Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D

The NICER Program aims to address the disparity in access to R&D funding among the regions. Through the program, qualified Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the regions are provided with grants so they can undertake quality research directed at promoting regional development with their existing capabilities and resources. A proposed NICER should be unique, a collaborative project between HEIs, and must be duly endorsed by the Regional Development Council (RDC) to ensure its socio-economic impact in the region.


Niche Centers in the Regions (NICER) for R&D

The Niche Centers in the Regions (NICER) for R&D is a component of the DOST’s Accelerated R&D Program for Capacity Building of Research and Development Institutions and Industrial Competitiveness under the Science for Change Program.

The DOST, through the NICER Program will capacitate Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the regions to make significant improvement in regional research by integrating its development need with the existing R&D research capabilities and resources. It will provide institutional grant for R&D capacity building to improve their S&T infrastructure.

Why does DOST implement the NICER program?

NICER Program is being implemented to achieve the following:

  • establish R&D Centers that will cater to the specific needs of the Regions, to include upgrading, development and acquisition of research equipment to undertake collaborative R&D activities;
  • capacitate S&T human resource through R&D leaders under the R&D Leadership (RDLead) Program who will pursue innovative research relevant to the societal needs of the region that will support the local industries;
  • promote inclusive growth that will benefit the research community and the industry by increasing the number of developed and transferred technologies.
Who are eligible to apply?

Any HEI with proven competence and track record may apply for funding under the NICER Program, provided that the projects will have beneficial impact on local industry. The DOST Councils will evaluate the eligibility and capability of the proponent to implement and sustain the NICER.

Major Criteria for Funding under NICER Program

Proposed NICER shall meet the following requirements:

  • unique across regions, with projects anchored on the Harmonized National R&D Agenda and regional primary needs and capabilities;
  • duly endorsed by the Regional Development Council (RDC);hosted by an eligible HEI proponent with commitment to maintain to maintain and sustain its operations;
  • a collaborative project of HEIs in the region; and
  • structured for a multi-year program implementation (maximum of three years) with at least three (3) initial component R&D projects and a clear roadmap of R&D activities and outputs
What are the requirements?
  • Capsule Proposal with at least three (3) component R&D projects using DOST Form No.1A and 1B;
  • Line Item Budget for the whole program with breakdown for each corresponding component project;
  • CV of project leader and all co-researchers/implementers; and
  • Endorsement of the RDC for the full blown proposal (once the Capsule proposal is endorsed).

Other additional requirements for submission:

  • inventory of MS/PhD faculty members and researchers
  • number of graduate students (MS/PhD) per course
  • list of existing R&D centers and Technology Licensing Office
  • list of publications of involved personnel
  • list of collaborating and cooperating partner universities with corresponding letter(s) of support
Frequently Asked Questions + Brochure


Apply Now!


Learn more about our programs


Got questions?