International Research Collaboration at FAPESP
Scientists supported by FAPESP’s grants and fellowships are encouraged by the Foundation to develop international collaborations through the following institutional instruments:
1) Most research grants and fellowships awarded by FAPESP include funds that can be used, at the discretion of the PI (principal Investigator) and according to FAPESP’s rules, for international research collaboration.
2) FAPESP’s Visiting Researcher Program (VRP) grants for foreign scientists are selected using a peer review system. In 2011, from a total of 243 evaluated proposals, 199 were funded. These grants cover stipends and travel expenses for foreign scientists visiting colleagues in higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, for periods from two weeks to one year.
3) FAPESP’s Research Fellowships Abroad (BPE) support scientists associated with higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, for stays from one month to one year in qualified research institutions abroad. Funding covers fellowship and travel expenses.
4) The São Paulo Schools of Advanced Science (SPSAS) support the organization of short schools (1 to 3 weeks) targeting recent scientific advances and presented in higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Typically, each SPSAS gathers between 50 and 150 doctoral students and young post-docs, half of those from abroad, and from 7 to 20 high profile Brazilian and foreign lecturers. Started in 2010, the program has supported 38 SPSAS so far (http://tinyurl.com/fapesp-spsas).
5) Through the Research Internships Abroad (BEPE) FAPESP offers to all of its fellowship holders in the State of São Paulo the opportunity of spending from 4 to 12 months as research interns in high profile foreign research centers, working on a theme associated with the research project the candidate is developing in São Paulo. Started in October 2011, the program has awarded 1,475 fellowships so far (http://tinyurl.com/fapesp-bepe).
6) FAPESP’s Post-doctoral Scholarship Program is open to foreign scientists (http://www.fapesp.br/en/5427). Approximately 950 scholarships are awarded per year (each for two years’ duration, extendable to three years).
7) FAPESP’s Young Investigator Awards are offered to outstanding young scientists who have a few years of post-doctoral experience grants. The awards are offered for up to four years, and may include a fellowship plus research funding for equipment, plus consumables, student fellowships, and travel. Brazilian nationality is not a requirement and applications can be submitted in English. Eighty-eight awards were approved in 2012. Since 1998, 1,237 young scientists started their careers in São Paulo with support from the program (http://www.fapesp.br/en/4479).
8) Since 2011 FAPESP has been organizing the FAPESP Week Symposia in international scientific hubs, featuring scientists from São Paulo and colleagues from the host region. There were FAPESP Week Symposia in Washington, D.C., Toronto, Cambridge, Mass., Tokyo, and now London (http://www.fapesp.br/fapespweek/).
9) In addition to these actions, FAPESP has a large number of research collaboration agreements with foreign funding agencies, higher education and research organizations, and companies. Through these the partners co-select and co-fund cooperative research. The opportunities for funding related to each agreement are announced on FAPESP’s website (www.fapesp.br/en/5399). Broadly speaking, the agreements are of two types:
a) Agreements offering seed funding, mostly for exchange of researchers and students and small workshops. In this case the foreign partner is generally a university or a research institution. As of August, 2013 there were 45 agreements of this type.
b) Agreements offering full funding for research projects, selected jointly by FAPESP and the partnering agency. In this case the foreign partner is generally a research funding agency or an industrial research laboratory. As of August, 2013 there were 25 agreements of this type.
The São Paulo Research Foundation, FAPESP
FAPESP (www.fapesp.br/en) is a public foundation, funded by the taxpayer in the State of São Paulo, with the mission to support research in all fields of knowledge. São Paulo has a population of forty million and generates 33% of Brazil’s GNP. The State constitution establishes that 1% of all state taxes belong to the foundation and the government transfers these funds monthly.
The foundation works in close contact with the scientific community: all proposals are peer reviewed with the help of area panels composed of active researchers. Besides funding research in all fields, the foundation supports large research programs in Biodiversity, Bioenergy, Global Climate Change, and in Neurosciences.
FAPESP’s expenditures in 2012 were R$ 1.035 billion (approximately US$ 500 million). Currently, FAPESP’s fellowships program supports 11,000 undergraduates, graduates, and post-docs. The foundation’s grants program has 4,000 two-year duration grants and 400 5-year grants. Additionally, there are 17 research, Innovation, and Diffusion of Knowledge centers supported for 11 years.
FAPESP maintains cooperation agreements with national and international research funding agencies, higher educational and research institutions and business enterprises. This international cooperation covers a broad range of countries and agencies (http://www.fapesp.br/en/6812) including the UK Research Councils, the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) in France, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) in Germany, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the U.S.
FAPESP offers programs to support foreign scientists willing to work in research institutions in the state of São Paulo, Brazil: post-doctoral fellowships (http://www.fapesp.br/en/5427), young investigator awards (http://www.fapesp.br/en/4479) and visiting researcher grants (http://www.fapesp.br/147).