Call for Proposals FAPESP – Max Planck Institutes – 2019 Versão em português

FAPESP Young Investigator Grant 2019

A collaboration between Max Planck Institutes


The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

Summary: Young highly qualified investigators, with at least two years of very well succeeded postdoctoral experience, are invited to submit research proposals to establish independent Tandem Research Groups associated to universities or research institutes in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, in strong collaboration with researchers in one of the 84 Max Planck Institutes.

Call announced:

July 30, 2019

Closing date

September 23, 2019

Support Opportunity:

Young Investigator Grant

Maximum duration of the project:

60 months (extension to 72 months possible, based on performance)


Proposals must be submitted only through the SAGe platform


Virginia Sanches Subiñas – Science Manager for Research Collaborations.

Dr. Andreas Trepte – Head of the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG) Liaison Office for Latin America.

1. Introduction

The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) announces this International Call for Proposals to strengthen the collaboration between universities and research institutions in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, and Max Planck Institutes, worldwide.

Young highly qualified investigators, with at least two years of very well succeeded postdoctoral experience, are invited to submit research proposals to establish independent Tandem Research Groups at universities or research institutes in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, in strong collaboration with researchers in one of the 84 Max Planck Institutes. This Call aims:

1) To select highly qualified young scientists with outstanding research impact during a postdoctoral experience and who are highly motivated and willing to further develop their scientific career associated to a university or research institute in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

a) The selected candidates will lead independent Tandem Research Groups – TRG, to be established at host institutions in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, in cooperation with a corresponding Max Planck Institute, and to be funded under the FAPESP Young Investigator Grant (YIG) program for 60 months (extension to 72 months is possible based on performance review).

b) The TRG are modelled on the independent Max Planck Research Groups in Germany to support early career scientists who are dedicated to independent, interdisciplinary, high quality research. Each TRG will be in close scientific collaboration with a corresponding Max Planck Institute that provides scientific advice, support, training, and access to know-how, facilities, and infrastructure.

2) To create opportunities for the establishment of new research groups in higher education and research institutions in the state of São Paulo led by the selected young investigators cooperating closely with outstanding principal investigators in Max Planck Institutes.

The terms and conditions are described below.

2. Areas of Interest

This Call for Proposals invites research proposals in the following themes:

1) Astronomy, chemistry, physics, geosciences, mathematics, computer sciences and engineering;

2) Life sciences and medicine;

3) Arts and humanities, social and cognitive sciences.

3. Grant mechanism

Applications should be submitted to FAPESP following the Guidelines for Young Investigators Grant (YIG), under its conditions and restrictions unless explicitly defined otherwise in this Call for Proposals.

3.1 Support offered by FAPESP

For the selected proposals FAPESP will provide funding for:

1) Costs allowed by FAPESP in YIG as described in item 7 of the YIG Guidelines;

2) A Young Investigator Fellowship, to be paid for up to 60 months or until the Young Investigator obtains a permanent position at the host institution in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, whichever happens first. The monthly value of the scholarship is announced at

3) Exceptionally for this Call, proposals submitted may request, in addition to the items that can be requested in a normal FAPESP Young Investigator Grant (see 3.1 - 1), one Post-Doctoral (PD) scholarship, for a post-doc to be selected by the Young Investigator. In all cases FAPESP’s rules for the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, as described at, and norms for the award of Post-Doctoral Fellowships attached to Thematic Projects, as described at, need to be observed.

4. Eligibility criteria

1) Eligible candidates must:

a) Comply with the eligibility requirements of FAPESP’s Young Investigator Grant specified at

b) Be Brazilians or foreign candidates at the beginning of her/his successful scientific career with a sound postdoctoral experience, of at least 2 years, in a research group outside Brazil and internationally competitive, and highly motivated to develop and carry out an internationally competitive research program. Ideally, the candidate obtained its doctorate a maximum of seven years ago (for a doctorate in medicine: nine years).

2) This program particularly aims at excellent young researchers who have already held one or two post-doc jobs and who would now like to – and deem themselves apt to – head a research group and to elaborate together on own research ideas independently. Please note that independent research group position is only open to applicants who hold a doctorate.

5. Host institution in São Paulo, Brazil and research collaboration activities required for this call

5.1 Host institution in São Paulo, Brazil

1) Ordinarily, the proposals must demonstrate acceptance to be hosted in a university or research institute in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

a) Such acceptance must be demonstrated with an endorsement to the proposal by the director of the host institution in the state of São Paulo, Brazil

2) Exceptionally, proposals may be submitted without the demonstrated acceptance by a host institution in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. In these cases, if the proposal is selected for approval, it will be necessary to define a host institution in the state of São Paulo, Brazil before the contract for the award is signed.

a) In these cases, FAPESP will assist the proposers in finding a suitable host institution in the state of São Paulo, Brazil (FAPESP contact: item 10 - 1).

5.2 Research collaboration with the Max Planck Institutes

1) The proposal must demonstrate that a principal investigator from a Max Planck Institute will agree to be a research cooperation partner and mentor, if the proposal is approved. Such collaboration must include access to expertise and infrastructure.

2) Joint activities between the Tandem Research Group (TRG) affiliated to a higher education and research institution in the state of São Paulo, Brazil and its cooperation partners in the respective Max Planck Institute can include:

a) exchange of researchers, including doctoral and postdoctoral fellows;

b) integrating highly talented PhD students from the doctoral training program (IMPRS) into the Tandem Research Group;

c) integrating highly talented Brazilian PhD students from the Tandem Research Group into the doctoral training program (IMPRS) at Max Planck Institutes;

d) joint collaborative research activities;

e) joint seminars and workshops.

6. Preparation and submission of proposals

6.1 Project organization

1) The research project must be written in English.

2) The research project must be submitted through the SAGe platform. All the documents required by the SAGe platform must be attached to the online submission. Proposals lacking mandatory documents will be returned without merit review.

3) In addition to the normal documents required for Young Investigator Grant proposals the following items must be submitted:

a) copies of three selected publications;

b) two letters of recommendation;

c) a two-page research plan for the TRG (TRG Summary see 5.2 - 2);

d) a document (max. 3 pages) describing:

i) the candidate’s past and present research activities; and

ii) their planned collaborative research projects (aiming at demonstrating the scientific and collaborative potential of the proposal).

e) a letter signed by a Director of a Max Planck Institute in MPI letterhead establishing the commitment of partnership (see 5.2 - 1).

6.2 Duration of the grant

1) The duration of the proposed project must be 60 months. The duration may be extended up to 12 months, when requested at the end of the fourth year, and depending upon a successful merit review (total maximum of 72 months).

2) During the development of the research project, it is expected that the Young Investigator will apply to opportunities for permanent hiring in positions open at the host institution in the state of São Paulo (tenure track option).

3) After the conclusion of the project, if the Young Investigator obtained a permanent position in a university or research institution in the state of São Paulo, he/she can continue his/her research activities by applying for funding in FAPESP regular lines.

6.3 How to submit

1) Proposals must be submitted to FAPESP through a customized path of the SAGe platform (for additional guidelines regarding the online submission please consult Annex I) by the applicant before the deadline announced in Section 7 of this Call.

2) Proposals must follow the guidelines for the particular FAPESP funding line: Young Investigator Grant – and include directives described in the present guidelines.

3) Proposals submitted by any other means will not be accepted. Late submissions will not be reviewed.

7. Timeline

No proposal will be accepted after the closing date for submission, nor will any addendum or explanation be accepted, unless those explicitly and formally requested by FAPESP or Max Planck.

Call announced by FAPESP and Max Planck

July 30th , 2019

Closing date for submission of proposals

September 23, 2019

Announcement of Eligible Proposals that will undergo the Merit Review process

October, 2019

Announcement of Proposals Recommended for the Selection Symposium

February, 2020

Selection Symposium

March, 2020

Closing date to submit a letter of support from an interested institution in the state of São Paulo (for those who did not submit it at first)

April, 2020

Final approved proposals notified

May, 2020

8. Assessment criteria, evaluation and selection

8.1 Procedures

1) The analysis and selection procedures will be based on the procedures used for the FAPESP Young Investigator Program, available at Section 11 of the YIG guidelines

2) Upon receipt, proposals will be initially screened considering the eligibility aspects described on Section 4 above.

a) Proposals that do not comply with the terms of this Call will not qualify for analysis.

3) The proposals accepted for review will:

a) Be sent first to reviewers chosen by the corresponding Scientific Area Committee at FAPESP;

b) With the reviews received the proposals will be analyzed by the Scientific Area Committee and by the Adjunct Scientific Committee of FAPESP.

4) The third and final step of the evaluation procedure will be carried out jointly by FAPESP and Max Planck Institutes through the MPG Liaison Office for Latin America.

a) A joint ad-hoc commission whose members are internationally recognized researchers from Max Planck Institutes and from Higher Education and Research Institutions in the state of São Paulo, Brazil will rank the reviewed proposals. The joint ad hoc committee will recommend the names of six candidates to be invited to a Selection Symposium in São Paulo. Travel expenses for the candidates to São Paulo will be offered by FAPESP.

i) At the Selection Symposium, the invited candidates will present their research plan and explain in individual interviews how they intend to solve a concrete scientific question and to build an independent research group in cooperation between a Higher Education and Research institution in the state of São Paulo and a Max Planck Institute.

ii) The three final candidates which are unanimously recommended by the members of the ad hoc commission during the selection symposium will be approved for funding.

8.2 Assessment criteria

1) The merit review process will evaluate primarily:

a) The research and academic record of the proposed Principal Investigator:

i) The applicants must be an early-career researcher that has already a remarkable scientific output for their career level, evaluated by the summary of their Curriculum Vitae;

ii) The applicant must be apt to independently coordinate a research project and to lead the formation of a new research group.

2) The research project:

a) Definition of the objectives;

b) Originality and importance of the intended contributions for the respective research field;

c) Innovative scientific rationale and chosen methods;

d) Adequacy of the requested resources to the desired scientific or technological contribution.

8.3 Reconsideration of the decision

1) Proposers are entitled to request reconsideration of a decision by submitting a request within 7 (seven) calendar days from the date of publication of results by FAPESP - see timeline section 7.

2) The reconsideration request must clearly point to formal errors eventually identified in the review.

a) Reformulation of proposals will not be accepted.

8.4 Final decision

1) Results will be announced on FAPESP ( web portal, through the web page of the collaborating Max Planck Institutes and by means of a communication to the candidates.

2) Selected proposals will be the object of a grant contract (FAPESP) to be signed by the PI and a representative of the Higher Education and Research Institution to which he/she will be affiliated.

3) In order to sign the grant contract, the PI must present a signed Agreement between the Hosting Higher Education and Research Institution in the state of São Paulo and the respective Max Planck Institute. This Agreement shall regulate aspects like Intellectual Property rights, confidentiality, and publication, in observance of the policies of each funding Party (Item 9).

4) FAPESP may cancel funding if, during the grant timeframe, a fact is of sufficient significance to justify cancellation, at the Scientific Director’s discretion, regardless of any other appropriate actions.

9. Intellectual Property

In addition to the general considerations described at item 7 of the YIG Guidelines before any funding is delivered to selected research proposals, the Host Higher Education and Research Institution in the state of São Paulo and the associated Max Planck Institute must formally agree in a Cooperation Agreement on aspects of funding, confidentiality, publication and intellectual property rights, among others, in observance of the policies of each funding Party.

10. Additional Information

1) All questions related to this Call must be directed to:

a) FAPESP: Virginia Sanches Subiñas - Science Area Manager - Research Collaborations. E-mail:

b) MAX PLANCK: Dr. Andreas Trepte – Head of the MPG Liaison Office for Latin America. E-mail:

2) The Agreement on Scientific Cooperation between the São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP and the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften – MPG (Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science) is available at:

Annex I: Guidelines for proposal submission on FAPESP’s SAGe Platform

1) The Principal Investigator must be registered on the SAGe Platform for submission of research proposals

a) Researchers who are not registered on SAGe must initially do so by accessing the SAGe page at Click on and then on “Not registered?”. Fill in the requested data. Attention: all the blank fields must be filled in to complete the registration.

b) Researchers who are already registered must log into SAGe with the usual username and password.

2) On the home page, select on the menu "Shortcuts – Investigator´s Tasks", the option “New Proposal”;

3) On “Current Calls”, select and click on the link for this Call: Max Planck Institutes - Young Investigator Grant / Call for Proposals (2019)

a) The platform will display the menu "Add Proposal" on the following page in order to confirm the selected Call.

b) Click on the “Add” button to start the submission of your proposal.

c) Fill in the requested data on all tabs, including the list of documents to be attached;

4) Please notice that it is necessary to fill in all items marked with an asterisk (*) mark. Saving the project does not imply in its submission.

a) A successful submission will generate a process file number for the project only after clicking on the “Submit” button.

5) If you have any doubts concerning Users Registration, please access the “Guides” link on the SAGe home page and search for elucidations on the User Registration guidelines.

6) It is strongly recommended to frequently check the pending items of the proposal using the "Validate" option. By selecting this option, the SAGe platform will display the hindrances to the proposal submission, considering the inserted items. This action can be repeatedly done as the filling of the proposal progresses, allowing the necessary corrections for submission to be performed in time.

a) FAPESP provides assistance in case of doubts concerning the SAGe platform through our Information Department (+55 11 3838-4000).

7) Attention: it is mandatory to attach a copy of the identification document of the Principal Investigator at the moment of the proposal submission.

a) Please access the menu "Personal Information> Update Personal Information" and attach the requested document in the "Official Identification Document" in the section “Identification”. This obligation applies to all potential beneficiaries and potential Principal Investigators of fellowships and grants.

Page updated on 10/14/2019 - Published on 07/19/2019