“Natural Synergies” for Multi-disciplinary Research

Scientists from California will carry out a two-year programme of cooperation with Brazilian counterparts in multi-disciplinary research areas covering food, water, society, health, energy, the environment, transportation and materials.

The agreement was announced in São Paulo by Harris Lewin, Vice-Chancellor for Research at University of California Davis, during a two day symposium (12-13 May) at the headquarters of the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), which funds research at leading universities in Brazil’s most prosperous state.

The UC Davis cooperation extends an agreement dating back to 2012, and follows a 2014 seminar when Brazilian scientists went to California. Now UC Davis and FAPESP are expanding collaboration beyond social sciences and humanities into fields including: physics, engineering, biomedical sciences and agriculture.

Dr Lewin described the “very natural synergies” that were developing between UC Davis and research funded by FAPESP, notably in new fields and interdisciplinary areas where collaborative research is essential.

You can watch a video compilation of the first day of the conference, prepared by Agencia FAPESP, the Foundation’s news and communications department. Full details of the speakers at the event are available here.


The UC Davis FAPESP Week in Brazil brought 26 US scientists together with Brazilian counterparts. Part of the discussion focused on research itself, and the need to break down existing walls between different areas of study. FAPESP scientific director Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz praised the UC Davis strategy of promoting interdisciplinary research and said this would provide a powerful role model for universities in São Paulo state.

Paul Dodd, UC Davis Associate vice chancellor for interdisciplinary research and strategic initiatives, also had praise for FAPESP’s policy of internationalising the reach of Brazilian science. “I can’t think of another agency that’s done as much to project their research as FAPESP. It’s amazing and really helps to put São Paulo research on the map.”

In fact, holding a FAPESP Week seminar within Brazil is something of a departure from the norm established over the last three years, during which FAPESP’s “science roadshow” has travelled to China, Spain, the UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, the USA and Argentina.

While the primary objective has been to demonstrate the quality and range of Brazilian science to international partners including universities, institutes and research funding councils, holding such an event on home territory helps local scientists to learn more about “best of breed” research strategies – notably in interdisciplinary areas. This will help modernize the research agenda at Brazil’s top universities.

The next FAPESP Week will take place 28th, 29th May in Barcelona, Spain. You can find out more and access the registration panel by clicking here.

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