Call for Proposals FAPESP – Max Planck Institutes – 2017


A collaboration between Max Planck Institutes


The São Paulo Research Foudation (FAPESP)

Summary: Young highly qualified investigators 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 83 Max Planck Institutes.
Closing date: 22 May 2017
FAPESP Scheme: Young Investigator Awards Program
Maximum duration of the project: up to 5 years (please see item 1.1 for details)
Submission: Proposals must be submitted only through SAGe system
Glenda Mezarobba – Gerente de Área Científica para Colaborações em Pesquisa
Andreas Trepte – Head of the 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 several years of a 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 83 Max Planck Institutes. This Call aims:

1.1 to select highly qualified young scientists with several years of an outstanding postdoctoral experience which are willing and highly motivated to further develop their scientific career in a university or research institute in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The selected candidates will lead independent Tandem Research Groups (TRG), to be established at hosting institutions in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in cooperation with a corresponding Max Planck Institute, and to be funded under the FAPESP Young Investigator Awards (YIA) program for five plus one year (after favorable evaluation). These Tandem Research Groups 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 scientifically closely related to a corresponding Max Planck Institute that provides scientific advice, support and training, and access to know-how, facilities and infrastructure.

1.2 to create opportunities for the establishment of new research groups in the host higher education and research institutions in the State of São Paulo led by said 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:

(i) Astronomy, chemistry, physics and engineering;

(ii) Biology and medicine;

(iii) Humanities, social and cognitive sciences.

3. Grant mechanism

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

4. Eligibility criteria

Eligible candidates must:

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

b) Brazilians or foreigner candidates at the beginning of her/his successful scientific career with a sound postdoctoral experience (previous or ongoing) in internationally competitive research groups outside Brazil, 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).

This program is particularly suitable for excellent young applicants 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 are only open to applicants who hold a doctorate.

5. Submission of Proposals

5.1 How to submit

Proposals must be submitted to FAPESP through a customized path of the SAGe system (for additional guidelines regarding the online submission please consult Annex I, only in Portuguese) by the applicant before the deadline announced in Section 5.1.8 of this Call.

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

5.1.1 Project organization

a) The research project must be written in English;

b) The research project must be submitted via SAGe system and also must include the items (i) to (iv) below:

(i) copies of three selected publications;

(ii) two letters of recommendation;

(iii)a two-page research plan for the research group - TRG Summary (see details at item 5.1.6 e)

(iv) a document (max. 3 pages) stating their past, present and in particular their potential future collaborative research projects in order to demonstrate the scientific and collaborative potential of the proposal.

5.1.2. Selected proposals that have not identified and not shown the acceptance by the SP host institution when submitting the proposal must do it following the timeline mentioned in the item 5.1.8 of this Call. The contacts available in the item 7 of this Call may be sought by the PIs to offer support on finding potential partners.

5.1.3 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.

5.1.4 All the documents required by SAGe platform must be attached to the online submission. Proposals lacking mandatory documents will be returned without merit review.

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

5.1.6 Collaboration aspects

a) Proposers must demonstrate acceptance by a university or research institute in the State of São Paulo;

b) Such support must be demonstrated through the endorsement of the director of the host institution in São Paulo to the proposal to be submitted via SAGe system;

c) Proposers 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 by FAPESP. It must be indicated that Max Planck Institute will also offer the possibility to access its expertise and infrastructure, if necessary;

d) A signed letter in MPI letterhead establishing the commitment above described must be submitted with the proposal. Proposals that fail to present such letter will be returned without review;

e) Joint activities between the Tandem Research Group affiliated to a Higher Education and Research Institution in the State of São Paulo and its cooperation partners in the respective Max Planck Institute can include:

- exchange of researchers, including doctoral and postdoctoral fellows;

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

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

- joint collaborative research activities;

- joint seminars and workshops.

5.1.7 Duration of the project The duration of the proposed project must be 60 months. The duration may be extended up to one year, when requested at the end of the fourth year, and depending upon a successful merit review (total maximum of 72 months). During the development of the research project it is expected that the Young Investigator will apply to positions opened at the host institution in São Paulo, for a permanent position (tenure track option). 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.

5.1.8 Timeline

Call announced by FAPESP and Max Planck

April, 2017

Closing date for submission of proposals

May, 22nd 2017

FAPESP analysis

May – July, 2017

Selection Symposium

August, 2017

Approved proposals notified

September, 2017

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)

October, 2017

Final approved proposals notified

November, 2017

5.2 Assessment criteria, evaluation and selection

For the selected proposals FAPESP will provide funding for:

5.2.1 Costs allowed by FAPESP in YIA as described in item 7 of the YIA Guidelines;

5.2.2 A Young Researcher Fellowship, until the Young Investigator obtains a permanent position at the host institution or for five years, whichever happens first. The monthly value of the scholarship is announced at

5.2.3 Exceptionally for this Call, proposals submitted as Young Investigators Awards (YIA) may request, further to item 5.2.1 above, one Post-Doctoral (PD) fellowship quota, for a post-doc to be selected by the Young Investigator, if his/her proposal is approved. 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.

5.2.4 The analysis and selection procedures will be based on the FAPESP Young Investigator Program, available at Section 11 of the YI guidelines. Upon receipt, proposals will be initially screened considering the eligibility aspects described on Section 4 above.

5.2.5 The eligible 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 in a second step by the Scientific Area Committee and by the Adjunct Scientific Committee of FAPESP.

5.2.6 The merit review process will evaluate primarily: The Principal Investigator:

a) 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;

b) The applicant must be apt to independently coordinate a research project in order to start the formation of a research group. The grant proposal:

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.

5.2.7 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 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 Sao Paulo will rank the reviewed proposals. The joint ad hoc committee will recommend the names of six candidates to be invited to a Selection Symposium. 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 Sao Paulo and a Max Planck Institute. 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.

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

5.2.9 Final 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.

5.2.10 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.

5.2.11 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 6).

5.2.12 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.

6. Intellectual Property

In addition to the general considerations described at item 7 of the YIA 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.

7. Additional Information

7.1 All questions related to this Call must be directed to:

Glenda Mezarobba - Science Manager – Research Collaborations

Andreas Trepte – Head of the MPG Liaison Office for Latin America

7.2 Information regarding this partnership, application, funding, selection criteria, proposal preparation and submission are available at:


Annex I: Instructions for SAGe System (Guidelines for proposals submission on SAGe)

1. The Principal Investigator must be registered on SAGe system:

(I) 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.

(II) Researchers from the State of São Paulo who are already registered must log in to SAGe with the usual username and password.

2. On the home page, select on the menu "Shorcuts – 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 Award / Call for Proposals (2017)

4. The system will display the menu "Add Proposal" on the following page in order to confirm the selected Call.

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

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

7. Please notice that it is mandatory to fill in all items with a "*" mark. The project must be submitted by the end of the form. Saving the project does not imply in its submission. A successful submission will generate a process file number for the project.

8. 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.

9. IMPORTANT: It is strongly recommended to periodically check the pendings of the proposal using the "Validate" option on SAGe. By selecting this option, the system 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. FAPESP provides assistance in case of doubts concerning the SAGe system through our Information Department (+55 11 3838-4000) .

Attention: Since 01/11/2016, it is mandatory to attach a copy of the identification document of the Principal Investigator at the moment of the proposal submission. 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 beneficiaries and Principal Investigators of fellowships and grants.