Research has always occupied an important niche in the life of the Catanduanes State Colleges since its inception in 1971 by virtue of R.A. 6341. Together with the two other pillars of tertiary education, namely instruction and extension, research played essential role in the performance of the school’s mandate. Through the years, the institutional mechanism with which the research program is materialized has evolved. Initially, research was mostly a function of instruction, particularly of the Graduate School. Later, the role of the faculty in research production increasingly became paramount as standards of quality for tertiary education reached new heights. By 1986, a CSC Center for Research and Development has been tasked to “coordinate the planning, funding, direction and implementation of various research portfolios in the Colleges” (Board of Trustees Resolution No. 15, s, 1986).
In 1994, the “Guidelines in Conducting Research and the Research Incentive System in the Catanduanes State Colleges” (Board Resolution No. 15, s. 1994) was approved. Among other things, it provided for a framework for crafting research proposals and their implementation, and a package of incentives that included: a) reduced teaching load, b) honoraria or overtime pay, and c) travel grant to observe how research is done in other colleges or universities. It also instituted a system of conferring recognition or award for exemplary research output. This is the precursor of what would later become the Uswag Award as per Board Resolution No. 8 s. 2006.
As the CSC’s role in nation-building and development gained deeper articulation, the broad structure of the Colleges had to be reconfigured to suit the new imperatives. In 1996, research and extension were separated into respective units with their own directors so as to be able to pursue their agenda more effectively. In 2006, Research Services and Extension Services were joined in by the Corporate Business Services under the umbrella of the Research, Extension and Production Affairs in order to create greater synergy. By 2007, a Board Resolution (No. 21 s. 2007) institutionalized the Faculty Teaching Equivalent (FTE) by providing specific guidelines on the conversion of teaching load for research, extension and production work.
On October 19, 2012, the Catanduanes State Colleges was converted into the Catanduanes State University by the legislative fiat of RA No. 10229. Such milestone brought forth the singular challenge of transforming from a teaching institution to a research university. It pushed research and development to center stage. Hence, the production of new knowledge in the service of society must become a matter of institutional way of life, pursued and practiced according to the benchmark of excellence and relevance.