50 years supporting science in São Paulo

São Paulo Research Foundation is one of Brazil’s major funding agencies for scientific research. Its mission is to foster scientific research in all fields of knowledge by awarding scholarships, fellowships and grants to investigators linked with higher education and research institutions in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.

Over its 50 years, the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) has granted 105,000 scholarships and fellowships ranging from undergraduate to postdoctoral studies and provided financial aid to 92,000 individual and thematic research projects (with greater duration and more ambitious goals) to improve research infrastructure.

The foundation also seeks to foster research in areas considered strategic for the country, and at the same time crucial for the advance of science at home and abroad. FAPESP supports projects in these areas through programs focused on ambitious research on current topics in the international academic research community such as global climate change, biodiversity and bioenergy.

In addition to the projects financed exclusively by FAPESP, the foundation maintains cooperation agreements with national and international research funding bodies, with leading institutions of higher education and research, and with private companies.

FAPESP resources are guaranteed by the state constitution through allocation of one percent of the state tax revenue. The foundation has complete administrative and financial autonomy.

Investment in scientific research

in 2010, FAPESP’s expenditures were around US$ 500 million to support scientific research in São Paulo State. It will invest some US$ 556 million in 2011.

One third of the foundation’s annual outlays are earmarked for scholarships and fellowships, more than 50% for academic research (mostly fundamental) and 10% in research for application in small companies or in partnerships formed between universities and industry as well as research for application in public policy.

Forms of support

Scholarships and fellowships for research in Brazil are offered in Scientific Initiation, Master’s, Doctorate, Honors Doctorate and Post doctorate modalities. There are two modalities of fellowships for study abroad, both at the postdoctoral level.

Support for academic research is provided by means of Regular Research Awards, submitted by individual researchers, and Thematic Project Awards, which are longer in duration and are submitted by individual researchers or groups. FAPESP also maintains a special academic research support program, the Young Investigators Awards. This program aims to create new research groups led by highly promising early-career scientists in any field of knowledge and from any country. There are also programs for the improvement of research infrastructure inside institutions.

Support for research aimed at applications is given by means of programs focused in areas and topics considered strategic for Brazil: biodiversity, bioenergy, global climate change, brain research, public policy, research for technological innovation in partnerships between academia and industry and research in small businesses.