(Screenshot from bspms.dost.gov.ph) 

MANILA – Filipino scientists abroad can now do their work remotely and apply for the Balik Scientist program by applying through a portal that was launched on Friday.

While some of them cannot return to the country because of the pandemic, they can still contribute and make a difference, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said.

"What's good about the remote (work) arrangement is that there are no geographic boundaries, enabling us to reach a wider audience," she said.

The official said the idea to open an online application for Balik Scientists came because of the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Interested applicants will have to follow five steps.

1. Open the Balik Scientist website (https://bspms.dost.gov.ph/) and click "Apply Now" on the top right.

2. Fill up the online application registration form. Start from the type of engagement (e.g. short term), down to their specialization. Click Submit.

3. A verification email will pop on screen. Click "proceed". They will receive an email notification that their registration form has been submitted. This email will also lead them to their options. Option A is if they already have a host institution or Option B if they need assistance in finding a host institution.

4. Review the application together with the host institution, if any. At the end of the application, upload the necessary requirements then click submit.

5. They will receive a tracking number which they will use to get updates on the status of their application.

According to Guevara, Balik Scientists on a short-term engagement have been allowed to work remotely. Currently, there are 31 Balik Scientists program applicants for evaluation. (PNA)