Science in Brazil must do more for society – new funding chief speaks out

Brazil’s best-known scientist, the veteran nuclear physicist  José Goldemberg,  in September 2015 took office as the president of  the São Paulo Research Foundation, (FAPESP) —  the most dynamic if not the largest of Brazil’s  funding agencies for scientific research, and the “go to”partner for many international  research councils, universities and top academics.

In a recorded inaugural address,  Goldemberg insisted that  it is time for Brazilian science to  play a leadership role in society , and to shake off  an  elitist “ivory tower” mentality that has prevented  large numbers of academics from interacting with the world of  business by generating innovations or engaging at a popular level with  primary and secondary education.

In his speech, Goldemberg pointed the way toward a much more policy-driven world in which science funding would be based more on the needs of society and industry – and less on the whims  and fancies of  pure researchers. He cited  US President Abraham Lincoln’s foresight in creating the National Science Foundation  in the middle of the US Civil War, as an indicator of how science can and should drive social development, even in such times of hardship as Brazil is experiencing thanks to a withering recession.

Portuguese speakers can  view the video  below of  a 7 minute extract from Prof. Goldemberg’s inaugural address 18th September at the headquarters of FAPESP in São Paulo:

Opportunities

£40,000 grants available from FAPESP and NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) for UK research collaboration in Earth System Science and Global Environmental Change research. G eographic focus of the collaboration is South America and the adjacent oceans, particularly the Amazon and the South Atlantic. Deadline Sept 24th 2015.

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Researcher Connect is sponsored by the UK’s Newton Fund and teh British Council. It kicks off 1st July 2015.
Communication skills for researchers consists of a series of short interactive modules for researchers from any academic discipline. It focuses on the development of excellent communication skills to be used in international, multi-cultural contexts. Courses are three-days long

http://www.britishcouncil.org.br/sites/britishcouncil.br/files/researcher_connect_call_-_brazil_confap_final_-_english_0.pdf

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Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action on “Climate Predictability and Inter-Regional Linkages - 2015”

Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action on “Climate Predictability and Inter-Regional Linkages - 2015”

FAPESP is making available up to EUR 1 milion in research budgets for programs ruuning form 36-48th months.
Closing date 1st June 2015.
The three main topics that characterize this call are: “1 – Understanding past and current variability and trends of regional extremes”, “2 – Predictability and prediction skills for near‐future variability and trends of regional extremes” and “ 3 – Co‐construction of near term forecast products with users”. For detailed descriptions, please consult the call main page at:
http://www.fapesp.br/en/9410

https://igfagcr.org/cra-2015-climate-predictability-and-inter-regional-linkages

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Urban Studies

Urban Studies

Post Docs in urban studies sought for research nucleus (CEPID) in metropolitan studies, including studies in the effect of public policies on social conditions and inequality.
http://agencia.fapesp.br/posdoutorado_no_centro_de_estudos_da_metropole_com_bolsas_da_fapesp/21073/

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Economics: price discovery mechanism and arbitrage

Economics: price discovery mechanism and arbitrage

Post doc researchers sought by the Getulio Vargas Foundation to research arbitratge and price discovery mechanisms. Closing date 15/05/2015
fapesp.br/oportunidades/815.

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Electrical engineering and computing

Electrical engineering and computing

1) The department of electrical engineering and computing (FEEC) at University of Campinas (UNICAMP) is hiring a professor (“Professor Doutor”) in the field of servo-mechanics and control principles. Full time. Submissions close 18/05/2015.
http://www.sg.unicamp.br/dca/concursos/abertos/concursos-para-professor-doutor/faculdade-de-engenharia-eletrica-e-de-computacao

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Ongoing Research Funding Opportunity Database

Ongoing Research Funding Opportunity Database

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) maintains a detailed database of all research funding opportunities in the state of São Paulo. An English language button is available.

You can search for these opportunities here:
http://www.fapesp.br/oportunidades/

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Biofuels Auto Engineering Initiative

Biofuels Auto Engineering Initiative

Specialists in auto engineering an alternative energy should keep close watch on the Professor Urbano Ernesto Stumpf Engineering Center set up by Peugeot Citroën do Brasil (PCBA) and Brazilian academic counterparts Universidade de São Paulo (USP), a Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp), o Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA) e o Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia (IMT).
The Center, launched October 4th by the São Paulo Tesearch Foundation (FAPESP) will focus on “reinventing” the combustion engines used for bioethanol cars in Brazil and, eventually, worldwide. Ironically, the internal combustion engine started life using ethanol fuel. Yet a century of gasoline use means that today’s cars running all ethanol or ethanol mix or flex fuel (either/or) , are powered by engines originally designed to run on gasoline.
The center’s remit includes the sustainability of biofuels and the development of a new generation of engines designed to run most efficiently on fuels other than gasoline.
There are no formal job opportunities yet, as FAPESP’s specialist centers called CEPIDS are “virtual” insofar as they bring together experts from both industry and academic research to tackle technology problems.
However the new center’s budget (BR$32 million over 10 years) means some jobs will likely be created. The investment is as follows: Peugeot Citroen and FAPESP each invest R$ 8 million, as well as a smiliar sum each to cover salaries and operating expenses at those Brazilian academic institutions where the work will be carried out.
The research work will be executed at: Unicamp’s faculty of mechanical engineering; the Polytechnic School at University of São Paulo (LETE); at the Institute of Adcavnce Technology (ITA) and its Propulsion Laboratory (LCPE) and a the IMT’s Motors and Vehicles laboratory.
O centro terá sede na Faculdade de Engenharia Mecânica da Unicamp e será integrado por pesquisadores da universidade campineira, do Laboratório de Engenharia Térmica e Ambiente (Lete) da Escola Politécnica da USP (Poli-USP), do Laboratório de Combustão, Propulsão e Energia (LCPE) do ITA e do Laboratório de Motores e Veículos do IMT.
You can read an article (in Portuguese) about the center by clicking on the link below:
http://agencia.fapesp.br/centro_de_pesquisa_em_engenharia_de_motores_a_biocombustiveis_e_lancado/20169/

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Columbia University Opportunity for Brazilian Sociologists

Columbia University Opportunity for Brazilian Sociologists

Brazilian post-doc social scientists are invited to apply for a research post at New York’s Columbia University, endowed for the late first lady Ruth Cardoso.

Applications by 7th December 2014 for those receiving their PhD’s before 2005. The posting is for the 2015/2016 academic year and includes financing of US$5,000 per month plus relocation allowance.

The post is financed by the Fulbright Commission, by the São Paulo Research Foundation, and by Brazil’s federal CAPES agency.

Portuguese readers can find out more by clicking here.

Ruth Cardoso, who was herself a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia, was like her husband Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a sociologist before political careers took them both to Brasilia’s presidential place.

You can find out more about the Brazilian federal government’s CAPES agency for higher education and research funding by clicking here:

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Brazil’s Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM) has begun the process of selecting the Institution’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Interested candidates should submit their applications by June 30, 2014.

Responsibilities include managing the country’s new Synchroton Light Laboratory. .

CNPEM is a private, not-for-profit association accredited by the government as a social organization to carry out research into advanced materials, nanotechnology, life sciences and bioethanol. Situated in the Campinas High-Tech Complex, the center consists of the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS), the Brazilian Biosciences National Library (LNBio), the National Nanotechnology Laboratory (LNNano) and the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory (CTBE).

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Stay tuned to the Ministry of Education’s website where  new funding rounds  for the ‘Science Without Borders’ program are advertised. The October 2012 round has closed, but more places could come up.

Young Talent (postdoc)  salaries  are over US$4,000 per month and Special Visiting Researchers  (tenured mid-to-higher career academics) get US$7,500 per month — plus generous allowances for living, relocation  and other perks. Not to mention lab costs.

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Collaborative Arts/Humanities grant from FAPESP

Collaborative Arts/Humanities grant from FAPESP

In 2009 Research Councils UK (RCUK) and FAPESP, the Research Council for the State of São Paulo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to welcome, encourage and support proposals that may cut across our national boundaries and involve international collaborative teams. This agreement was renewed in September 2012 and the current agreement will run until 31 December 2015.

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Where Amazonia’s Wind Blows

This great time-lapse video  from NASA’s  GOES satellite was made to show that atmospheric pollution is no respecter of national boundaries – and to demonstrate how pollution from Asian cities spreads around the world.

But as the satellite spins over South America, it also provides a beautiful demonstration of how humid air originating in the Amazon basin affects world weather patterns, and also how cold fronts spreading  northward from Antarctica’s weather patterns, affect  South America’s weather.

Now that the Amazon’s contribution to world weather patterns  — and what role Brazilian deforestation might play —  is being exhaustively studied by projects such as GOAmazon, this ‘bird’s eye view’ is a potent reminder of  the region’s importance to science.