Serrapilheira announces 24 researchers to receive up to R$100,000

The Serrapilheira Institute has announced the 24 scientists who will be awarded up to R$100,000 to develop their projects for a year. The group was selected through the 2nd Open Call for Scientific Research, designed to identify research proposals in the fields of natural sciences, computational science, and mathematics, which posed fundamental questions in a creative, bold fashion, without necessarily applying their findings.

The new grantees will be able to apply the funds as they see fit to advance their projects. After one year, the proposals will be reevaluated and as many as three grantees may receive up to R$1 million for a three-year period. This support may be renewed on an annual basis after that period has passed. This framework is yet another affirmation of the Institute’s dedication to providing long-term support for outstanding research.

In addition to financial support, the new grantees will be able to take part in training sessions, workshops, and events like the Encontros Serrapilheira, where the grantees meet each other on a yearly basis. The goal is to contribute to career enhancement, as well as to create spaces for interdisciplinary cooperation and encourage initiatives that promote diversity in science, science outreach, and open science.

In order to be eligible for support, scientists had to have obtained their doctorate between January 1st, 2011, and December 31st, 2016 (extended up to two years for women with children). Candidates were also required to have a permanent placement at a research institution.

All submissions were evaluated by the 44 international panelists, listed below, who took part in our eight evaluation panels. Collective revision sessions were held in the United States, Australia, and Israel. More details about the selection process may be found here.

“These panels gave us an international take on the science proposed by these young Brazilian researchers, which really enriched the process,” says Cristina Caldas, Serrapilheira Director of Scientific Research. “Our aim is to offer continuous support to the projects we selected, even if they involve a degree of risk. We’re delighted to be able to support young Brazilian scientists as they tackle major underlying questions in their fields.”

Serrapilheira is grateful to all the panel members, leaders, and reviewers who took part in the selection process for the 2nd Open Call for Scientific Research.

Meet the 24 new researchers supported by Serrapilheira:


Marco Aurelio Liutheviciene Cordeiro
Grain Boundary Engineering: Seeing is Believing
Universidade Federal de São Carlos, SP

Computational Science

Joao Florindo
Using chaos theory and image analysis to assess and predict the evolution of severe carcinomas
Universidade Estadual de Campinas, SP

Bruno Zatt
Light Fields Compression: Enabling Immersive Multimedia through Augmented/Mixed Reality
Universidade Federal de Pelotas, RS

Daniel Leite
Similarity, Aggregation and Learning from Heterogeneous Data Streams: Toward a Higher Degree of Autonomy and Flexibility of the Artificial Intelligence
Universidade Federal de Lavras, MG


Pedro Val
AMazon Evolution driven by RIver CApture eventS (AMERICAS)
Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, MG

Nicolas Strikis
Reversal Project: Are we moving to a reversal of the Earth Magnetic Field?
Universidade Federal Fluminense, RJ

Victor Sacek
Paleogeographic evolution of Amazonia based on numerical geodynamic modeling
Universidade de São Paulo, SP

Life Sciences

Ana Takakura
Exploring the association between neuronal and functional respiratory changes in Parkinson´s disease
Universidade de São Paulo, SP

Juliana Camacho-Pereira
Investigating CD38 as a new promising target for revealing safety neuropathic pain modulators
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Wagner Araújo
Metabolic and DNA checkpoints modulating Aluminum tolerance
Universidade Federal de Viçosa, MG

Fernanda Werneck
Ecological and genomic basis of climate change adaptation on natural populations at the threatened Neotropical rainforest-savannas evolutionary boundaries
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, AM

Paulo Teixeira
Diseases are the exception and not the rule: What makes plants immune to most pathogens?
ESALQ, Universidade de São Paulo, SP

Luiz Eduardo Del Bem
On the origin of life on land: uncovering how terrestrial microscopic algae created Earth’s soils and gave rise to land plants
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, MG

Fernanda Antunes Carvalho
Plant pollinator interaction in the Cerrado hotspot: filling knowledge gaps with pollen DNA-metabarcoding
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, RN

José Henrique Oliveira
Targeting arbovirus tolerance pathways in vector mosquitoes to block Dengue transmission
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, SC

Danielle Trentin
How Galleria mellonella larvae is capable to degrade synthetic plastic?
Universidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto Alegre, RS


Edgar Pimentel
Regularity theory for nonlinear partial differential equations
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Luciana Luna Anna Lomonaco
The Mandelbrot set and its copies
Universidade de São Paulo, SP

Renato Ferreira de Velloso Vianna
Lagrangian fibrations in symplectic topology and mirror symmetry
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Gonçalo Oliveira
Gauge Theory and Special Holonomy
Universidade Federal Fluminense, RJ


Thiago Fleury
Correlation Functions in N=4 Super-Yang-Mills and AdS/CFT
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, RN

Thiago Rafael Fernandez Perez Tomei
Applications of Machine Learning Techniques to the HL-LHC Experiments
Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, SP

Tommaso Macrì
Quantum Simulation and Metrology with Rydberg Atoms
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, RN

Ulisses Barres de Almeida
Multi-messenger Astrophysics and the Origin of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays
Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas, RJ


Meet the 44 international panelists:

Bree Aldridge, Tufts Medical School
Miriam Amiran, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Yemane Asmerom, University of New Mexico
Pieter Baas, Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Roger Blandford, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology e Stanford University
Don Bradshaw, The University of Western Australia
Fernando Brandão, Caltech (leader)
Fernanda Campello, VM Ware
Cristina de Campos, University of Munich
Brandi M. Cossairt, University of Washington
Stephen Craig, Duke University
Elizabeth Crosson, University of New Mexico
Sylvain Crovisier, Université Paris-Sud 11
Donald Dingwell, University of Munich
Sonia Esperanca, National Science Foundation (leader)
Patricia Florissi, Dell (leader)
Lohengrin Alexis Cavieres González, Universidad de Concepción
Ralph Isberg, Tufts Medical School
Dennis Kim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Harvard
Hans Lambers, The University of Western Australia (leader)
Fernando Codá Marques, Princeton University
Cesar dela Fuente Nunez, UPENN/Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brad Olsen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (leader)
Tim van Opijnen, Boston College (leader)
Lisa Park-Boush, University of Connecticut
Leonid Polterovich, Tel Aviv University
Vasile Radoaca, Dell
Oded Rechavi, Tel-Aviv University (leader)
Yuriy Román-Leshkov, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Barak Rotblat, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Rotem Rubinstein, Tel-Aviv University
Mahesh Seshadri, Dell
Mara Shainheit, Towson University
Inna Sluzky, Tel-Aviv University
Takis Souganidis, University of Chicago
Maria Spiropulu, Caltech
Steve Todd, Dell
Thomas Torgersen, emeritus, National Science Foundation
Pedro Vieira, Perimeter Institute
Ilja Voets, Eindhoven University of Technology
Suzanne Walker, Harvard Medical School
Amie Wilkinson, University of Chicago (leader)
Ian Wright, Macquarie University
Omri Wurtzel, Tel-Aviv University