PBGB); Rosendo Gutierrez, Teodora Malabanan, and Imelda Molina of Social Sciences Division (SSD); and Eugenio Castro, Jr., and Noel Magor of Training Center (TC).

15 years (13 staff members) – Rosalie San Antonio of C4 Rice Center (C4C); Zhongqiu Wang of IRRI China Office; Bill Hardy of Communication and Publications Services (CPS); Larry Montermoso of Human Resource Services (HRS); Teodoro Atienza of Grain Quality and Nutrition Center (GQNC); Marilyn Belen of National Programs Relations (NPR); Ruth McNally, Lorelie Olivo, and Joie Ramos of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Bioetechnology (PBGB); Florencio Lapiz of Seed Health Unit (SHU); Cornelia Garcia of Social Sciences Division (SSD); Maria Angeli Maghuyop of Training Center (TC); and Sheila Mae Mercado of T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Center (TTC-GRC).

10 years (21 staff members) – Marie Kim Leng of IRRI Cambodia Office; Rowena Noblejas, Emma Quicho, Martin Gummert, Stephan Haefele, and Reiner Wassman of Crop and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD); Betty Sarah Carreon of Controller (CNTRL); Achim Dobermann of Office of the Deputy Director General for Research (DDGR); Emmanuel Gutierrez of Experiment Station (ES); Maria Aisa Atienza of Library and Documentation Services (LDS); Bonifacio De Ocampo and Loreto Puyod of Information Technology Services (ITS); Panfilo De Guzman of International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA); Seung-Hee Han of IRRI Korea Office; Joel Macabenta, Marina Manzanilla, Eloisa Suiton, and Frances Florifel Tesoro of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology (PBGB); and Liza Yonzon, Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, and Ramil Mauleon of T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Center (TTC-GRC).

View more photos.


Monday, 19 November 2012

HRS holds training on effective presentation skills

The Effective Presentation Skills (EPS) workshop was held for IRRI staff in headquarters on 7-9 November 2012.

The EPS is an 11-module program that aims to develop and hone the presentation skills of participants to help them become more effective and productive members of their teams.

Buresh speaks at the Mentoring Lunch


Roland Buresh, IRRI principal soil scientist, shared thoughts on his own mentoring experiences during the Mentoring Lunch held on 6 November 2012.

Mentoring lunches are held regularly to provide mentor-mentee pairs in IRRI the opportunity to get together and discuss in an informal setting.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

17 staff received PRINCE2 certification

The PRINCE2 Foundation Certification course was held for IRRI staff on 22-25 October 2012, organized by Human Resource Services. This is IRRI's fourth delivery following the pilot program late last year.

The workshop was attended by Vina Alvarez, Sarah Beebout, Nancy Castilla, Joong Hyoun Chin, Bertrand Collard, Joyce Finegan, Loretta Hempsall, S.V. Krishna Jagadish, Tsung-Wei Lai, Ramil Mauleon, Prabhjit Chadha-Mohanty, Andrew Nelson, Ma. Angeles Quilloy, Maricor Zen Reyes, Charizabel Sapiandante, Marco van den Berg, and Tara Shyam.

PRINCE2 is a process-based approach for project management, providing an easily tailored and scaleable project management methodology for the management of all types of projects. The method is the de-facto standard for project management in the UK and is practiced worldwide.

The program was facilitated by Vincent Marsi of HiLogic.

For inquiries and future PRINCE2 schedules, please contact Annabelle Aquino of the HRS Organization and People Development Services at x2824 or send email to a.aquino@irri.org.

October 2012 Orientation Program held

Human Resource Services welcomed 19 new IRRI employees in the October 2012 Employee Orientation Program.

In addition to newly-hired employees, HRS extends invitation to staff with longer service but have not had the opportunity to attend the orientation program in the past.

For inquiries and future orientation schedules, please contact Annabelle Aquino of the HRS Organization and People Development Services at x2824 or send email to a.aquino@irri.org.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

HRS continues to receive early retirement applications from local staff

Human Resource Services (HRS) delivered information sessions on the Mutually Agreed Voluntary Early Retirement Program (ERP) on 2 and 4 October 2012, attended by HQ-based nationally recruited staff from both research and support professions.

The ERP is a voluntary scheme, giving due consideration to both the employee age and length of service (LOS). The program offers a package of benefits to participants through a carefully formulated set of guidelines. It provides an opportunity for staff who have positively contributed to the Institute over many years to take a well-deserved early retirement. In addition, the program supports IRRI’s staffing approach by providing a mechanism to enable internal career movement and encourage succession planning.

Interested applicants should submit their ERP-related application forms to Katrina Zapanta from the HRS Workplace Relations & Advisory Services (WRAS) on or before 26 November 2012.

For inquiries, please contact Katrina at ext. 2363 or any member of the HRS team.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

IRRI ITS staff dies at 61

Grief that is deep and personal fills our heart this sad moment as our beloved Ildefonso “Kuya Boy” Cosico has peacefully closed the door of life and departed from us last Saturday, 29th September.

From the words of Albert Einstein, he said, “the value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.” In one word, Kuya Boy was a man who gave. He gave so much to his family, work, and to his IRRI friends and colleagues.

Boy first joined IRRI as Statistical Clerk I and II from October 1975 to May 1980 at the Agricultural Economics Department. Later, he became Field Aide III at the same unit from June 1980 to December 1983.

Since January 1984 he worked with the Information Technology Services (ITS) department (formerly Computer Center and later renamed Computer Services Division) as Statistical Aide I & II, Console Operator, Systems Administrator, and Officer - Systems Administrator respectively.

Boy saw many generations of information technology hardware, software, and humanware and had adapted to every iteration with a professional attitude that made him ‘the rock’ of our institutional technology infrastructure.

In his 37 years in the Institute, Boy was a team player, generously giving his knowledge, expertise and skills. He was also a wonderful friend and a great colleague to IRRI staff. The life he lived can be summed up in a few words: sincere, earnest and loyal.

Boy worked with passion, commitment and energy in his career. All of us, who knew him, will miss a charming and generous individual. Our sorrow is slightly lessened with the comforting thought that we had the privilege of knowing him.

Goodbye, Boy. We will all miss you.

Written by ITS team

HRS announces release of their new web presence at irri.org

Human Resource Services (HRS) is pleased to announce the release of their new web presence at irri.org which can be accessed through clicking on "Come Work with Us" from the "Our People" menu.

Their new web presence offers Human Resource-related information for their internal and external customers, including:
  • General information about HRS
  • Jobs at IRRI
  • Working at IRRI
  • Employee Orientation Program
  • Workplace relations initiatives
  • Compensation and benefits
  • IRRI Policies
  • IRRI People and their stories
  • and more!
They hope that you will enjoy the new web presence and will find the information helpful. Over the coming months they will continue to add more content.

If you have any questions on the HRS web presence, or would like to give your feedback, please feel free to contact any member of the HRS team.

Visit the new HRS web presence today!

Sophie Clayton speaks at the Mentoring Lunch

Sophie Clayton, IRRI’s Public Relations Manager, shared her perspectives about her mentoring experiences during the September 25 Mentoring Lunch.

Mentoring lunches are held to give mentor-mentee pairs the opportunity to get together on a regular basis and continue discussions in an informal atmosphere.

At each gathering, a speaker is invited to share personal thoughts on mentoring, and to interact with the mentoring pairs.

This is part of the on-going support to mentoring at IRRI, which is organized by the Human Resource Services (HRS).

For inquiries and future Mentoring Program schedules, please contact Annabelle Aquino of the HRS Organization and People Development Services at x2824 or send email to a.aquino@irri.org.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

HRS to hold early retirement information sessions in headquarters

Information sessions on 2012 Mutually Agreed Voluntary Early Retirement Program (ERP) for IRRI Nationally Recruited Staff at headquarters will be held on October 2 and 4, 1400-1600 H, at Room A, D.L. Umali Building.

Interested staff in headquarters may register online or sign-up directly at HRS Workplace Relations and Advisory Services office on or before Friday, 28 September 2012, until 1200 H.

 View the brochure for details or visit the HRS Bulletin Boards at Harrar Hall, NC Brady Building, and DL Umali Building.

HRS holds job profiling workshop for IRRI Country Office reps


As part of the first phase in the creation of NRS career paths, the Human Resource Services (HRS) held the NRS Job Profiling workshop for IRRI country office representatives on 21 September at headquarters. This was the final delivery after more than 20 job profile writing workshops for more than 300 staff at headquarters. 

In attendance were Bidyuth Mahalder and Shamima Sultana of Bangladesh, Amit Mishra, Savita Sharma, and Puneet Khurana of India, Ohnmar Tun of Myanmar, and Apinporn Phuengwattanapanich of Thailand.

Supported by HRS, the participants were tasked to develop a standard job profile based on group discussions. The draft job profiles will be reviewed by HRS and will send to the respective supervisors for their comments. 

The country office representatives are expected to lead similar job profiling workshops in their respective areas. After these workshops, job families will be identified to complete the foundation of creating the career paths for NRS.

Inquiries on the development of career paths for Nationally Recruited Staff can be made by e-mail on  nrs-job-profile-committee@irri.org, or by contacting Sara on HQ ext. 2824 or Jhea on HQ ext. 2775.


HRS holds training on effective presentation

Human Resource Services (HRS), in partnership with Guthrie-Jensen Philippines, held the Effective Presentation Skills (EPS) training for the second time on 18-20 September at IRRI headquarters.

Ten HQ-based nationally recruited research and support professionals attended the 3-day workshop, which was facilitated by Ralph Guzman.

EPS is an eleven-module program that aims to develop and hone the presentation skills of participants to make them more effective and productive members of their teams. This interactive training continuously receives positive participant feedback since its pilot launch in 2011. The last delivery for this year will be on 7-9 November 2012.

This program is an HRS learning and development initiative. For all inquiries/reservations for future learning & development programs, please review the IRRI Training Calendar or contact Annabelle Aquino of HRS Organization and People Development Services at ext. 2824 or send email to a.aquino@irri.org.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

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Tuesday, 11 September 2012

HRS holds job profiling workshop


IRRI Human Resource Services organized over 20 job profile writing workshops for more than 300 staff at IRRI headquarters as part of the first phase in the creation of career paths for nationally recruited staff or NRS. These workshops are ongoing this week (5-21 September 2012).
Selected staff were invited to participate in the workshops and grouped by similarity of functions and job level. The participants were tasked to develop standard job profiles, through group discussion and workshop, supported by two resource persons from Towers Watson and 95 facilitators from IRRI.

The resulting draft job profiles will be reviewed by HRS and sent to the corresponding supervisors for comments. A series of follow-up workshops will be held thereafter to refine the drafts.

HRS is also giving the same workshop for 8 IRRI staff from the Country Offices on 21 September 2012, to prepare them to lead similar job profiling workshops in their respective areas.

After the workshops, job 'families' will be identified to complete the foundation for creating the NRS career paths.


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

World Agroforestry Center holds feeding program for flood victims


Staff and scholars of the World Agroforestry Center (also know an ICRAF), an IRRI-hosted center, held a feeding program to more than 1,000 evacuees at the Tadlac Tent City in Los Baños on 7 September 2012.

Rosemary Caballero led the activity, representing Rodel Lasco, Philippine programme coordinator. They were joined by volunteers and IRRI spouses Sue Pretty and Stella Bouman, and guests.

Floodwaters have receded to waist level in the communities along Laguna Lake, and the residents of Barangay Tadlac are staying in the 'tent cities' because their homes remain unsafe and there is prospect of more rainfall. Tadlac was hardest hit by the flooding caused by Typhoon Gener and the Habagat rains in July.

Close to 10,000 residents are still in various tent cities and evacuation centers in Los Baños and Bay as floodwaters are expected to take about 3 more months to recede in the lakeshore areas. 


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

IFEA provides relief to flood victims



The IRRI Filipino Employee’s Association, Inc. (IFEA), with facilitation from IRRI's Host Country and Community Relations Office, distributed relief goods on 4 September 2012 to IRRI staff who were affected by recent flooding in the area around Laguna Lake. IFEA's mandate includes providing support and assistance to its members.

Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

IRRI staff donate to flood victims


IRRI's Host Country and Community Relations Office has turned over donations from IRRI employees to the Municipal Disaster and Risk Reduction Coordinating Councils of the towns of Los Baños and Bay and continues to coordinate relief assistance and feeding programs from volunteer organizations.

Donated items include rice, canned foods, hygiene items, bottled water, blankets, towels, and clothes and will be distributed to those affected by recent flooding on the shores of Laguna Lake. Cash donations were used to buy more rice for distribution to the flood victims.

The HCCRO team thanks all donors and those who volunteered to help during the feeding programs.


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

IRRI research staff group holds sports festival


The Association of Fellows, Scholars, Trainees, and Residents of IRRI (AFSTRI) held a day-long sports festival at Canyon Cove Residential Beach Resort, Batangas, on 1 September 2012.

Eighty members and their spouses and children the event, which was opened by messages from Govinda Rizal, AFSTRI president, and Zilhas Ahmed, AFSTRI sports officer.

There were six games and two optional activities (fun diving, kayaking) prepared for the participants, who divided themselves into four teams: Red, led by Kashif Shahid Aslam, visiting research fellow; Green, led by Zhuang Zhuo, Ph.D. research scholar; Yellow, led by Md. Rafiqul Islam, postdoctoral fellow; and Violet team led by Craig Jameson, Ph.D. research scholar. Grand prizes were chocolate and popcorn.

The grownups weren't the only ones in competition, as a sandcastle-building game was prepared for the kids.


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

Drought training workshop in IRRI


A workshop and training on marker-assisted breeding for drought tolerance is ongoing (2-9 September 2012) at IRRI Headquarters.

The training includes lectures and hands-on sessions on the identification of large-effect QTLs for grain yield under drought, physiological characterization of large-effect QTLs, standardized drought phenotyping in the field, and marker-assisted introgression of large-effect QTLs to improve grain yield under drought.

Eleven participants from India, Africa, Laos, and the Philippines (PhilRice) are attending.

The workshop-training is hosted by IRRI's Crop and Environmental Sciences and Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology divisions and was organized by Amelia Henry, Shalab Dixit, and Arvind Kumar.


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

IRRI partners with Red Cross and Rotary Club for the bloodletting activity

IRRI's Human Resource Services (HRS) held a bloodletting activity in partnership with Philippine Red Cross and Rotary Club of West Bay on 31 August 2012 at the IRRI Safety Training Office.

The activity was a response to the alarming rise of reported dengue cases in recent months and aims to provide an adequate and safe supply of blood to help save lives during emergencies. HRS collected 107 bags of blood.

From among 138 participants, 107 donors were successfully registered in the voluntary blood donation program. Participation was open to all IRRI staff and dependents. 


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

IRRI holds 9th supervisory training program

IRRI's Human Resource Services (HRS) and the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) delivered the Supervisory Training Program (STP) at IRRI for the ninth time on 15-17 August 2012.

The STP is a two-and-a-half-day course for junior supervisors who have not yet received basic management training. It focuses on planning, implementing, delegating, leading, and general people management, and provides participants the opportunity to improve supervisory skill levels in these areas.

For inquiries and schedule of STP offerings, please contact Annabelle Aquino of the HRS Organization and People Development Services at x2824 or send email to a.aquino@irri.org


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

New GRiSP director speaks at mentoring lunch


Bas Bouman, GRiSP director and a mentor himself, shared about his mentoring experiences during the 14 August Mentoring Lunch.

Mentoring lunches are held to give mentor-mentee pairs in IRRI the opportunity to get together on a regular basis and conduct discussions in an informal atmosphere.

At each gathering, a speaker is invited to share his personal thoughts on mentoring and interact with the mentoring pairs.

These lunches are part of the ongoing support to mentoring at IRRI and is organized by the Human Resource Services (HRS).

For inquiries and Mentoring Program schedules, please contact Annabelle Aquino of the HRS Organization and People Development Services at x2824 or send email to a.aquino@irri.org.


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

IRRI welcomes 20 new staff

IRRI's Human Resource Services (HRS) welcomed 20 new employees during the August 2012 IRRI Employee Orientation Program.
In addition to newly-hired employees, HRS extends invitation to staff who have been with IRRI longer but have not had the opportunity to attend the orientation program in the past.

For inquiries and orientation schedules, please contact Annabelle Aquino of the HRS Organization and People Development Services at x2824 or send email to a.aquino@irri.org.


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Philippines: SINOP reaches out to students and evacuees


Members of The Society of IRRI Non-research Professionals (SINOP) distributed umbrellas to students of Bagong Silang Elementary School in Los Baños on 16 August. SINOP members also took the opportunity to bond with the school children over snacks that it provided.

The activity is part of SINOP’s pledge to support the school, which the organization adopted in 1983. The organization seeks to strengthen and improve school facilities and create a sense of personal involvement and interaction with its students. Mr. Raul Volante, the school principal, teachers, and some parents were present to witness the activity.

SINOP also carried out Operation Kumot and a feeding program, in coordination with IRRI's Host Country and Community Relations Office, on 21 August for the benefit of more than 1,000 evacuees from one of the communities badly hit by Habagat. Operation Kumot and the feeding program were held at Galvez Elementary School in San Antonio, Bay, Laguna, where the evacuees were staying.

SINOP would like to thank its members, SINOP friends, and those who constantly support its activities and projects.



Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

HR successfully implements training on Writing Job Profiles

Ninety-five HQ-based IRRI staff from various disciplines and job levels attended the training sessions on Writing Job Profiles on 15 and 16 August. The participants were trained in creating standard job profiles through job analysis. The activity is the first step in the development of career paths for Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS).  Hundreds of staff members are expected to collaborate on drafting a set of standard job profiles for the Institute.

A follow-up session on skills necessary to facilitate a series of Focus Group Discussions will also be conducted and a number of country office-based staff will receive the same training in the coming weeks.
The training was jointly facilitated by Human Resource Services (HRS) and Towers Watson, a leading global professional services company. For inquiries on the development of career paths for NRS, please email nrs-job-profile-committee@irri.org, or contact Sara on HQ ext. 2824 or Jhea on HQ ext. 2775.


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

Incoming GRiSP director is guest in researchers' lunch

Bas Bouman, new director of the Global Rice Science Partnership (center).

Bas Bouman, head of IRRI's Crop and Environmental Sciences Division and newly named director of the Global Rice Science Partnership or GRiSP, was the guest scientist during the Young Researchers Lunch for August.

Participants were Balwinder Singh, Nikos Tsakirpaloglou, Sharifa Sultana Dipti, Yam Kanta Gaihre, Annette Tobias, and Elenor de Leon.

Dr. Bouman discussed his own career path with the participants, which he said was always determined by taking the best opportunities that came up and not by following a set plan. He parted with the young researchers with this tip: "If someone asks you where your career is headed in the next 10-15 years, it's okay if you don't give them an answer."

The Young Researchers Lunch is a monthly meeting for NRS and AFSTRI scientists who are in the early stages of their career. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for discussions with senior scientists on a range of topics including science and career paths.

For more information, please contact Joy Sagabay (M.Sagabay@cgiar.org) or Amelia Henry (A.Henry@cgiar.org).


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

Training held on writing job profiles to aid career path process of local staff


Ninety-five IRRI HQ-based staff from a range of disciplines and job levels attended 4 half-day sessions of Writing Job Profiles, a training workshop held on 15 and 16 August 2012.

The training was jointly facilitated by IRRI's Human Resource Services and Towers Watson, a leading global professional services company. In the coming weeks, several country office-based staff will receive the same training.

Participants of this training will play an important role in the creation of standard job profiles, which is the first step in the development of career paths for nationally recruited staff. From the workshop, they learned to create a standard job profile through job analysis, discussed best practice in job profile development, and practiced creating job profiles using the new standard template for the purpose.

Participants will attend a follow-up session where they will get help developing the skills necessary to facilitate a series of focus group discussions, when many hundreds of IRRI staff will collaborate to draft a set of standard job profiles for the Institute. 

Inquiries on the development of career paths for nationally recruited staff can be made by email sent to nrs-job-profile-committee@irri.org or by contacting Sara at HQ ext. 2824 or Jhea on HQ ext. 2775.


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

IRRI thesis intern wins best undergraduate thesis award


Wilson Aala, a former affiliate undergraduate thesis intern in IRRI, received the Undergraduate Best Thesis Award from Philobioscientia (UPLB Life Sciences Society) during the organization's 28th anniversary celebration on 2 August 2012.

Wilson's award-winning undergraduate thesis was titled Morphological and molecular characterization of novel salt-tolerant germplasms from the Philippines and Bangladesh. He was supervised by Glenn Gregorio, IRRI scientist and breeder.


Learn more about IRRI (www.irri.org) or follow us on the social media and networks (all links down the right column).

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

IRRI staff celebrate birthdays to benefit poor children


Seven staff members of IRRI's Social Sciences Division who had their birthdays in July started a different way of celebrating: share the joy with less fortunate kids through Project ShoeBox of the 4th Light Armor (Masigasig) Batallion of the Philippine Army.

Project Shoebox is an outreach activity in which shoe boxes filled with school supplies and other goodies are solicited from donors and distributed to poor kids.

The birthday celebrators requested their friends, colleagues, and AISAS (an IRRI employee group) for shoe boxes and collected more than 170 of these—more than three times their goal of 50 boxes.

Beneficiaries of the activity were kids from select areas in the CALABARZON. The shoe boxes were turned over to the batallion through a simple ceremony led by Lt. Col. Thomas Sedano and his staff, held on 3 August at the SSD lobby in Drilon Hall.

Lt. Col. Sedano thanked the SSD staff and assured them that the shoe boxes will reach the schoolchildren of Masin Elementary School in Candelaria, Quezon Province.

The birthday celebrators were Flor Palis, Dehner de Leon, Malu Malabayabas, Aileen Maunahan, Rodmyr Datoon, Gen Todcor, and R.G. Sarmiento.

IRRI Sportsfest 2012 | Basketball season closes

The 2012 basketball season of the IRRI Sportsfest has ended for men's and women's divisions on 23 July and 3 August 2012, respectively.

In men's basketball, the Red Team emerged as champion in brackets A and B in the best-of-three series, while the Yellow Team won the championship for women's.

Other games that have concluded in this year’s Sportsfest are men's softball, football (mixed), and lawn tennis.

View team standings as of 3 August 2012.

Remaining events are badminton, bowling, men's volleyball, and women's volleyball. 

IRRI Sportsfest schedules and other updates

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Three CGIAR centers conclude testing of new system at IRRI headquarters


IRRI, International Potato Center, and WorldFish wraps up the month-long (25 June-25 July) integrated testing of One Corporate System (OCS) held at IRRI Headquarters.

Key OCS users from IRRI’s human resources, project management, and finance units were given a special walk-through on the system's basic functionalities.

The series of tests was carried out by system builders with the assistance of consultants from UNIT 4. During the tests, system builders based at IRRI, led by Eric Clutario, put in working time that overlapped with those based around Asia and Peru, where CIP headquarters is located.

After the system test, IRRI system builders and key OCS users will be doing OCS localization, user acceptance testing, and end-user training over the next several weeks.

OCS is a new system aimed at helping improve the efficiency of IRRI's processes and increase collaboration among CGIAR centers. It will be implemented at IRRI headquarters in a phased rollout starting October 2012.                
                                                                                       
Updates and more information available on the OCS website.

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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

IRRI holds information sessions on NRS career path development

IRRI’s Human Resource Services (HRS) held 12 information sessions between 26, 27, and 30 July 2012 at IRRI headquarters.

Over 450 HQ-based staff attended the information sessions facilitated by Fiona Farrell, director of Human Resource Services, to update staff on the ongoing process of creating NRS career paths. Participants learned about the three-phased approach and the importance of having standard Job Profiles as a foundation for modern career paths. The process for developing the standard job profiles was shared and participants were informed of their roles in the next steps and the timelines for completion and implementation.

The process of developing the NRS career paths has been underway since May 2012 and started with the establishment of the NRS Job Profile Committee consisting of IRRI staff from across disciplines, levels and units. They are supported by external consultants from Towers Watson, the HRS team, and internal consultants/advisors. The first phase of this complex project, the creation of standard job profiles, will run until mid October 2012 and will involve the training of over 100 NRS facilitators and wide consultation with a large number of IRRI staff.

For those staff at headquarters who were not able to attend the information sessions, additional meetings will be organized on Friday, 3 August 2012 at Hawk Room, Training Center. The first session will be from 1315 H to 1415 H while the second session from 1430 H to 1530 H.

Country Office-based staff will also participate via Webex meetings on 9-14 August 2012.

More details can be found in the English and Filipino language brochures. For further inquiries, please email the NRS Job Profile Committee at nrs-job-profile-committee@irri.org.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

IRRI breeder is guest in July researchers' lunch


Parminder Virk (third from left) is a scientist in plant breeding at IRRI.

Parminder Virk, plant breeder at IRRI, was the guest scientist in the Young Researchers Lunch for July.

Dr. Virk led a very informative discussion on topics related to breeding for yield potential, such as target genes for marker-assisted selection, yield potential traits, and aspects of variety release. He encouraged the young researchers to stick to the task and dedicate at least 5-10 years in plant breeding, because that is the amount of time needed for one to see the results of one's work and have an impact.

Lunch attendees were Crisanta Bueno, Hasina Begum, Michaela Hoffelmeyer, Tahir Awan, and Ma. Rebecca Laza.

The Young Researchers Lunch is a monthly meeting for scientists who are in the early stages of their careers. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for discussion with senior scientists on a range of topics that including research and career paths.

For more information, please contact Joy Sagabay (M.Sagabay@cgiar.org) or Amelia Henry (A.Henry@cgiar.org).

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Timor-Leste: IRRI holds report-writing and presentation skills training course

The first batch of participants in the Report Writing and
Presentation Skills Course
held in Timor-Leste.
Second batch
Sixty-eight participants from the Seeds of Life program of Timor-Leste's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) attended the Report Writing and Presentation Skills Course held in Dili on 26 June-13 July 2012.

The course was offered in three batches to accommodate the number of participants, who were a mix of researchers, extension workers, and administrative personnel. It aimed to help participants write reports more effectively, develop confidence in articulating and sharing their ideas about their work and research, and deliver effective presentations.

Third batch
Topics included report writing, preparing visuals, and presentation, conducted through lectures and hands-on exercises.

Achu Arboleda and Lanie Quinto, both of the IRRI Training Center, conducted and facilitated the course, respectively.

Donated dolls and medicines help kids in IRRI medical mission


What can help lessen the fear in children while they endure a physician's cold metallic stethoscope during consultation? How about dolls and rice cookies?

The Tsuno Food Industrial Company, Ltd. from Japan donated these items and helped make IRRI's medical mission and community health education activity certainly less frightening among the sick children from Barangay Tagumpay in Bay, Laguna, on 20 July 2012.

The white faceless doll, a project of the Kiwanis Club, was intended to take away anxiety and discomfort from sick children and become an outlet for their expression. By drawing a face on the doll, the children can express fear, unhappiness, or pain from an injury they feel, thus allowing adults to discuss concerns or pains more objectively with the child.

More than 500 residents of the lakeshore barangay were recipients of July's medical mission and health and wellness counseling. They are of low-income households and thus have less access to medical services.

IRRI provided free medicine while medics from the Philippine Army provided health counseling and medical consultation. Common illnesses found among the group were respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, diabetes, hypertension, malnutrition among children, and skin infection.

IRRI's Host Country and Community Relations Office conducts such activities monthly in depressed areas within its host communities of Los Baños and Bay in Laguna Province to help improve health and wellness among residents.