The Merdeka Award Secretariat held a briefing last Wednesday, May 16, 2012 on the recently-announced Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment, which was attended by those interested in applying for this unique award as well as representatives of several institutions of higher learning and non-governmental organisations across a myriad of disciplines.
Over 28 organisations and institutions were represented at the briefing held at the PETRONAS Twin Towers, demonstrating the keen interest generated by the Merdeka Award Grant.
The briefing aimed to explain in further details the aims and objectives of the Grant, the application process and the significance of the opportunity it offers for to an outstanding, young Malaysian. And it also provided a platform for those interested in the Grant programme to pose questions for clarification, and to gain insight into what it would take to be selected.
The briefing kicked off with a short introduction to the Merdeka Award and the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment.
The Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment is designed to identify and recognise outstanding young Malaysians, who personify the Spirit of Merdeka, and those who, in their own areas of expertise, and in their own way, demonstrate a commitment to excellence and a contribution to society. They are individuals who are making a difference to Malaysia and the lives of Malaysians.
The aim of this attachment is for the Recipient to establish contact and working relationship with other experts in his or her area of interest, share knowledge and expertise, and on returning to Malaysia, utilise the relationships and shared knowledge to further build on his or her body of work.
The Grant is open to qualified Malaysians between the ages of 22 and 35, in select disciplines – Education & Community, Environment as well as Health, Science & Technology, mirroring the categories in which the Merdeka Award itself is accorded. These categories have been carefully selected because of their importance to the progress of the nation.
The broad categories include areas such as visual and performing arts, heritage and social work, sports; traditional disciplines like economics and finance, scientific disciplines, and areas related to the environment such as climate change, biodiversity and the protection and conservation of the environment.
Recipients of the Grant will engage in short-term (up to three months), collaborative projects at selected, internationally-recognised host institutions abroad in these areas of research.
The recipient will have to complete the attachment within a year of the Grant being awarded. During this time, he or she will be required to share his or her experiences in preparing for and during the attachment itself by maintaining a personal blog, while also sharing updates on social media. The recipient will also be required to undertake a number of speaking engagements upon his or her return.
This will allow other young Malaysians, especially those aspiring to be future Merdeka Award Grant recipients, to learn about what the attachment entails, what is expected from them, and to draw from the knowledge and exposure of the Grant recipient. It will also help inspire the Post-Merdeka Generation to pursue excellence.
One Grant will be offered in 2012, with two every subsequent year. All applications are required to be submitted via the Merdeka Award website.
Check out the new Merdeka Award website at www.merdekaaward.my