CSU Aggie Professor Gets the Prestigious Meryl Williams Fellowship for Research Leadership

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CSU Aggie Professor Gets the Prestigious Meryl Williams Fellowship for Research Leadership

Dr. Raquel M. Balanay, agricultural economics professor, is joining the women’s research leadership and management in agriculture under the auspices of the prestigious Meryl Williams Fellowship (MWF).

She is selected from a total of 200 applicants from nine countries in the Indo-Pacific Region who vied to get a slot in the fellowship.  She is one of the eight (8) Filipino women among the 23 strong women who got the slots for the CY 2021 fellowship. The fellowship will not only be a career advancement for the participants; it will also cater to the institutions in identifying and addressing systemic barriers to women’s advancement.

The fellowship is sponsored by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) aimed to provide the fellows leadership training and mentorship opportunities in the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia and in a selected partner Australian institution for intensive research mentorship. The program runs from January 2021 until December 2022, with the 1st part via online learning and the 2nd part will be through actual mentoring with an expert in Australia.

Dr. Balanay has been with the College of Agriculture and Agri-industries (CAA) for the last 20 years. She has been engaged in externally-funded agriculture and forestry research projects besides her teaching responsibilities. Most of her research works received funding from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).  

In 2019, she got the opportunity to lead the economic component of the five-year ACIAR-PCAARRD-funded Soil and Land Management (SLaM) project entitled Land Management of Diverse Rubber-based Systems in Southern Philippines. In this project, she works under the overall leadership of Dr. Chengrong Chen of Griffith University, a land sustainability expert in Australia, and Dr. Adeflor Garcia, a social science researcher of the University of Southern Mindanao, for the project implementation in the Philippines.

She represented her SLaM team in her bid for the MWF program. Prior to that, she represented the country with two other Filipino women in the final selection of representatives for the entire Asian region in the “Training on Sustainable Agri-Supply Chains” sponsored by the Asian Productivity Organization of Japan. She completed her online training in December 2020.

Dr. Balanay also competed for the grant of the Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowship Program who gave her an opportunity to be trained for two years in the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia, a world-class Australian institution. Her postdoctoral fellowship in the Industrial Ecology and Circular Economy Lab of Dr. Anthony Halog at UQ helped her build her research career, which continues her research collaboration with Dr. Halog until this time. OVPRIE/pico

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