FAPESP – PCBA Engineering Research Center Versão em português

Call for Research Proposals 2012

1 Introduction (index)

One of the challenges for the advance of knowledge is the complexity of current scientific and technological problems. Tackling these problems often requires more than the 2 - 5 years support offered normally by FAPESP in its Regular Research Grants or Thematic Projects. Long time financing and, in many cases, interdisciplinary approaches, permit the successful addressing of complex problems. For this reason FAPESP has created the Special Program CEPID (Center of Research, Innovation and Diffusion) to support long term research projects.

While dealing with these challenges requires bold approaches, many times the identification of the most rewarding problems requires the association with business or government entities which are directly connected to the market of society.

With its Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Program FAPESP builds on its successful CEPID Program, adapting it to functioning with a committed co-funding partner who is strongly motivated for using the results obtained by the center.

The most important feature of a research project like ERCs is the multiplicity of their missions. At the base of its activities, its core mission is to establish a World Class Research Center throughout its existence and, in addition, develop effective means of Technology Transfer, Education and Dissemination of Knowledge.

The complexity of the execution of a research project as the ERC [MSTB1]requires long term financing and autonomous use of funds. It also requires a strong institutional connection to the co-funding partner and adequate means of rigorous follow-up and assessment of the center’s performance.

2 The Engineering Research Center (ERC) (index)

The Research Plan of the selected Engineering Research Center will include internationally competitive research in the topics listed in section 3. The plan must explore to the maximum extent possible the synergies and complementarities among the topics listed.

In broader terms, the Engineering Research Center is expected to demonstrate a substantial contribution to each of the following goals:

a) Perform world class science and engineering research on the cutting edge of either fundamental or applied knowledge, seeking economic and social impact through innovation.

b) Transfer of knowledge to PCBA and to society, including corporate and/or non-governmental and/or public sectors. Some examples of valuable achievements towards this objective are:

b.1) Carrying out projects in partnership with companies, governmental or non-governmental agencies that are responsible for public policies. These projects may benefit from other FAPESP programs such as PITE – Partnership for Technological Innovation or PPP-Public Policies Research Program.

b.2) Startup of small businesses that incorporate results of research developed by the Center in their products or services. These small businesses may benefit from the Innovative Research in Small Business Program (PIPE) at FAPESP.

c) Interacting with the educational system, especially at the primary and secondary levels, for example, through the FAPESP Public Education Research Program.

All the aforementioned activities and goals of an ERC stem from the performance of internationally competitive research, following the best global excellence benchmarks.

2.1 Composition of the ERC team (index)

A determining factor to the success of a Center is the existence of a team with balanced composition of co-Principal Investigators, Associate Investigators, Visiting Researchers, Post-Doctoral Researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and technical support personnel, supported by top quality administrative and management services, provided by both the research project and the company support.

Not only should an ERC have world class excellence, but it should also be justified by each of the following reasons:

a) The scale, depth and duration of the proposed research activities.

b) The need for continuous interaction between team members to achieve scientific and/or technological goals, transferring and diffusing knowledge.

The dimensions, structure, and operation of each Center should be determined based on the activities to be carried out regarding research, dissemination and transfer of knowledge. In particular, the Center should be hosted by one Institution in the State of São Paulo. The association with other institutions in the State of São Paulo will be considered to enhance the value of the proposal and in some cases, may be essential to make the proposal stronger.

The Center shall have one clear defined common scientific and technological focus that articulates all research activities to be developed. It must be understood that this is not an institutional support program, therefore research divisions, departments, units and institutions will not be supported as such. Funding of Center activities will be long term, limited to 10 years, with regular assessments and any consequences of these assessments throughout this period. Funds allocated may be used with a degree of autonomy. However, FAPESP and PCBA will maintain permanent supervision with periodic evaluations of Center activities.

An ERC should be directed by an Executive Committee (EC) composed of a Director (Principal Investigator), a Deputy Director, a Coordinator of Education and Dissemination of Knowledge, and a Technology Transfer Coordinator. The EC should be supported by a staff of managers, professionals to be hired by the Host Institutions who should carry out and supervise all management and administrative tasks necessary for the operation of the Center.

2.1.1 Participation of PCBA scientists and engineers (index)

Participation of PCBA in the activities of the ERC, including the appointment of PCBA’s scientists or technicians to participate in the centers’s activities, is essential and will be discussed with the Principal Investigator and the Host Institution after the review process.

This participation will necessarily include a scientist, indicated by PCBA, who will have the prerrogatives of a visiting researcher at the host institution, and who will act as the Deputy Director of the Center. This procedure allows for:

a) Ensuring that groups in university and research institutions in the State of São Paulo compete on an equal basis;

b) Guaranteeing a high level of interaction between the Center and PCBA.

2.2 International Advisory Board (index)

The ERC will establish an International Advisory Board (IAB) made up of renowned scientists in the Center’s field of focus. The IAB should include at least two foreign scientists who are active in the cutting edge of the knowledge in their areas. FAPESP expects the IAB to perform the main role of advising the operation of the Center, guiding the team regarding new opportunities for research, new directions, aiming at increasing its international competitiveness. The IAB should not be considered as a substitute to the FAPESP evaluation system, which will be implemented solely by FAPESP and PCBA.

The proposals for this call must include a proposal for the academic organization and management systems of the Center which unequivocally demonstrates the possibility of reaching the established objectives.

2.3 Topics to be covered in the Research Plan (index)

a) Research about combustion engines specifically adapted or developed to biofuels, including:

a.1) New ideas and settings to internal combustion engines fueled by biofuels, including the ideas and settings to hybrid cars.

a.2) Enhancing of ethanol and using at engines of ignition through compression;

a.3) Characterization of the biofuels physical and chemical properties;

a.4) Biofuels combustion;

a.5) Modeling tools, including those for ethanol calibration, and for mapping of engine conditions;

a.6) Measuring devices: sensors, in-cylinder measurements, other diagnostic systems;

a.7) Associated reduction of fuel consumption and emissions;

a.8) Optimization and adequacy of specialized materials regarding different types of biofuels;

b) Research about Biofuels Sustainability, including:

b.1) Current Scenario and Perspectives to biofuels in Brazil and worldwide.

b.2) Cenário atual e futuro dos biocombustíveis no Brasil e no mundo;

b.3) How to improve economically and environmentally the use of biofuels;

b.4) Environmental and Social Impacts of the large scale production of biofuels;

3 Definitions (index)

a) Engineering Research Center: is a complex and long term project regarding to develop world class research that lead to the consolidation of a Research Center;

b) Principal Investigator (PI): is the researcher responsible for preparing and submitting the Proposal and for the scientific and administrative coordination of the Project if approved by FAPESP and PCBA. The PI should have the explicit endorsement of the Host Institutions and the other associated institutions, if this is the case. At an ERC, the PI is the Center Director;

c) Co-Principal Investigator (CoPI): is a team researcher, proposed by the PI and approved by FAPESP and PCBA. All co-PIs must have an excellent research background, and their participation must be clearly specified in the Research Project, and this participation must be essential to the development of this Research Project. The Co-PIs may be entitled to using FAPESP’s Complementary Benefits.

c.1) The PI is necessarily one of the project's Co-Principal Investigators.

c.2) At the ERC, there may be more than one Co-Principal Investigator in addition to the Principal Investigator.

d) Associate Investigator (AI): team researchers, assigned by the Co-Principal Investigator and approved by FAPESP and PCBA, who are responsible for contributing to well defined parts of the Research Project.

e) Host Institution: the institution hosting the Project and to which the PI is connected. This connection is not necessarily of employment, but in any case it is necessary that a formal connection be established in a manner considered satisfactory by FAPESP and PCBA regarding the commitments of the Principal Investigator and the Host Institution to the Project. The Host Institution should provide institutional support to the storing and accessing material and equipment for the researchers of project..

3.1 Requirements for the PI and the co-PI´s (index)

a) A PhD degree or equivalent qualification.

b) A formal connection with a research institution in the state of São Paulo.

b.1) When the connection is not employment-based, a copy of the document stating the formal bond between the PI and/or CoPIs and the institution will be mandatory.

c) Have proven substantial scientific or technological production and leadership in large and bold research projects.

d) Have proven experience and competence in the area in which the Project is inserted, demonstrated by:

d.1) Quality, regularity and impact of researcher’s scientific and technological production.

d.2) Training of researchers at the graduate level.

d.3) Experience with scientific exchange and execution of research projects in collaboration with researchers from institutions in Brazil and in other countries.

d.4) Ability to form research groups with results recognized by the scientific community.

4 Necessary conditions to create a Center (index)

Minimal essential conditions to justify a Center are:

a) Research Plan: the Proposal for a Center should have as a core an advanced and original research plan that is highly competitive both nationally and internationally.

b) Host Institution: the Center must be hosted in one or more institutions of higher education and research, or research institutions, which are public, or private and not for profit, in the state of São Paulo and associated to Graduate Programs recognized by CAPES, preferably graded 5, 6 or 7, and which are committed to ensure complete feasibility of the Center. Association of institutions is recommended and can make the proposal stronger;

c) The formal commitment from the Host Institution(s) must include:

c.1) A detailed description of the institutional contribution as well as schedules for disbursement and/or hiring of personnel. In this official document, there should be details on contributions regarding the following:

c.1.i) Physical space and infrastructure: the physical area set aside for the Center should not only provide for perfect functioning of activities related to research, innovation and diffusion, but also permanent interaction among its researchers. When this does not fully exist, the proposal must include a commitment to build it and timeline for its construction.

c.1.ii) Personnel assigned to the proper administration and management of the Project,

c.1.iii) Technical support staff;

c.2) The institutions involved in the ERCs must prepare a single document listing all institutional commitments signed by the highest level administration of each the Institutions.

d) Center Director, who is also the PI, and Team: the experiences of the ERCs and similar centers in other countries have shown that the success of implementing the Centers is highly dependent on the appropriate choice of its Director and Team of Researchers.

d.1) The Center Director, a researcher with a solid background of internationally competitive scientific achievements in the area of the Center, should also have proven leadership and management abilities to develop large scale projects.

d.2) The PI and coPIs must stand out for their excellence. They must be researchers who have produced scientific work of international impact and have shown competence for cooperative research within the Center's focal theme. The research team is expected to include some young researchers with proven potential for research. The composition of the team must reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the Research Project.

d.2.i) The Proposal for the Center may be accompanied by requests for Research Grants – Young Researcher prepared according to FAPESP standards for the modality, which will be analyzed along with the Proposal for the Center.

d.3) There may be Researchers in other countries or other states of Brazil taking part on the research team, provided they have proven excellence in research. In this case, the budget proposed may provide funds for transportation of these researchers to the Host Institution and for their maintenance, within the guidelines of the Visiting Research Award from FAPESP.

e) The Center must have an Education and Knowledge Dissemination Coordinator and a Technology Transfer Coordinator.

e.1) The Education and Knowledge Dissemination Coordinator should be experienced in developing projects in this area and will be assisted by a Manager of Education and Dissemination of Knowledge, who must be hired by the Host Institution.

e.2) The Technology Transfer Coordinator should be a researcher experienced in Technology Management who will be assisted by a Technology Transfer Manager, who should be hired by the Host Institution.

f) The PI and co-PIs must demonstrate a substantial time and dedication to the Center activities.

f.1) The PI and co-PIs are expected to dedicate, at least, 20 hours per week to activities in the Center.

f.2) Other team members may be less dedicated, if justifiable and compatible with their duties on the project.

g) Agreements, joint projects or collaborations established or under negotiation with internationally recognized foreign centers, departments or research institutes with research focus on the area of the ERCs are non-exclusive conditions that can make the proposal more competitive. When they are not included in the proposal, the selected ERC should establish such collaborations in the first two years of its operation.

5 Support offered by FAPESP and PCBA (index)

a) For the Centers selected, funding will initially be awarded for a 4 year period (or less), which may be renewed, by decision of the Joint FAPESP-PCBA Steering Committee, at most, for two more 3 year periods. In any event, after ten years, FAPESP and PCBA will not have any commitment to maintain the Center.

b) Funding from FAPESP and PCBA is not expected to be the sole and exclusive support of the Center – within the Project there should be documentation of total necessary budgeting for the operation of the Center and the sources, including FAPESP and PCBA, which will contribute to each item.

c) A significant factor in providing value to the Proposal during the selection process is the existence of financing from sources beyond FAPESP, PCBA and the Host Institution, provided they are aimed at objectives that are in line with the mission of the Center, as defined in the Project submitted to FAPESP and PCBA.

d) Funding from FAPESP and PCBA may be complemented by other sources if the contributions are approved by the FAPESP-PCBA Joint Steering Committee in advance.

e) The support from FAPESP and PCBA to the Center will not be larger than R$ 1,6 million annually for any year; included in this total are the values ascribed to the Overhead for Direct Infrastructure Costs for the Project (see section 2.2 of Annex I) and the overheads for any awarded fellowships.

5.1 Items which may be financed with funds requested to FAPESP (index)

FAPESP is forbidden by law from supporting administrative activities. For this reason, support for all administrative activities as an institutional contribution will be essential to making the creation of a Center feasible.

Items which may be financed with funds requested to FAPESP are: fellowships (scientific initiation, technical training, master's, doctorate, post-doctoral degree, and visiting researcher), organization of work meetings, research equipment, consumables, third-party services, per diem allowances, transportation, living expense aids to visiting researchers. Financing may cover civil construction of research infrastructure to remodel or adapt already existing structures (provided that there is no increase in built area), which are essential to the appropriate execution of the Research Project. The rules for Financeable Items are detailed in Annex I.

5.2 Items which may be financed with funds requested to PCBA (index)

Items which may be financed with funds requested to PCBA are:

a) Capital goods or equipment, necessary to the Research Project, provided they stay under the ownership of Institutions of the public or private Higher Education and Research Institutions in the State of São Paulo, after the completion of the project;

b) Fellowship for under graduate, Masters, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral students, with values at least equal to the grants FAPESP provides for these arrangements, including contingency funds;

c) Acquisition of consumables, travel expenses and services where directly necessary to the Research Project;

d) Expenditures directed to the infrastructure necessary to the Research Project;

e) Funds to supplement wages of faculty or researchers employed by institutions of Higher Education and Research that host the project;

f) Funds for the hiring, for the period of the project, of researchers and technical support needed for research work associated with the project;

g) Other items as specifically approved by the Scientific Director of FAPESP.

5.3 Restrictions (index)

a) There may be no additional salary payments of any nature using FAPESP funds.

b) The law also prohibits FAPESP from supporting administrative activities of any kind. Of course, these activities are necessary for the success of the Center and should be fully guaranteed by the Host Institutions, with complementary funds coming from any other sources being well documented.

c) FAPESP funds may not be used to finance neither construction of new buildings nor of annexes to already existing buildings.

5.4 Required institutional support (index)

As already mentioned, FAPESP is forbidden by law from supporting administrative activities and paying salaries. For this reason, support for all administrative activities (procurement, management, secretary services, and others) and payment of research support personnel as an institutional contribution will be essential to making creation of a Center feasible. Thus, guaranteeing administrative infrastructure is an essential part of the institutional contribution.

Moreover, the Host Institution must ensure

a) Personnel and services for administration and management, including at least:

a.1) One EXECUTIVE Manager of the Center.



a.4) All technical personnel needed for perfect support of research and other activities.

a.5) Plan for admitting new researchers/professors: item not required, but adds significant value to the proposal.

b) Total technical support and facilities for the Center.

c) Administrative support for procurement, scheduling, accounting, and all other administrative tasks needed for successful functioning of a Center of the intended size.

All institutional contributions must be described and quantified in physical data and financial and economic numbers: earmarking, salaries for researchers and support personnel, facilities (layout of the area to be occupied by the Center), equipment and infrastructure to which the Center will have access (communication, computer network, support workshops, administrative resources), etc. The intensity of the institutional support considered necessary and approved by FAPESP will be an important item in FAPESP assessment of the proposals.

5.5 Supervision of Centers (index)

The activities at each Center will be assessed annually via the Progress Reports. At the end of the second, fourth, and seventh years, wide-ranging assessments that may include visits will be carried out. The results of these assessments will be decisive to continued support from FAPESP.

a) If the Center is not approved in the 2nd year assessment, it will have 6 more months of reduced support in order to deactivate.

b) If the Center is approved in the 4th year, it will have its support renewed for 6 more years.

c) If the Center which is not approved in the 4th year assessment or in any of the subsequent assessments, or if the FAPESP-PSA Joint Steering Committee decides to interrupt the support in the 4th year, the Center will have one additional year of reduced support to deactivate or find new sources of financing.

d) The maximum support time for the Center is 10 years.

5.6 Program funding (index)

FAPESP and PCBA will reserve up to R$ 1,6 million annually to implement the program, with up to 1 proposal expected to be selected.

6 Presentation of proposals (index)

All proposals will be internationally peer reviewed, hence they must be presented in ENGLISH.

During the review process, the reviewer may consult the Lattes CVs of the PI, coPIs and other members of the scientific team; therefore, the Lattes CVs must be updated.

The proposal must be submitted by the PI (Center Director if the proposal is approved), with the endorsement of the appropriate institutional directors (for example, at a State University there should be an endorsement from the Unit Director, the Dean of Research, and the University President), and of the CoPIs. The proposals must contain:

Identification on Cover Sheet

PI, name of the Center, name of main Host Institution and associated institutions, names and connections of Coordinators proposed for Education and Dissemination of Knowledge and Technology Transfer.

Abstract (15 lines)

Summary of proposal.

Summary (up to two pages)

a) description of the Center and its specific features;

b) focus of research activities and, if applicable, their multidisciplinary articulation;

c) expected Technology Transfer and Education and Dissemination of Knowledge activities;

d) justification for creation of the Center;

e) brief description of the institutional contribution.

1) Justification for the Center (up to three pages)

The existence of the Center must be justified based on the nature, importance, and feasibility of the activities to be developed. It should be based on each of these reasons:

a) complexity of the problems to be researched;

b) scale and duration of the research activities to be carried out;

c) multidisciplinary character of the research planned;

d) need for continual interaction between Team members.

2) Research Plan and description of its scientific relevance (up to 20 pages, including bibliographic references)

The Research Plan is the core of the Center Proposal. It should describe the scientific and technological challenges to be faced, the state of the art in the area, as well as the means, methods, and materials necessary to face them. It should list activities proposed with the state of the art in the area. A bold and original Research Plan that is highly competitive nationally and internationally is expected. How the chosen strategy will impact the area of research in a significant manner should be shown. The Research Plan should articulate the vision for the Center, outlining the scientific macro-challenges that will be faced and/or the sought after scientific discoveries. The plan needs to specifically justify, in terms of complexity of problems and/or scale and potential of scientific relevance, the special support that is offered and the potential time span of 10 years. The scientific objectives of the Center and the research activities should be described in a sufficiently detailed manner to allow for scientific assessment of their merit as well as of the need for a Center to carry them out. The Research Plan should also show how the integration between Education and Dissemination of Knowledge and Technology Transfer will contribute to advancing research. The Research Plan should also include some specific examples of lines of research with enough detail to allow for analysis by auditors consulted.

3) Action Plan for Education and Knowledge Dissemination (EDC) (up to five pages, including bibliographical references)

The activities of the Center must include training of human resources at every level, and Education and Dissemination of Knowledge. In addition to developing the usual undergraduate and graduate level science research programs, the Centers are also responsible for holding basic education extension activities, such as secondary education student and teacher activities, teacher training, and science diffusion courses, and continuing education programs. Prior experience of participants with this type of activity should be briefly described, emphasizing documented results. The Proposals are expected to contribute to Education and Dissemination of Knowledge and to improving the teaching of sciences at every level, such as research programs for faculty and students, projects in partnership with schools, Education and Dissemination of scientific and technological Knowledge activities, creation of techniques and vehicles that provide this diffusion, etc. The project team must include a Coordinator responsible for these activities and a Manager hired by the Host Institution.

4) Action Plan for Technology Transfer (TT) (up to five pages including bibliographic references)

Research activities at the Center should have great potential for exchange with other research and knowledge transfer institutions to the productive and government sectors. The Technology Transfer proposal should describe how the Center will develop and implement these activities. Prior experience of participants with this type of activity should be briefly described, emphasizing documented results (projects, co-authored publications, licensed or co-licensed patents, absorption of graduate students by collaborator companies, etc.). The plan must be described and the viability of technology transfer activities must be shown via projects done in partnership, incubation of companies, continuing education programs, and other activities. The project team must include a Coordinator responsible for these activities and a Manager hired by the Host Institution.

Management Plan and Organizational Structure for Center operations, including:

5.a) Management Plan and Structure (up to three pages)

The Center must have an organizational structure and management plan that are adequate to the complexity and diversity of its goals. The organizational chart must include Coordinators responsible for the education and diffusion of knowledge activities and the Coordinator of the technology transfer activities, in addition to other coordinators that the proposers consider to be necessary. The Management Plan should also show how the Center will be located within the institutional structure which will house it. The Management Plan should detail the management model for activities and mechanisms of collaboration. In terms of team meetings, at least one Annual Meeting should be included in which the results and/or projects and/or plans for the coming period will be presented and discussed, held in addition to regular team meetings. At the Annual Meeting, the attendance of the Advisory Board Members and all of the Center’s Researchers and Students is required. A FAPESP observer must be invited via notice given within a reasonable amount of time.

5.b) Executive Committee (CE) (one page)

This should be made up of at least the Principal Investigator responsible for the proposal (Center Director), the Vice Director, and the Technology Transfer and Education and Dissemination of Knowledge Coordinators. There may be other members if it is found to be necessary by the proposers. The CE should supervise all day to day operations at the Center and should be assisted by an appropriate support team connected to the Host Institution.

5.c) Proposal for composition of the International Advisory Board (IAB) (up to two pages)

Suggested names, their justification, and modus operandi of the IAB. FAPESP expects the IAB to perform the main role of supervising the functioning of the Center and guiding the team regarding opportunities and research, new directions to take, and increased international competitiveness of the science created by the Center. Members should be both researchers who are very highly regarded for their international excellence and people to whom the Center Director and Coordinators have easy access.

6) Team (up to five pages)

List of Team Members, including researchers (including post-doctorate members with fellowships), technicians, administrative support personnel, and students. A description of the responsibilities of each of the Principal Investigators should be included in the Research Plan. The Center is expected to have a Team with a balanced distribution between Principal Investigators, Associate Investigators, Visiting Researchers, Post-Doctorate Researchers, and students and the corresponding technical and administrative support. In addition to the Center’s Director and Vice Director, the Proposal must include:

a) The Coordinator responsible for Education and Dissemination of Knowledge activities;

b) The Coordinator responsible for Technology Transfer activities;

c) The team of researchers responsible for executing research projects to be developed;

d) For each member of the scientific team (Principal Investigator - Director, Vice Director, TT and EDC Coordinators, and Principal Investigators) the proposal must include the Résumé (form available at;

e) The Director, Vice Director of the Center, TT and EDC Coordinators, and the Principal Investigators should furthermore fill out the Researcher Registration, also available on the FAPESP website;

f) The description of the most important achievements already made as a result of collaboration between the PIs (one page maximum).

7) Estimate of Total Annual Budget for the Center (appropriate form)

This should include all sources of funds the Center will have access to, listing Uses (Sources and Uses spreadsheet) of funds in terms of general items (Scientific Personnel, Technical Personnel, Administrative Personnel, Students, Permanent Equipment and Material, Consumables, Third-Party Services).

8) Budget Request for FAPESP and PCBA (appropriate form plus justification sheets)

Detailed budget on FAPESP forms for this purpose. This should include justification (based on terms of objectives for the RESEARCH plan or the TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER and EDCUATION AND DISSEMINATION OF KNOLWEDGE Plans) for all of the items valued at more than R$ 25 thousand (national or imported), detailing the relationship of the need with the Proposal item. This budget request for FAPESP should be prepared for the first three years of the Center’s operation in a detailed manner and in the other years, with justifiable estimates. The budget should include the support requested from FAPESP for RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER and EDUCATION AND DISSEMINATION OF KNOWLEDGE, detailing the function to be met for each item (RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER, and EDUCATION AND DISSEMINATION OF KNOWLEDGE).

9) Details of institutional support and its costs (up to five pages)

Description of the institutional support offered by the Head Institution(s), including detailed information on the costs of each item of support.

10) Details on other current and expected support (up to two pages)

List of other support a) Other current support already contracted; b) Other expected support.

7 Review of Proposals (index)

Proposals will undergo a competitive review process, considering the degree to which the proposal complies to each one of the conditions listed in sections 2 and 4 of this Call for Proposals.

The review process may at the discretion of the FAPESP-PCBA Joint Steering Committee include interview with the Proposing Researcher, said Researcher’s team, and directors of the Host Institution, as well as visits to the Host Institutions.

At the end of the review, FAPESP and PCBA may recommend the merging of proposals.

7.1 Review (index)

1) SCIENTIFIC MERIT. Boldness of the Proposal benchmarked by analysis of the international state of the art for the area. The Project should be strategic and present reachable and measurable objectives to be met during the duration of the Program. It is essential that realistic and detailed timelines be made for the first two years of the Project. The research plan should allow for evaluation of the potential for creating a Center that may become a World Class reference in the area in which it works. One of the important elements of the plan should be the strategy for effective international cooperation.

2) FOCUS. One common scientific/technological focus that articulates research activities to be developed is mandatory.

3) JUSTIFICATION FOR CREATION OF THE ERC. The Proposal must explain the need to create an ERC. This Program is not simply a mechanism for financing, but rather intends to contribute to building a world class Center capable of creating cutting edge science and transferring and diffusing knowledge.

4) DIRECTOR QUALIFICATIONS. The Center Director must be a researcher with a solid background of internationally competitive scientific achievements in the area in which the Center works, who should also have the ability to lead and to manage in order to develop large scale projects.

5) QUALIFICATION OF THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS. It is essential that the Director have an academic profile that is compatible with the proposals of the Plan and that the Principal Investigators have the potential to occupy the Director position.

6) QUALIFICATION OF THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER COORDINATOR. Experience in research and in Management and Transfer of Technology.

7) QUALIFICATIONS OF THE COORDINATOR OF EDUCATION AND DISSEMINATION OF KNOWLEDGE. Experience in research and development of projects in the area of Education and Dissemination of Knowledge.

8) ADEQUACY OF THE SCIENTIFIC TEAM. Qualification, size, recent academic background, balance between senior and junior team members, participation of emerging leaders, involvement of post-doctoral researchers with grants on recent research done by Principal Investigators. The team is expected to have a balanced composition of Principal Investigators, Associate Investigators, Visiting Researchers, Post-Doctoral Researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and technical support personnel, supported by top quality administrative and management services.

9) INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENTS TO THE CREATION OF THE ERC. The quality and quantity of the institutional contribution, including physical space to be used by the Center and administrative and management support, need to be compatible with the boldness of the proposal objectives.

10) TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PROPOSAL. The intensity of transfer of knowledge to the industry, public or third sectors, may vary in intensity based on the Project focus, and should lead to a stronger bond between research institutions and the outside environment and contribute to bringing new challenges in research to institutions, guaranteeing that social benefits created by the research done are maximized.

11) EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE DISSEMINATION PROPOSAL. Mechanisms for diffusion and education that consolidate existing processes or propose radical innovations with the potential for improving teaching and the perception of science by society.

12) TOTAL ESTIMATED BUDGET ADEQUACY. Sources and uses; balance between costs and personnel and cost of equipment; adequacy to objectives; effective and appropriate use of existing multi-user infrastructure; access to other confirmed or prospective sources; institutional support.



8 Timeline (index)

Deadline for submission of proposals

March 29, 2013

Announcement of Proposals selected

July 31st, 2013

9 For further information (index)


10 Implementation of the approved proposal (index)

The cooperation between FAPESP, PCBA, and the Host Institutions will be regulated by a separate agreement which will define:

a) The schedule of disbursements and financial reports;

b) The definition and timing of expected results at each stage of the project;

c) Clauses on Intellectual Property, commercial exploitation and confidentiality

d) Term;

e) Legal venue.

Annex 1: Items which may be financed by FAPESP under the ERC Program (index)

The research project budget presented to FAPESP must be detailed and each item must be specifically justified in terms of objectives of the proposed plans. It is recommended that you read the Accountability Manual:

Items that may not be financed are: salaries of any nature, third-party services of a non-technical and sporadic nature, civil construction, acquisition of publications, travel (except for field research and to present work at scientific conferences), administrative services and materials.

Items allowable for financing include the following.

1 Cost of the research project (index)

a) Permanent material acquired in Brazil or imported;

b) Consumables acquired in Brazil or imported;

c) Third-Party Services acquired in Brazil or abroad;

d) Transportation and Per Diem Expenses for activities connected directly with carrying out the proposed research, including for visits from Visiting Researchers;

e) Fellowships: Fellowships Given as a Budgetary item (BCO) under the following modalities and pursuant to FAPESP standards may be requested: Post-Doctoral (PD), Doctoral (DR), Direct Doctoral (DD), Master’s (MS), Basic Scientific (IC), and Technical Training (TT);

e.1) The advisor/supervisor for each person awarded a fellowship must be one of the Principal Investigators.

e.2) For each grant requested, a Plan of Activities must be presented with the initial proposal containing up to two pages, including the Fellowship Project Title, Summary, and Plan Description (providing sufficient information to allow for auditor analysis).

e.3) The plan for each fellowship needs to be consistent with the research proposal and should be referenced within the research proposal in a manner that makes it possible for the auditor to see the connection with and importance to the project proposed.

e.4) The name of the person receiving the fellowship should not be indicated on the proposal. If a project containing this item is approved, the Researcher Responsible for the Aid (ERC Director) must hold a selective and publicly announced process to select grant winners based on academic merit.

e.5) Rules for awarding Fellowships as a budget item (BCO) are available at

e.5.i) Undergraduate Scientific Research Fellowship candidates should have already concluded a sufficient number of relevant subjects to develop the research project and to take full advantage of it.

e.5.ii) Candidates for Doctoral, Direct Doctoral, and Master’s level Fellowship should have been accepted into the project Host Institution’s graduate program.

e.5.iii) In the case of Post-Doctoral Fellowship given as a budget item of the project, the selective process must necessarily be international and must be documented at the time that each Fellowship is awarded.

e.5.iv) If documents proving that the public and international selective process was held are not presented at the time that the Post-Doctoral candidate for a fellowship is named, the fellowship will not be implemented by FAPESP.

e.6) Scientific Initiation, Master, Doctorate and Post-Doctorate fellowship may also be requested separately, as Complementary Requests, in accordance with what is set forth in item 4 below, connected to ERC Projects in specific proposals, according to the traditional procedures for the FAPESP Fellowship Programs.

2 Overhead (index)

a) For the ERC Program, the rules for the Technical Reserve of Thematic Projects are valid, with due modifications required for adaptation to the time span.

b) The Technical Reserve is composed of three parts:

b.1) Additional Benefits;

b.2) Overhead for Direct Expenses with Research Infrastructure;

b.3) Overhead for Institutional Expenses with Research Infrastructure.

c) The detailed rules for use of the Technical Reserve are available at materia.php?data[id_materia]=3097.

3 Research Infrastructure Grant (index)

a) In the initial request or at the time when the second scientific report is presented, the Principal Investigator may request funds for small remodeling projects, aimed at guaranteeing the infrastructure needed to develop the project. New construction is prohibited. This request should be justified in detail and be associated with relevant funding contributed by the Host Institution.

4 Complementary requests (index)

The items needed to develop the project are expected to be requested in the proposal; however, exceptionally, FAPESP may receive additional requests associated with the proposal.

Complementary Requests are those requests associated with current ERC Project objectives whose consideration or treatment has undergone some modification as a result of this condition. Processes that are under consideration as complementary requests to the ERC Project are called “Connected Processes.” The concept applies to requests for Research Assistance – Visiting Researcher, Research Assistance – Publication, and requests for Grants within Brazil – Regular and Foreign Research Grant – Regular.

a) Complementary Requests should be effective for a time compatible with that of the ERC Project to which they are connected and may not, under any circumstances, exceed the effective time of the ERC Project.

a.1) For Research Award from a Visiting Researcher, the duration of the stay should be contained in the duration of the ERC Research Assistance to which it is connected.

a.2) For Fellowships, the start date should be such that there is an appropriate overlap between the effectiveness of the initial awarding of the fellowship and the remaining effectiveness to the Award to which it is connected. Adaptation of the connection will be analyzed by the Scientific Directorate considering items such as the nature of the work plan and the effective dates for the Award in relation to the effective dates for the fellowship.

a.2.i) If the overlap is not found to be appropriate, the Fellowship request will be analyzed, but it will not qualify as a Complementary Request.

b) Complementary Requests must necessarily be endorsed by the Principal Investigator for the ERC Project to which they are connected.

c) Requests submitted to FAPESP as “Complementary Requests" and which are not classifiable in the definition above will be received, but will be considered as independent and non-connected requests.

d) Complementary Requests for Research Assistance in the modalities of Visiting Researcher and Publication Assistance associated with the ERC Project may be waived from being sent for external auditing and be analyzed under the auspices of the Area and/or Adjunct Coordination.

e) Complementary Requests for Master's, Doctoral, Direct Doctor, and Post-Doctoral Fellowships connected to the ERC Projects will be given priority in the respective sessions of comparative analysis, provided that they are equal in conditions and in academic items to the other proposals under analysis.

f) For Complementary requests for Post-Doctoral Fellowships, there is differential treatment regarding the duration of the fellowship. (see rules at

g) Complementary Requests must be made individually using the appropriate forms and accompanied with pertinent documentation, as described in the respective manual. Furthermore, they must be accompanied by the ERC Project summary, which is an indispensable item for analyzing the activity proposed within the project’s context, highlighting the fact that this is a complementary request to an ERC Project and citing the process number.

g.1) These requests will be new processes at FAPESP, with their own reports and accountability. The funds awarded will not be subtracted from the ERC Project budget.

5 Use of PCBA funding (index)

In addition to items listed in sections 1,2,3 and 4 of Annex I, the company's funds can be used to pay the hiring, for the period of the project, of researchers and technical support needed for research work associated with the project; and to supplement wages of faculty or researchers employed by the Research Institutions involved in the Project. The funds contributed by the PCBA will be disbursed to the Host Institution.


Page updated on 12/07/2012 - Published on 11/12/2012