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FAPESP will select projects that contribute to public policies for recovery from COVID-19 Versão em português

A total of BRL 18.5 million will be allocated to funding for collaborative projects by researchers in the state of São Paulo with colleagues in other countries. Proposals must be submitted not later than July 10.


On April 20, FAPESP issued a COVID-19 UN Research Roadmap Fast-Track Call for Proposals to select collaborative research projects that contribute to the formulation of public policies for recovery from the socio-economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Proposals must be submitted by July 10, 2021.

The call is aligned with the United Nations Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery. Published in November 2020, the UN document lists research priorities in strategic areas to build a more equitable, resilient and sustainable future, and in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (more information at: agencia.fapesp.br/34730/).

“FAPESP helped produce the document alongside the heads of research funding agencies from 25 countries, and now we’re one of the first to issue a call aligned with this international research roadmap,” said Luiz Eugênio Mello, FAPESP’s Scientific Director.

The priorities listed by the UN document relate to support for health systems and services, education, infrastructure, social protection, economic recovery programs, social cohesion and community resilience, communication, governance, human behavior, cultural practices, and mental health.

FAPESP’s call includes a set of questions for each of the Roadmap’s main topics to help researchers focus their proposals. Analysis of projects will be fast-tracked. They are to be relatively short, lasting not more than two years and should involve collaboration with researchers in other countries. Funding may be sought for projects already under way, considering that collaboration will yield faster results with a further outreach. “International research cooperation is one of the pillars of the Roadmap and will be a key factor in our analysis of the proposals,” Mello said.

Proposals may also involve researchers based in Brazilian states other than São Paulo, whether or not they are already supported by other research funding agencies.

Researchers affiliated with institutions in São Paulo state may submit proposals or apply to redirect ongoing projects to the topics on which this call focuses, but must designate eligible partners with whom they wish to work.

FAPESP will allocate a total of BRL 18.5 million to this call, with up to BRL 300,000 going to each project (BRL 150,000 per year).

The funding awarded by FAPESP will cover the expenses of research groups in São Paulo, in accordance with the rules governing Regular Research Grants. A postdoctoral fellowship or technical training fellowship (TT-1-TT-5) may also be requested in this case, to last the same amount of time as the Regular Grant.

A webinar will be held on May 5 to answer questions and provide further clarification on the call.

After the selection of the projects, hubs of excellence will be organized in different themes, in order to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and foster public policies. Principal investigators will be asked to share the results of their projects in at least three meetings to be organized by a scientific steering committee to be set up by FAPESP.

Proposals submitted between now and July 10 will first be screened for eligibility. They will then be assessed for scientific merit, initially by two ad hoc (external) advisors, who will each issue an opinion.

FAPESP will assemble the advisors in assessment committees to discuss the proposals and issue a collective opinion on each one. Based on the complete set of opinions and interviews with proponents awarded positive initial assessments, FAPESP’s Area Panels and Adjunct Panel will submit recommendations to the Scientific Director, who will make the final decision. The results will be announced in September 2021.

The full text of the call is available at: fapesp.br/14879.

The COVID-19 UN Research Roadmap Fast-Track Call is FAPESP’s second call for research proposals relating to the pandemic. The first was issued in March 2020.