Science Program

Science Program

The program’s mission is to finance scientists who seek excellence in their research, asking fundamental questions, with the risk and dream of offering great contributions to their areas of activity.

We support excellent long-term research by young Brazilian scientists in natural sciences, computer science, and mathematics. Proposals must be bold, and risk is considered welcome. Proposals focused exclusively on applied science, with utilitarian questions and without a focus on knowledge production, are outside the program’s scope.

The program also promotes training and integration events among supported scientists, encouraging transdisciplinary collaborations.

Furthermore, it seeks to contribute to constructing an environment favourable to scientific research. We participate in and lead discussions on promoting a robust ST&I system that combats brain drain and looks at diversity, open science, science communication and innovative selection and evaluation methods.

Discover all the scientists and supported science projects here.

Annual calls

Through annual public calls, we select young scientists to be awarded funding ranging from R$200,000 to R$700,000, with flexibility in the use of resources. Once selected, scientists will also be able to compete voluntarily for extra resources to be invested exclusively in integrating and training people from underrepresented groups in their teams.

Candidates can also be selected and receive support through partnerships that Serrapilheira established with the National Council of State Foundations for Research Support and with the Foundations for Research Support in some Brazilian states. Through co-financing, Serrapilheira and the FAPs jointly support scientists selected through the institute’s public calls.

Check all completed calls here.

Project risk

In Serrapilheira’s science calls, risk is considered welcome and fundamental in bold projects. We ask the candidate to detail the risk of their project based on three proposed definitions: the design risk, related to the formulation of the project hypothesis; the risk of approach, which concerns the methodological choice; and the technical risk, linked to obtaining the data.

The objective of the detail is to measure how the candidate’s choices could go wrong and what the researcher intends to do if that happens. Find out more about our risk concept here.

Selection process

The selection is divided into two phases: the pre-proposal and the full proposal. International reviewers make the selection of proposals from each area.

In phase 1 (pre-proposal), the summarized proposal is analyzed based on the answers to these ten questions:

1 – What is your big fundamental question?
2 – What is your specific hypothesis to answer this question?
3 – What are the possible limitations of your hypothesis?
4 – What data do you need to test your hypothesis?
5 – Why might your approach to testing your hypothesis not be appropriate? What are alternative approaches to testing this hypothesis?
6 – By what methods will you obtain this data?
7 – What challenges do you anticipate in collecting data?
8 – Explain where the originality of your project lies. In the question? Hypothetically? In the approach? In methodology?
9 – Who cares? If you are successful in your project, what difference will it make to knowledge? For which fields?
10 – Where did the idea for the project come from?

The candidate’s CV and the scientific production indicated by them are also analyzed – two or more impactful articles in which the candidate was the main author, explaining how his contribution was made and why he considers them impactful.

Those who pass phase 1 are invited to submit the full proposal, with the detailed project, and to participate in an interview in English with reviewers from around the world.

In addition to the grant

More than offering resources, the Science Program promotes training, workshops and integration events between researchers, such as the Serrapilheira Scientific Retreats, which takes place annually. The goal is to improve the training and career development of grantees, create spaces for transdisciplinary cooperation, and stimulate initiatives in diversity in science, scientific communication and open science.

Find out more about Serrapilheira Scientific Retreats:

20222020  |  2019.2  |  2019.1  |  2018.2  |  2018.1  |

Another example is the project “Serrapilheira Networks”: notices aimed at financing collaborations between scientists already supported by the institute. The idea is to leverage the usual calls for science by planting seeds of multidisciplinary collaboration between research groups through the mobility of people, especially those in the training phase.

Investment since 2018

R$ 58.772.150,56 
Projects supported: 156
December 2022 numbers