To foster scientific investigation and interdisciplinary conversation on current social phenomena and their implications to continual improvement and development across sectors, St. Paul University Philippines (SPUP) held its 6th International Interdisciplinary Research Conference (6th IIRC) on 10-12 August 2023. The 6th IIRC, held at the SPUP Global Center, was participated in by 300 educators, researchers, practitioners, graduate students, and research enthusiasts from different countries and disciplines in a series of scholarly conversations.

As its take-off point, the event convened the participants in a pre-conference seminar workshop on “Research Design, Innovation, and Publication” with Dr. Leodoro Labrague, (Clinical Assistant Professor, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University Chicago, USA) as the resource speaker. In his lecture, Dr. Labrague detailed the process of effective research writing and publishing in high-impact journals, focusing on form, content, referencing, journal selection, and communication with editors. The forum served as a refresher crash course reminding the participants of the key principles for successful research and publication.

Highlighting the conversations on the subsequent days of the conference were plenary talks, concurrent paper presentations, and networking anchored on technology-driven, human-centric, value-based innovations and solutions towards sustainability of peoples and communities.

In the opening program, Sr. Merceditas Ang, SPC, (President, SPUP), welcomed the resource speakers, guests, and participants to the milestone convergence, emphasizing 21st-century research as the catapulting force for rapid and advance developments and innovations in all aspects of life. “In this conference, we can touch base with the recent scientific, humanistic, educational, technological, environmental, and sustainable solutions and leading innovations.  We respond to local and global challenges through empirical studies that provide solutions to problems and find better ways and means of doing things. Today, more than ever, we need to engage in research as a priority,” Sister Merceditas said.

This year’s plenary speakers include Dr. Charlotte Royeen, (Dean, College of Health Sciences at Rush University Chicago, Illinois, USA) who delivered her keynote speech framed by “Research for Educational, Sustainable, and Environmental Actions for Resilient Community and Humanity,” the theme of the conference. Dr. Royeen in her address underscored her philosophy of publication and challenged the participants to likewise formulate their own – one that embraces the “publish and flourish” aphorism.

Following the keynote speech, Dr. Tetsuya Tanioka, (Professor of Nursing at the Department of Nursing Outcome Management, Tokushima University, Japan), delivered his talk on “Innovation, Interdisciplinary, and International Collaborative Research,” illustrating how innovations could be the means and end of interdisciplinary research among scholars across borders.

On the other hand, Dr. Hubert Benitez (President, American International College, USA), talked about “Fostering University Relevance Through Research,” highlighting the essential function of higher education institutions (HEIs) in advancing knowledge that drives institutional, national, and global development and sustainability. The talk of Dr. Benitez was followed by the signing of memorandum of agreement (MOA) between SPUP and its international partners and SPUP campus tour.

Meanwhile, Dr. Matin Royeen, (Director of Training and Capacity Building for United Alliance Global Solutions, USA), discussed the “Role of Leadership in Research” while Ns. Ando Fikri Hakim, Man, (Vice President for Collabiration Affairs, Budi Lohor International Network for Education in Indonesia), expatiated on “Creating and Inventing Solutions to Real-Life Problems in the 21st Century”.

Moreover, the three-day event was interspersed with concurrent research presentations along such areas as healthcare, wellness, and sanitation; quality education; innovation and new technologies; spirituality and interculturality; leadership and good governance; and business and entrepreneurship. The participants also had the opportunity to witness cultural presentations by international students during the welcome dinner, including the innovative outputs of the students of the SPUP Basic Education Unit through the innovation exhibits at the Ground Floor, Global Center.

Capping the academic convergence, Dr. Jeremy Godofredo Morales, director of SPUP internationalization and conference chair, conveyed his acknowledgements to all the participants and those who provided support for the success of the conference. Thereafter, the participants joined in the last photo opportunities, and the event ended with a closing prayer led by the SPUP Christian Formation Team.

Further, the conference was co-hosted by SPUP’s foreign partner HEIs, including: American International College, Massachusetts, USA; Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang, Indonesia; Universitas Brawijaya, Malang, Indonesia; STIKes Panti Rapih, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Anshun University, Guizhou, China; Hengshui University, Hebei, China; Tongling University, Anhui, China; Omega International College, Singapore; Tokushima University, Tokushima, Japan; and the World Council for Curriculum & Instruction.