The International Research Forum on the Philippines (IRFP), previously known as the Philippine Research Forum, is a gathering of academics, scholars, and students interested about the Philippines.  It is a coming together of people from different disciplines, locations, and cultural backgrounds to discuss about their recent scholarly work related to the Philippines, attend workshops, and engage in roundtable discussions about the annual theme.

      The Filipino-Australia Student Council (FASTCO) Victoria, in cooperation with the Philippines Australia Studies Network (PASN) of La Trobe University, hope to make IRFP an avenue to raise critical questions, engage in meaningful dialectics, and generate constructive ideas concerning issues, challenges, and potentials of Philippine research. With the vibrant Melbourne landscape and interesting papers as backdrop, this annual forum is definitely something to look forward to each year.

Past forums

IRFP  2020
The Filipino Scholar in Virulent Times

26 - 27 January 2021 | Zoom, Melbourne, Australia

The 8th International Research Forum on the Philippines (IRFP) will take place on 26-27 January 2021. The IRFP is the Filipino-Australian Student Council of Victoria’s (FASTCO) flagship academic program that aims to encourage Philippine studies in Australia and collaboration among research scholars. The forum is organized in Melbourne, Australia, but will now be conducted wholly online due to ongoing travel and logistical constraints. The forum brings together graduate researchers and academics from different fields such as the humanities, STEM, law, social sciences and education, to share their research on, and to think about questions relevant to, issues relating to the Philippines. This year’s theme is The Filipino Scholar in Virulent Times.


The idea of virulence brings to mind the Covid-19 pandemic and its tremendous consequences. On the other hand, the pandemic has not quelled existent states and objects that continue to have a virulent effect on Philippine life, politics, economy and society. We might think about the problem of climate change and ecological disasters, or the structural existence of corruption, or hegemonic incursions on national sovereignty. In these virulent times, how does the Filipino Scholar respond? In what ways is Philippine scholarship challenged, supported or engaged with? What spaces are formed, and what conversations are provoked, by these agents of virulence?    This forum brings together scholars to think analytically and critically about these questions. Together we will explore the relationship of research and scholarly work to the objects and situations that shape the virulence of our times.


Call for Papers

We invite submissions from scholars, academics, scholar-practitioners, and artists, on the following themes:


  • Methods in Crisis


How have research methods been affected by temporal and spatial disruptions, and what measures have Filipino scholars adopted or explored in response thereto?


  • Narratives and Narrative Strains

What narratives arise and how are narratives framed in virulent times? How have/do existing research imperatives fit in these narratives, or, in contrast, how have they fallen out of these narratives? How do narratives inform the interpretation of objective and empirical data?


  • Performances: Virulence, Virality and Vision


How have performances shaped, or been made a part of, the Philippine response to the agents of virulence? What do these performances reveal about Philippine nationhood, culture and society?


We envision a series of presentations and panel discussions in a supportive, collegial environment but also warmly encourage participants who wish to present their work in visual, poster, or digital art formats, which will be posted on the IRFP website for public viewing.


Interested participants must submit a title, an abstract of between 250 words, 5 keywords, and a justification of the abstract’s coherence with the conference theme. Submissions shall be made online through EasyChair and should be sent by 10 November 2020. Applicants will receive a response by late November 2020.


Abstract Guidelines

Abstracts on empirical studies, theoretical or discussion pieces, and action research will be considered for oral or poster paper presentation in the 8th IRFP. You may choose to present in any of the three themes for this Forum:

  • Methods in Crisis

  • Narratives and Narrative Strains

  • Performances: Virulence, Virality and Vision

The structured abstract should be written in English with no more than 250 words. Generally, an abstract should include background and objectives, methods, results, conclusions, and a maximum of five (5) keywords.

The submission of abstracts and papers will be managed through an online conference paper management system called EasyChair. The system gives the Author complete control over the submission. The Author can upload the abstract and check on the review status of the submission.


To submit an abstract follow the authors instructions for submitting to Easychair. If you already have an existing account in EasyChair, you may now proceed to submitting your abstract.


If you have no account in EasyChair, do not worry. Creating an account will be an easy task! Follow this link to create an account in EasyChair! Once you have created an account, you may proceed to submitting your abstract through EasyChair. 



Important dates

10 November 2020 


10 January 2021 

30 November 2020 

20 January 2021 

Deadline for submission of abstracts

Release of results

Submission of oral papers in video format and posters for virtual exhibit

Early bird registration for general

audience and deadline for registration of the paper presenters

Deadline for regular registration

Registration details

to follow


Working Committee:

FASTCO Officers 2020-2021


Nina Araneta-Alana (The University of Melbourne)

Erika Carreon (The University of Melbourne)

Committee Members:   

Charisse Reyes (Monash University)

Jay Allen Villon (Monash University)

Dennis John Sumaylo (RMIT University)

Carmela Therese Arcena (Monash University)
Bret Hart Gutierrez (The University of Melbourne)


Email  with the subject "IRFP 2020"
and we will get back to you within 10 working days.



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Filipino-Australian Student Council of Victoria Inc. (VIC) A0099142O

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