Nestlé Philippines has launched a Post-Graduate Nutrition Scholarship Program in partnership with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Graduate School, under which qualified Filipino nutritionists can avail of higher education and further develop expertise in the field of nutrition.
A first in any of its markets worldwide, Nestlé has embarked on the program recognizing the critical role of nutritionists in promoting health and wellness in the Philippines.
The program was formalized with the signing of a memorandum of agreement by Marketing, Communication, and Innovation Director Paolo Mercado and Corporate Wellness Head Leslie Go Alcantara on behalf of Nestlé Philippines, and Chancellor Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Jr. and Graduate School Dean Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr. on behalf of UPLB.
The scholarships are open to Filipino Registered Nutritionist-Dietitians who wish to pursue a PhD in Human Nutrition or MS in Applied Nutrition at UPLB. Nestlé will provide full scholarship packages to qualified incoming students consisting of tuition and miscellaneous fee, stipend, book allowance, travel allowance, subsistence allowance, dissertation/thesis allowance, research grant, dissemination grant, insurance, and substitute allowance for PhD students.
A total of 25 scholars will benefit from the program over five years, with screening of applicants and selection of grantees to be administered by UPLB.
The program is in line with Nestlé’s position as the Nutrition, Health and Wellness company and helps to carry out its purpose of enabling healthier and happier lives by building, sharing and applying nutrition knowledge. The scholarships will help address an education gap uncovered by a 2018 survey of nutritionists in the country which showed that only 30 percent of them have completed a post-graduate course or taken post-graduate units. Time and budget constraints were the reasons cited for the education gap, with more than 70 percent expressing interest in applying for post-graduate scholarships.
“We believe there is a great opportunity to push for local nutritionists to become competitive globally. With UPLB, we hope to inspire and encourage young Filipinos to give back to their communities through the application of their nutrition expertise. The field of nutrition has so much potential to create an impact on society and this scholarship program is one step towards unlocking that potential,” said Ms. Go Alcantara. “We look forward to the scholars eventually becoming key opinion leaders and also our consultants, providing Nestlé with their nutrition expertise.”
UPLB has started recruiting the first batch of candidates, with the list of scholars for academic year 2018-2019 expected to be completed by the end of the year in time for the January intake.