The Visayas State University (VSU) in collaboration with the Universiteit Hasselt (UHasselt) - Belgium concluded its two-week workshop series on quantitative and qualitative methodology in citizen science research through the “2023 International Training Program” held at Visayas State University last May 2-12 with the theme “Co-CiPhil; Co-Creating Environmental Citizen Science Capacity in the Philippines.”

This event was participated by various lecturers and researchers of VSU as well as registrants from Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), Central Luzon State University (CLSU), University of the Philippines Manila (UPM), Caraga State University (CarSU), Bohol Island State University (BISU), Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF), Non-Timber Forest Products - Exchange Program (NTFP-EP), and also some delegates from Indonesia and Vietnam as a response from the call for applications sponsored by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS).

Several topics were discussed for the two five-day courses including the inclusive and participatory research methods for citizen science on the first week and observational studies and causal inference on the following week with Dr. Maristela do Nascimento Rocha, Prof. Dr. Thomas Neyens, and Prof. Oliver Thas as lecturers of the said workshop series.

Dr. Norberto E. Milla Jr., a faculty of VSU Department of Statistics and the Philippine Co-Promoter of ITP, appended the possible research project in collaboration with the notable researchers and professors. 

"From the feedback of the participants, they in fact learned and enjoyed a lot. The first week was on the workshops on data designs and how to collect data and are more on qualitative methods of data collection and this week was more on statistical [method]. But there are still a lot of things to be introduced [from the resource speakers] which we believe to be instrumental in achieving the goal of the project," said Dr. Milla.

Aside from the workshop, Dr. Milla is looking forward to having a research collaboration so the knowledge they gained from the workshop will ultimately be used for future research projects.

The International Training Program aims at increased understanding and skills in citizen science among local researchers and educators. It was initiated to increase the societal impact of the institution’s research activities as they apply train-the-trainer strategy providing the means to develop local courses on the relevant topics.

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