The Higher Education Commission (HEC) held a ceremony today at the HEC secretariat to award a six-month fellowship opportunity to 165 Pakistani PhD scholars under International Research Support Initiative Programme (IRSIP). Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed graced the occasion as chief guest.
Starting with a focus on enhancing the quality of doctoral research, providing an opportunity for scholars to train at advanced labs of prestigious institutes and introducing Pakistani talent globally, HEC has distributed a total of 3199 awards under IRSIP.
Out of these fellowships, 966 have been awarded in the field of Biological and Medical Sciences, 831 in Physical Sciences, 576 in Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, 471 in Social Sciences, 269 in Engineering and Technology, and 86 in Management Sciences.
Addressing the ceremony, Chairman of HEC said, “This project was conceived during the early years of HEC’s establishment to give dynamic research opportunities to students so they can make bright careers and serve the country.”
He urged the students to make the best out of this opportunity as it is being provided with a lot of investment, at a time when the country is facing a severe dollar shortage. He requested them to remember Pakistan for facilitating them.
Speaking on the occasion, the Executive Director of HEC Shaista Sohail shared the breakdown of this session’s awards. “The gender ratio of the awardees is very heartening as 47% of the awardees are female scholars, whereas 53% are male.”
Vice-Chancellor of Capital University of Science and Technology (CUST) appreciated the role of HEC’s scholarship division. “I was pleasantly surprised to see how thorough and inclusive the scrutiny process was, and I am really happy to see that HEC has picked the best Pakistani talent for this golden opportunity.”
Director of the National Centre of Physics (NCP) Prof Aslam Baig said, “The purpose of these fellowships is to enhance PhD work in Pakistan, each one of which costs a hefty amount. I would request you consider it a loan and think about ways to repay it to your country.”
The event was also attended by awardees, their families, university faculty and supervisors.