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   The Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program  
       A Program in Response to the National Human Resources Development
It was realized in the last two decades that one of the serious causes for the social and economic weakness of Thailand was the severe shortage of highly qualified human resources especially in the field of science and technology. Thousands of Ph.D. graduates were needed for newly established universities and to replace retiring professors. Lacking the necessary support, over 150 Ph.D. programs in Thai universities at that time produced only 100 graduates per year. Previous attempts to solve the problem by giving scholarships for studying abroad had been hampered by the economic crisis in late 1990s. Hence, the country was very much in need of a program to produce sufficient number of Ph.D. graduates at the international standard.

     In 1996, the Thailand Research Fund, a state research funding agency, in co-operation with the Ministry of University Affairs (now the Office of the Higher Education Commission) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency, launched a program to counter the problem mentioned above. The government had agreed to support the 25-year project which aims to produce 5,000 Ph.D. graduates in the first 15 years. Because of its merit, the project was also proclaimed one of the programs to commemorate H.M. the King's Golden Jubilee year of reign.

  Innovative Program: Strategy  
       At present a large number of universities in Thailand offer hundreds of Ph.D. curricula covering all major disciplines. To assure that the academic outcome of the RGJ-Ph.D. Program will attain international standards, only those Ph.D. advisors with good research records and having co-advisors or collaborators in recognized universities abroad will be awarded RGJ-Ph.D. grants. The grants also provide support for students to gain international research experience for 6-12 months. To attract talented students, the grants cover most essential items and there is no obligation to work for government agencies after completion of doctoral studies. Moreover, each RGJ-Ph.D. student is required to produce at least two publications before his/her graduation. One must be in an international publication, and the other can be in either an international or a national publication. The budget is approximately 2,152,000 baht (maximum 5 years) for a student with a B.S degree, and 1,555,000 baht (maximum 3 years) for a student with an M.S. degree.