20/10/2021 07:51

Serrapilheira Institute Launches 5th Public Call for Science Support

  • Institutional

From the new call for proposals, 10 scientists who develop original and bold research will be funded with up to BRL 700,000

The Serrapilheira Institute launches its 5th public call to support early-stage scientists. Up to 10 scientists who develop original, bold research and bring new contributions to the areas of natural sciences, computer science, and mathematics will be selected to receive funding. Each selected project will receive allocations between 200 thousand reais and 700 thousand reais to be distributed over three years, with the possibility of  renewal.

The objective of the call is to support the career development of young scientists who, in seeking to build or consolidate their research, propose ground-breaking questions in their areas of expertise. “We encourage young scientists to think of the Serrapilheira Institute as an institution willing to support projects that involve risk strategies, as long as they are well scientifically grounded”, explains Cristina Caldas, director of science at the institute.

The selection will take place in two phases. In the first, candidates submit a pre-proposal, which will be evaluated by international reviewers. Then, some candidates will be invited to submit a full proposal. The final stage includes an interview in English with the candidates.

In the first phase of the selection process, the candidates must explain the fundamental question that will be addressed in the project, the hypothesis to be tested, how their results will contribute to the area of study and why the project is original and bold. The notice for this year also includes a new component: the candidates will need to explain the risk of their research. The objective is to assess how the initiative can go wrong and what the scientist intends to do if that happens.

The requirements are the same as those for previous calls. Candidates must have a permanent contract with a research institution in Brazil and have completed their doctorate between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2019. This period is extended to two years for women with children.

Another requirement is that the candidate must provide at least two high-impact articles in which they were the main authors. Impact will be measured by the effect that the article had on questioning, advancing, or deepening knowledge in the field, a factor justified by the scientist himself/herself.

Since the first call in 2018, the Serrapilheira Institute has supported 139 research projects, for a total investment of BRL 43.5 million. “Of these projects, 30 have long-term support because we believe that quality science needs time and freedom to develop”, Caldas states.

According to her, the institute has begun to reap the fruits of the first long-term grants that were offered, and advances in important areas, such as quantum information, ecology, and neurosciences, have been observed. “In the midst of an unfavorable scenario for research, we are even more certain that this investment cannot stop”, adds the director of science of the organization.

Diversity in science

The Serrapilheira Institute is built upon the support of a diverse group of young scientists who think about science from different perspectives. Therefore, the organization encourages ethnic-racial and gender diversity in science in Brazil. After being selected, scientists will be able to voluntarily access, in the form of bonuses, additional resources specifically intended for the integration and training of people from underrepresented groups in research teams.

The application is open from October 26 to November 26. The full notice can be found here.