Visiting Research Associates Program

The IPC Visiting Research Associates (VRA) Program encourages and facilitates studies of Philippine cultures and societies by scholars (from the Philippines or abroad) who are not regular members of the IPC staff. The IPC welcomes VRAs who wish to do research in any discipline of the social sciences or humanities. Thus, it assists scholars whose major interests are anthropology, art, communication, economics, history, linguistics, music, political science, psychology, and sociology.

VRA appointments are generally granted to postdoctoral fellows, doctoral candidates, and other experienced scholars from the Philippines or abroad. Through the IPC, a non-Filipino scholar residing in a country other than the Philippines can apply for a special non-immigrant visa as defined in Section 47 (a)(2) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940. While being a VRA offers a formal link with the Institute, the affiliation does not include any salary or stipend; neither does it signify employment with the IPC.

The IPC VRA Lecture Series provides a venue for the VRAs to present the nature and findings of their research as well as their initial conclusions to an interested public.

VRA Application Procedure

Application for Appointment

To apply for an appointment, a researcher writes a formal letter of request to the Associate Director for Research, enclosing one copy of each of these documents:

  • Research proposal, including the tentative timetable;
  • Certification of source of research funds and the approved budget;
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • Certification by the home institution of one’s status there; and
  • Letter of recommendation from the immediate supervisor (applicable only to graduate students).

To apply for an extension of stay for the same study, a researcher writes a formal letter of request to the IPC Associate Director for Research, enclosing a revised tentative timetable and certification of source of research funds or bank statement.

VRAs from Abroad

A non-Filipino VRA residing in a country other than the Philippines applies for a special non-immigrant visa, defined in Section 47 (a)(2) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended. It is granted to visitors to the Philippines whose activities are likely to benefit the nation. Among the recipients of this special visa are scholars who have obtained formal appointments from the IPC (Order No. 14-68, Department of Foreign Affairs [DFA], Republic of the Philippines).

The VRA is granted this visa gratis upon presentation of a letter of appointment and accompanying documents to a Philippine Consul in the VRA’s home country. In cases where the consulate requests further confirmation of the IPC appointment, the VRA immediately communicates this request to the IPC.

Soon after his/her arrival in the Philippines, the VRA, with assistance from an IPC staff/travel agency, applies for an Official Status of Stay (OSS) at the Department of Justice (DOJ). Once the OSS is granted, the VRA proceeds to the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) to have his/her passport stamped and to obtain an Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR). The VRA is also advised to apply for a Special Return Certificate (SRC) at BID if he/she plans to go in and out of the Philippines. The VRA then gives the IPC a photocopy of the OSS and the ACR. To apply for OSS extension, the VRA goes to DOJ and once grated the extension, brings his/her passport to BID for stamping. The VRA goes to BID for annual reporting if he/she is still in the Philippines the following year within the period of his/her affiliation.

Unless requested to do so, the IPC does not meet incoming VRAs upon arrival. VRAs enter the country on their own and visit the IPC as soon as possible.

Affiliation Procedure

Upon presenting himself/herself at the IPC, the VRA meets the Administrative Assistant who will acquaint the VRA to procedural matters related to the VRA’s visa and with the Institute’s facilities and key personnel.  An orientation meeting with the IPC Director and Associate Director for Research is subsequently arranged.

Procedural matters include the VRA’s formal registration with the IPC and the payment of an affiliation fee of USD80 for every month of the VRA appointment.

Toward the end of the VRA’s term of appointment, the Associate Director for Research initiates clearance procedures.


An IPC affiliation gives the VRA access to the following:

      • Researcher’s visa (for non-Filipinos);
      • Workstation at the IPC;
      • Ateneo Rizal Library access;
      • Ateneo wifi access;
      • Information and advice on matters within the capability/expertise of the staff;
      • Referrals to people qualified to assist him/her in particular areas;
      • Handling of letters and other communications;
      • Use of telephone for local calls; and
      • Assistance in personnel recruitment.


W. SA VRA is expected to comply with certain conditions when relating with the Philippine academic community, the IPC, and the general public.  As a contribution to scholarly concerns, the VRA is requested to give at least one lecture to an academic group, at which the nature of his/her research, the findings, and the tentative conclusions are presented.

Within one year after the termination of the appointment, the VRA contributes an article based on his/her research for possible publication in the IPC Culture and Development Series, or another local journal suggested by the IPC Director.  Moreover, whenever the VRA publishes an article or a book, in whole or in part, on the research accomplished during the VRA appointment, he/she is expected to acknowledge the IPC’s assistance in a statement like the following: “The research was accomplished while the author was a visiting Research Associate of the Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University.”

A copy of such publications is donated to IPC.

The IPC may ask VRAs to write periodic reports and participate in occasional consultations.  Research reports are submitted to the IPC Director at six-month intervals, providing brief narrative accounts of the VRA’s progress and problems in his/her research.  A final written report is also expected, but this may be equivalent tot he lecture mentioned earlier.  With the permission of the IPC Director, the IPC staff may engage in consultations with the VRA for a maximum of eight hours per month.

Finally, the VRA is expected to conduct himself/herself in a manner that is not threatening to his/her research performance and the friendly relations that exist between the Philippines and other countries, or between the IPC and other local agencies or individuals.  Should the IPC find reasonable evidence that the VRA’s public behavior endangers his/her research work, or is likely to generate resentment among agencies or individuals with whom the VRA interacts, the IPC shall inform the VRA of this and advise him/her accordingly.

Upon completion of his/her research visit, the VRA becomes part of an IPC network of “alumni/ae” or “Friends of the IPC” in their countries.  In this capacity, they are encouraged to promote a better understanding of Philippine society and culture in their countries and to inform other scholars about the IPC.

For inquiries and submission of application documents, please contact:

Joselito T. Sescon, MA, MDE
Associate Director for Research

Institute of Philippine Culture
School of Social Sciences
Ateneo de Manila University
Tel: (63-2) 6067 ext 213