29/05/2020 07:07

Third Call for Science Proposals Selects 23 Young Researchers

  • Public Calls

Each selected scientist will receive up to R$ 100,000 to invest in basic research projects

Serrapilheira has announced the 23 young researchers selected under the 3rd public call for science proposals. The winners will receive up to R$ 100,000 each to invest in natural sciences, computer science and mathematics projects. As part of the institute’s network, they will also have access to training,  interdisciplinary collaboration events and collaboration initiatives, always guided by values of open science and diversity in science.

Under the 3rd public call for science proposals, Serrapilheira set out to select researchers who are trying to find answers to ambitious questions, mainly seeking to understand critical science issues, which may even involve risk strategies. “The importance of investing in basic research has become even more evident during the Covid-19 pandemic,” states Serrapilheira’s CEO, Hugo Aguilaniu. “Right now, it is basic science that is playing a major role in understanding contagion rates and our immune response for designing strategies to reduce the impacts of SARS-CoV2. This is the result of decades of investment in basic science.”

Selected scientists will be reassessed after one year. Thereafter, up to three researchers will have their support renewed and will receive up to R$ 700,000 thousand to invest in their research projects for three years. In addition, they will get a bonus of R$ 300,000 thousand geared towards the integration and training of individuals from underrepresented groups in science. Learn more about the bonus in our “Guide to good practices for diversity in science”.

“The selection process was especially challenging because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” explains Cristina Caldas, Serrapilheira’s Science Director. “It was happening while the reviewers were closing their laboratories, interrupting experiments and reorganizing their schedules. This caused us to postpone the deadline by one month. “The public call panel of reviewers is international and member scientists are based in different countries (full list at the end of this article).

“Being able to support young scientists during such difficult times like this has brought us a new drive,” adds Caldas. “As science has gained more attention during the pandemic, we are hoping that this investment in Brazilian research can bring people some hope.”

List of selected researchers:

Computer Science

Rodrigo Barros
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (RS)

Artificial Intelligence for social well-being: the construction of fair, explainable, confounding variable resistant neural networks with limited supervision

Ricardo Cerri
Universidade Federal de São Carlos (SP)

Automatic evolution of deep neural networks

Igor Dantas dos Santos Miranda
Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia (BA)

Minimalist supersensors: hardware algorithms and architectures for 1-bit sensor arrays

Life Sciences

Cecilia Andreazzi
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (RJ)

Ecology of disease metacommunities: moving from the diluting effect to diluting landscapes

Frederico Henning
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (RJ)

Is evolution predictable? The proximal causes of evolutionary convergence and their relationship with the origin of biodiversity

Ricardo Martinez Garcia
ICTP – Instituto Sul-Americano para Pesquisa Fundamental/ IFT-UNESP (SP)

Understanding the ecology and evolution of microbial social behaviors in turbulent environments: cooperation as a case study

Tiago Gräff
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (BA)

Identification of neuroinvasive viruses in cases of acute encephalitis in Northeastern Brazil

Fabio Gomes
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (RJ)

The effects of malnutrition in vertebrates on the vector competence of Aedes aegypti

Danilo Neves
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (MG)

Niche evolution in tropical biomes and their consequences

Vania Pankievicz
GoGenetic (PR)

Understanding the role of microbiome in the nitrogen flow of sustainable soils, coupling DNA sequencing and stable 15N isotope study

Angelica Vieira
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (MG)

Changes in the intestinal microbiota contribute to the selection and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance

Eduardo Zimmer
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (RS)

The origins of vulnerability and resistance to neurodegeneration in mammals


Farinaldo Queiroz
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (RN)

The Universe is dark

Alexandre Bergantini de Souza
Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica Celso Suckow da Fonseca (RJ)

Laboratory research on the synthesis of complex organic molecules through ionizing radiation in the interstellar medium

Daniel Valente
Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (MT)

Living behavior principles of Physics


Fabricio Caxito
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (MG)

MOBILE Project: mountain ranges and the appearance of complex life on Earth

Fernanda Gervasoni
Universidade Federal de Goiás (GO)

Volatile elements and their influence on the Earth’s mantle below the Midwest region of Brazil recorded in inclusions of primary and accessory minerals in alkaline rocks

Renata Nagai
Universidade Federal do Paraná (PR)

The Southwest Atlantic Ocean’s past and perspectives on future climate change


Matías Delgadino
Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (RJ)

Long-term statistical descriptions of interacting particle systems and fluctuations around their thermodynamic limit

Jethro van Ekeren
Universidade Federal Fluminense (RJ)

Representation Theory of vertex algebras

María Amelia Salazar
Universidade Federal Fluminense (RJ)

Lie groupoids and algebroids: structural theory and applications


Taicia Fill
Universidade Estadual de Campinas (SP)

Rescuing the Brazilian citrus fruit culture from greening: a strategy to disarm the villain

Murilo Santhiago
Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (SP)

Understanding chemical defects in 2D materials basal plane towards hydrogen evolution reaction

Full list of reviewers:

Computer Science

Mauricio Breternitz, Lisbon University Institute, Portugal

Juliana Freire, New York University, USA

Nina Hirata, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Ricardo Torres, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway


Life Sciences

Jean-Michel Ané, University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA

Ivan de Araújo, School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA

Pieter Baas, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Holland

Don Bradshaw, The University of Western Australia, Australia

Ana Domingos, University of Oxford, England

Matias Kirst, University of Florida, United States

Hans Lambers, The University of Western Australia, Australia

Pamela Matson, Stanford University, USA

Arie van Noordwijk, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Holland

Sasha Reed, US Geological Survey, USA

Jeremy M. Rock, The Rockefeller University, USA

Amita Sehgal, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Angela Sessitsch, Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria

Gabriel Victora, The Rockefeller University, USA

David Virshup, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore

Faming Wang, South China Botanic Garden, China



Karen Hallberg, Centro Atómico Bariloche, Argentina

Marcelle Soares-Santos, Brandeis University, USA

Michael Strauss, Princeton University, USA

Seth Zenz, Queen Mary University of London, UK



Yemane Asmerom, University of New Mexico, USA

Holly Barnard, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

Sonia Esperanca, National Science Foundation, USA

Gema Ribeiro Olivo, Queen’s University, Canada

Maggie Toscano, Smithsonian Institution, USA

Roberto Weinberg, Monash University, Australia



Sylvain Crovisier, Université Paris-Sud 11, France

Matilde Mart’inez Garcia, Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Fernando Codá Marques, Princeton University, USA

Leonid Polterovich, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Luis Silvestre, University of Chicago, USA

Amie Wilkinson, University of Chicago, USA



Fikile Brushett, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Guosong Chen, Fudan University, China

Brandi M. Cossairt, University of Washington, USA

Brad Olsen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Ilja Voets, Eindhoven University of Technology, Holland


About Serrapilheira

Created in 2017, the Serrapilheira Institute is the first private non-profit institution geared towards fostering science in Brazil. It was founded to place more value on scientific knowledge and to increase science visibility, therefore, stimulating a culture of science in Brazil. The institute acts in two areas: science itself and science outreach.

In science, the program identifies and supports young scientists’ cutting edge research in Brazil and organizes training and integration events that build a conducive environment for scientific research. In science outreach, in addition to mapping out and supporting projects in the area in Brazil, Serrapilheira also suggests new strategies and provides training and collaboration spaces to Brazilian outreachers. Since its creation, Serrapilheira has supported 98 research and 34 science outreach projects.

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