ISLAMABAD, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) has awarded 1647 scholarships to PhD scholars studying in higher education institutions of Pakistan, for undertaking research at top ranking universities of 37 academically advanced countries under International Research Support Initiative Program (IRSIP).
It was informed during the 22nd meeting of IRSIP award committee which was held with Executive Director HEC, Prof. Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi in the chair here on Wednesday.
These foreign scholarships have been awarded in all the major disciplines including physical sciences, agriculture & veterinary sciences, biological & medical sciences, social sciences, management sciences and engineering.
The meeting was apprised that through the innovative program, HEC is offering six month research fellowship abroad to full time PhD students enrolled in Pakistan to enhance their research capabilities.
The Executive Director HEC, terming it as flagship program of the HEC, said that the indigenous PhD students sometimes face problems in research due to paucity of resources therefore the scheme is helping to provide doctoral students exposure internationally so they could carry out research projects of high standard, which will enhance the quality of research that they will be conducting in Pakistan.
It is of utmost importance that the doctoral studies carried out in Pakistan are of a standard that is at par with any international reputed institution. This is only possible if candidates are provided with adequate support in research projects.
It was also informed that the scheme is also assisting the on-going Indigenous PhD programs by providing a mechanism for PhD scholars to travel abroad and conduct research in academically advanced countries.
The program has also been greatly helpful to develop academic linkages between Pakistani and leading foreign institutions. The fellowship package covers travel, bench fee and living expenditure.
As an outcome of the program, the number of international research publications by Pakistani scholars has been increased from 304 to 662 with 117% increase while the number of local publications has also been increased from 380 to 552 with 45% increase.
The establishment of the HEC in September 2002 has heralded a revolution in higher education in Pakistan; The HEC has accomplished more in nine years since its establishment than was achieved in the first 55 years of Pakistan s existence.