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 BaƱos and Bay in Laguna Province to help improve health and wellness among residents.