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The Virginia A. Miralao Excellence
in Research Award

Awards the best article in a social science journal, book chapter, or book written by a promising young scholar in the profession.

The Virginia A. Miralao Excellence in Research Award

In 2010, Dr. Belinda Aquino, professor emerita at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, donated USD 5,000 to the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC) to establish the Virginia A. Miralao (VAM) Fund. The Fund aims to honor the invaluable contributions of former PSSC Executive Director, Dr. Virginia Miralao, to the development of social sciences in the Philippines and her own sterling record of scholarship. 

The Fund is intended to serve as an incentive for young social scientists to pursue original and meaningful research. In line with this, PSSC launched the VAM Excellence in Research Award in 2012. The Award provides a yearly cash prize for the best article in a social science journal, book chapter, or book written by a promising young scholar in the profession. The awardee also receives a statuette especially designed by noted Filipino artist Toym Imao. 


To qualify for the award, a nominee must:

  • be a member of and nominated by a PSSC regular or associate member organization (see PSSC website/brochure for the list of members);
  • have published a single authorship book, chapter in a refereed book/volume, or article in a refereed journal, either local or international. The book, book chapter, or journal article should have been published within the 18-month period prior to the nomination deadline;
  • be no more than 45 years old at the time of conferment; and
  • have a university rank of not higher than associate professor at the time the work was published. 


1. The following documents must be submitted by the nominating organization to the PSSC Secretariat:

  • Accomplished nomination form
  • Copy of the published journal article, book chapter, or book
  • Copy of the nominee’s CV

2. All documents must be emailed to no later than 29 February 2024:

  • VAM Excellence in Research Award Secretariat
    Philippine Social Science Council
    PSSCenter, Commonwealth Avenue
    Diliman, Quezon City

To nominate, please fill in the VAM Nomination Form:

Who is Virginia A. Miralao?


Dr. Miralao was the Executive Director of the PSSC from 1996 to 2009. During her term, the Council’s assets and resources expanded and PSSC’s involvement in research and publications, training, organizing conferences, and administering project grants and scholarships became more visible. She also strengthened PSSC’s linkages with regional and international social science entities, including the Social and Human Sciences Sector of UNESCO. After retiring from PSSC, Dr. Miralao assumed the post of secretary-general of the Philippines National Commission for UNESCO from 2011 to 2016.

Early in her career, Dr. Miralao taught at the University of the East and the University of the Philippines. She moved to the Ateneo de Manila University in 1971 where she became associate professor of Sociology, and research associate and chief of operations of Ateneo’s Institute of Philippine Culture. She transferred to the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation in 1983 where she headed the foundation’s Research Group until 1988.

A committed researcher throughout her career, Dr. Miralao designed and carried out research in various fields: population and women’s studies; family and the youth; agrarian reform and rural development; education policy and curriculum reform; and transnational migration. She has authored and edited numerous publications, articles, and academic pieces based on her studies and research. She was conferred the UP Alumni Association’s Outstanding Professional Award in the Social Sciences in 2007; and the Mariang Maya Award by the UP Sigma Delta Phi Sorority as Outstanding Achiever in Social Research in 2008.

Dr. Miralao earned her PhD in Sociology from Cornell University on a Fulbright grant, and her BA and MA degrees from the University of the Philippines.

Virginia A. Miralao Excellence in Research Awardees (2013 – 2022)