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Grant Policy Guidelines - Thematic Projects

FAPESP’s “Thematic Projects” aim at supporting projects with bold and novel approaches. Funding for thematic projects can be awarded for up to 5 years, under especially favorable conditions, which include the possibility of supporting supplemental requests linked to the project.

1) Purpose and characteristics (back)

FAPESP’s “Thematic Projects” aim at supporting projects with bold and novel approaches. Funding for thematic projects can be awarded for up to 5 years, under especially favorable conditions, which include the possibility of supporting supplemental requests linked to the project.

Thematic projects are different from Regular Research Grants in their nature, boldness, and scope of proposed research activities, and in the experience required from the principal investigator in the field of the project. 

In general, a Thematic Project involves a team of several investigators, often from different departments or institutions, to enable obtaining scientific or technological results of great impact to push the boundaries of knowledge.

 

2) Duration (back)

Up to 60 months, with a possible extension of up to 12 additional months, in exceptional circumstances, pending justification to be accepted by FAPESP.

 

3) Conditions for applying (back)

3.1) Submission dates

Applications may be submitted to FAPESP at any time.

3.2) Definitions

a) The Principal investigator (PI):  the researcher who is responsible for the preparation and submission of the grant proposal, as well as for the scientific and administrative coordination of the grant if it is awarded by FAPESP.

b) Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PI): are part of the team of researchers, indicated by the Principal Investigator, with an excellent research history and with essential and specific roles within the project. The Co-PI’s need to be approved as such by FAPESP, and may benefit from research oriented overheads.

b.1) Thematic Projects may have more than one Co-PI, if approved by FAPESP.

c) Associate Researcher (AR):  part of the team of researchers, being indicated by the Principal Investigator, to collaborate in the project; their names must be approved by FAPESP. 

d) Host Institution: institution in which the research will be led, and, usually, the place where the Principal Investigator is employed. The Host Institution must formally commit to provide the necessary support infrastructure to the project, which includes ensuring the safety and access to materials and equipment infrastructure to be used by the project.

3.3) Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator requirements

a) To hold a PhD or equivalent title.

b) To have a formal employment with a São Paulo research institution.

b.1) FAPESP might accept, under certain conditions, a non-employment type of affiliation. This association, however, must prove solidity in the academic dedication towards the Research Institution of the State of São Paulo. In such cases, prior to the submission of the proposal, a consultation must be sent to the Scientific Doctorate through the channel "Converse with FAPESP", informing:

                        b.1.1) the nature of the institutional association;

                        b.1.2) amount of weekly hours dedicated to research implied in this association;

                        b.1.3) the source of funds for payment;

                        b.1.4) the length of such association.

b.2) Retired researchers, associated to USP, UNICAMP and UNESP, must present documentary evidence of the type of association.

c) Demonstrate an outstanding research record.

d) Demonstrate proven experience and competence in the field of the project, demonstrated by:

d.1) Quality, regularity and impact of scientific and technological results of his/her research.

d.2) Experience in training investigators at the graduate level.

d.3) Experience in scientific exchange and research project development in collaboration with investigators from institutions in Brazil and other countries.

d.4) Ability to form research groups that have delivered results recognized by the scientific community in the field.

 

4) Time frame for analysis (back)

The expected average duration of the review process for this type of Award is 120 days if there are no incidents such as additional inquiries or requests concerning the documentation provided, or impediments of the reviewers.

a) This number represents an average. Therefore, this does not mean that applications that are submitted 120 days prior to the estimated start of the grant will be approved within this time frame.

b) Applications for Thematic Projects will be sent to three or more reviewers. For this reason, the review process may take longer than expected. 

c) Applications submitted between October and January may suffer an extra delay due to the summer holidays in Brazil, and FAPESP partial suspension of activities.

d) For each line of funding, a period of time is defined to complete the review of submitted applications. FAPESP takes the responsibility for making every effort to observe this time limit. The Foundation cannot, however, guarantee that this condition will be always fulfilled, since FAPESP’s top priority is to ensure the quality of the review and selection process.

e) Peer reviews are the most important part of the review process. Since all applications are sent to be peer reviewed, it is not always possible, despite FAPESP efforts, to ensure that the reviews will be submitted within the regular review deadlines.

f) Furthermore, reviewers frequently ask for clarifications before submitting a final review and sometimes FAPESP itself may decide to send the application to additional reviewers if it considers that the submitted reviews were not enough to justify a final decision.

g) Regardless, experience shows that, in most cases, the average time frame to complete the evaluation process is met, as can be checked in www.fapesp.br/estatisticas/analise.

h) Considering the circumstances described above and in order to allow an appropriate planning, FAPESP strongly suggests Investigators to submit their proposals up to 12 months prior to the desired starting date.

 

5) Obligations and responsibilities (back)

5.1) Obligations and responsibilities of the Principal investigator

The responsibilities and obligations of the PI will be defined in the Fellowship or Grant Contract. Among the main obligations are:

a) The Principal Investigator must, at the moment of submitting the application:

a.1) Have no pending problems with FAPESP (i.e., have no pending progress or financial reports, nor late reviews to be submitted) under the penalty of blocking the PI’s resources. Proposals for which the PI or the beneficiary is in debt with FAPESP for more than 60 (sixty) days will not be reviewed. 

a.2) Inform if the grant was submitted to other funding bodies and whether the applicant has other current grants.

b) After the grant’s approval, the Principal Investigator must comply, through the Grant Contract signature, with the following terms:

b.1) To examine the Grant Contract to make sure of all rights, responsibilities and obligations.

b.2) To make arrangements that will ensure the success of the proposed timetable.

b.3) To make reference to the corresponding FAPESP support in all types of divulgation (e. E.g., theses, dissertations, papers, books, conference abstracts, webpages and any other media and divulgation formats) that result, completely or partially, from the corresponding Grant Award;

b.3.i. The Principal Investigator must ensure that the divulgation of all contents (including webpages) that result, completely or partially, from a Grant or Fellowship Award and which is part of this Grant Contract, must contain the following statement: " The opinions, hypotheses, conclusions or recommendations contained in this material are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect FAPESP opinion". (Peer reviewed scientific papers are not subject to this rule.) 

b.4) To inform FAPESP if the research project funded by the awarded grant has also been awarded funds from any other private or public funding body. In these cases, the Principal Investigator must be clear about the source of the funding in all mentioned divulgation formats.

b.5) To consult with FAPESP before accepting any award from any funding body, whether public or private, to fund the same research project.

b.6) To consult with FAPESP before committing to activities that will require the Principal Investigator’s absence from the Host Institution for more than 90 days.

b.6.i. In such circumstances, the Principal Investigator shall submit a request to change the person responsible for the Thematic Project.

b.6.ii. If the Principal Investigator is also the mentor of FAPESP fellowship grants, a request shall be submitted to change the mentor of each of the fellowship holders. 

b.7) To ensure the security of Intellectual Property that results from research supported by FAPESP.

b.8) To write reviews for FAPESP in his/her field of knowledge, committing to deadlines, and without any remuneration.

b.9) To ensure that the data produced by the project are appropriately managed.

5.2) Obligations and responsibilities of Co-Principal Investigators

Obligations and responsibilities will be defined in the Grant Contract. Among the main ones are:

a) The Co-Principal Investigator must, at the moment of submitting the application:

a.1) Declare awareness of and agreement with the terms of the application and with his/her attributions in the project.

a.2) Have no pending problems with FAPESP (i.e., have no pending progress or financial reports, nor late reviews to be submitted).

a.3) Inform if the grant was submitted to other funding bodies and whether he/she has other current grants.

b) After the grant’s approval, the Co-Principal Investigator must comply  with the following:  

b.1) To examine the Grant Contract to make sure of all rights, responsibilities and obligations.

b.2) To make arrangements that will ensure the success of the proposed timetable.

b.3) To make reference to the corresponding FAPESP support in all types of divulgation (e. E.g., theses, dissertations, papers, books, conference abstracts, webpages and any other media and divulgation formats) that result, completely or partially, from the corresponding Grant Award;

b.3.i. The Principal Investigator must ensure that the divulgation of all contents (including webpages) that result, completely or partially, from a Grant or Fellowship Award and which is part of this Grant Contract, must contain the following statement: " The opinions, hypotheses, conclusions or recommendations contained in this material are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect FAPESP opinion". (Peer reviewed scientific papers are not subject to this rule.) 

b.4) To consult with FAPESP, through the Principal Investigator, before accepting any award from any funding body, whether public or private, to fund the same research project.

b.5) To consult with FAPESP, through the Principal Investigator, before committing to activities that will require his/her absence from the Host Institution for more than 90 days.

b.6) To ensure, in coordination with the Principal Investigator,  the security of Intellectual Property that results from research supported by FAPESP.

b.7) To write reviews for FAPESP in his/her fields of knowledge, committing to deadlines, and without any remuneration.

b.8) To ensure, in coordination with the Principal Investigator, that the data produced by the project are appropriately managed.

5.3) Responsibilities and obligations of the Host Institution  

At the moment of the submission of the proposal, the host institution, through one of its Heads with authority for such purpose, assumes the responsibility for:

a) Acknowledging the infrastructure needs demanded by the project.

b) Acknowledging that the Research Overhead – Institutional Research Infrastructure is dedicated to support the collective research infrastructure that benefits research projects awarded by FAPESP that are led within the corresponding Institution according to the Annual Plan for Institutional Research Infrastructure, which must be approved by the appropriate highest council in the Institution and submitted to FAPESP. The rules regarding Research Overhead – Institutional Research Infrastructure are available at www.fapesp.br/rt.

c) Throughout grant duration, ensuring that the Principal Investigator and his/her research team will have the necessary institutional support to execute the grant, as previously agreed with the PI.

c.1) In particular, the Host Institution must ensure that the Principal Investigator and his/her research group will be allowed to use all the facilities (laboratories, computer network, library, databases, etc.) and to have access to all kinds of services (laboratory technicians, administrative support, , etc.) provided by the Institution and relevant to the grant execution.

d) Reimbursing FAPESP for all investment made if the development of the project   comes to be obstructed or made unviable due to noncompliance with the clause above, unless previous consent has been obtained from FAPESP for project termination/interruption due to such causes.

e) Being informed that noncompliance with the terms of institutional support described in items a), b), and c), above, may hinder the progress of future applications submitted to FAPESP by investigators from the host institution.

 

6) Restrictions (back)

a) It is strictly forbidden to the Principal Investigator:

a.1) To carry out more than one Thematic Project at a time.

a.1.i. The principal investigator may submit a new proposal for a thematic project while (s)he leads an ongoing Thematic Project. If this new proposal is approved, it will come into effect only when the previous Thematic Project is satisfactorily completed.

a.2) To be the Co-Principal Investigator in another FAPESP grant – modalities Thematic Project or Young Investigator Grant.

a.3) To transfer amounts or balances between grants, even when the investigator is the beneficiary of more than one current grant and even if the project is the continuation of another project.

a.4) To incur in expenditures outside the period when the grant award is in effect.

a.5) To change the approved grant (initial plan, timetable, etc.) or modify allocation of resources without FAPESP´s approval, except on the cases pre-established on www.fapesp.br/8647.

a.6) To use FAPESP resources for purposes other than the approved ones.

a.7) To make financial investments with project resources.

a.8) To hire or repass grant resources to other individuals, for any given reasons:

a.8.i.) To Individuals who might be connected to the PI by means of matrimony, common-law marriage or kinship (ascendant, descendant or collateral up to the 4th degree).

a.8.ii) To legal entities that have as partners the grantee him/herself, his/her consort, relatives by kinship (in this case, ascendant, descendant or collateral up to the 4th degree).

Under no circumstances will it be possible to hire individuals or legal entities with whom the grantee has business, liabilities or credits, according to the text of Deliberation nº 03/2012 from FAPESP Board of Trustees of September, 27th, 2012.

b) It is forbidden to the Principal Investigator:

b.1) To receive Research Overhead from more than one project.

b.2) To submit applications for Scientific/Technological Meeting Attendance (in Brazil or abroad) grants, since (s)he is already entitled to Research Overhead to this purpose.

 

7) Allowed items (back)

The research project budget submitted to FAPESP shall be detailed and each item shall be specifically justified according to the objectives of the project.

Wages of any nature, third party services other than those of technical and occasional nature, construction works, purchase of printed material, travel costs (except for field research and presentations in scientific conferences) administrative materials and services are not allowed.

Applicants are advised to read the Manual for Financial Report: www.fapesp.br/1416.

Allowed items include those described below.

7.1) Research project funding

a) Equipment purchased in Brazil or abroad;

b) Consumables purchased in Brazil or abroad;

c) Third party services hired in Brazil or abroad;

"When the request includes costs for payment of corporate services in the Host Institution, the justification for this service must be detailed in the project budget request, and include the decomposition, of the service cost requested, in consumables, personnel and other costs. The cost of the requested service will be analyzed considering compatibility with other providers of similar services.  All staff costs must be paid by the Host Institution."

d) Transportation and per diems for activities directly related to the development of the proposed research, including expenses for bringing  visiting investigators;

e) Fellowships: payment of Post-Doctoral (PD), Doctorate (applicant without MSc degree), Scientific Initiation (SI), Technical Training (TT), Scientific Journalism (SJ) and Pedagogical Skills (PS) fellowships, according to FAPESP terms for each such fellowship modality;

e.1) For each Fellowship requested, a work plan of up to two pages must be submitted along with the initial proposal. This work plan must include a Title, Summary and a brief plan description (long enough to be analyzed by the reviewers). The recipient of the fellowship does not need to be specified at the time of proposal submission. However, once the grant is approved, the Principal Investigator must publicize the position and organize a selective process based on academic merits.

e.2) Technical Training fellowships: terms for the Technical Training Fellowship are available at www.fapesp.br/bolsas/tt.

e.3) Scientific Initiation Fellowship: terms for the Scientific Initiation Fellowship are available at www.fapesp.br/normasic.

e.3.i. The undergraduate student shall already have completed a sufficient number of courses relevant for the development of the research project.

e.4) Direct PhD Fellowships: terms for Direct PhD Fellowship are available at www.fapesp.br/5315.

e.4.i. The indicated student must have been accepted in the Graduate Program of the institution that hosts the project. 

e.5) Post-doctoral Fellowships: terms for Post-doctoral Fellowship Program are available at www.fapesp.br/dc/in14.

e.5.i. Each post-doctoral fellowship awarded as an item of the budget must undergo an international selection process, which must be appropriately documented before the fellowship is awarded.

e.5.ii. If the documents that prove that a public and international selection process was carried out are not submitted at the moment the fellowship holder is appointed, FAPESP will not award the fellowship.

e.6) Scientific Journalism (SJ): terms for José dos Reis Scientific Journalism Project Fellowship are available at www.fapesp.br/9826.

e.7) Pedagogical Skills (PS) Fellowships: terms for Pedagogical Skills Fellowship are available at www.fapesp.br/9827

e.8) SI, DPhD and PD Fellowships may also be requested separately, following the usual procedures for FAPESP fellowship programs, linking the submission to Thematic Projects. 

7.2) Research Overhead

a) The Research Overhead is composed of three types of quota:

a.1) Research  Overheads granted to PI and co-PIs

a.2) Research Overhead – Direct Research Infrastructure Costs

a.3) Institutional Infrastructure to Support Research

b) The description of the overheads, in this section, is informative but not normative. Detailed terms for using the research overhead are available at www.fapesp.br/rt.

7.2.1) Research Overheads granted to PI and co-PIs

a) Research Overhead granted to the Principal Investigators of projects in the following funding lines: Thematic, Regular, Research on Public Policies, Research on Public Education Improvement, and Young Investigator Award, and also to the Co-Principal Investigators of Thematic Research grants. Their purpose is to cover expenses of participation in scientific meetings and in short-term research internships outside the State of São Paulo.

a.1) In Thematic Research grants there can be more than one Co-Principal Investigator per project. 

a.2) FAPESP will not grant multiple Research Overheads   to the same person, even if this person is a PI in more than one project.

a.3) The amount awarded for Research overhead may vary according to the funding line, and is defined in the Grant Contract.

b) The participation in a scientific meeting presupposes the presentation of a scientific paper related to the project.

b.1) Participation in events without presentation of papers may be sponsored only in exceptional circumstances, duly justified in the annual report and subject to merit review by FAPESP.

c) Research internships in institutions outside the State of São Paulo, shorter than 60 days, may be funded, if justified by project needs.

c.1) While the project is in course, the principal investigators cannot be absent from their institutions for more than 90 consecutive days without previous authorization from FAPESP.

d)  Research Overhead is automatically awarded. Therefore, Principal Investigators and Co-Principal Investigators are prohibited from applying for Scientific/Technological Meeting Attendance (in Brazil or abroad) or, in ordinary circumstances, Research Fellowship Abroad.

d.1) In exceptional circumstances, researchers who are beneficiaries of Research Overhead may submit an application for Research Fellowship Abroad for an internship longer than one month which proves, at FAPESP discretion, to be essential for the satisfactory development of the project. In this case, the fellowship will cover living expenses during the period that exceeds one month; transportation and living expenses for one month shall be covered with Research Overhead granted to PI and co-PIs.

d.2) Associate investigators, if any, may apply for Scientific/Technological Meeting Attendance (in Brazil or abroad) linked to the thematic project in which they take part. Their relation to the project shall be declared in a letter from the principal investigator of the thematic project, indicating FAPESP’s file number and the title of the project.

e) When a project entitled to Research Overheads is extended, the corresponding  Overheads will be automatically granted in an amount proportional to the number of months of extension approved and to the number of  researchers  in the project that have been granted Research Overheads, as long as the total duration of the project, including its extension, does not exceed the maximum number of months established for each funding line (Regular and Public Policies, up to 24 months, Thematic up to 60 months and Young Investigator and Public Education up to 48 months).

e.1) If a project in a funding line entitled to Research Overhead has its duration extended beyond the maximum number of months established for this line, Research Overheads will not be granted.

f) The use of Research Overheads shall observe the limits set by FAPESP for daily allowances, living expenses, and health insurance. The corresponding values can be viewed at www.fapesp.br/valores.

g) In every Annual Scientific Progress Report and in the Final Scientific Report, the Principal Investigator shall itemize and justify, in a special section of the report, the allocation of resources from Research Overheads, which will be analyzed by reviewers as to their adequacy to the project needs.

g.1) This information is to be provided in the Scientific Reports themselves, and is not to be confused with the Annual Financial Report, which shall also be submitted within the time limits established in the Grant Contract.

7.2.2) Research Overhead – Direct Research Infrastructure Costs

The Direct Research Infrastructure Costs equals 20% of the total initial grant in Brazilian Reais. This amount may be spent in infrastructure items associated to the Research Grant and managed by the Principal Investigator.

7.2.3) Institutional Infrastructure to Support Research

The quota for Costs of Institutional Research Infrastructure equals 20% of the total grant. It must be spent in specific items discriminated in an "Annual Plan for Institutional Research Infrastructure", which must be approved by Heads councils in the Institution. This quota will be conceded as part of the "Overhead to Support Institutional Research Infrastructure", in which all the quotas of the Direct Research Infrastructure Costs for the projects related to the approved projects of the Institution in the previous year will be pooled. This fund will be managed by the Head of the Institution or a person officially accredited by the Institution to do so. This will require opening a special FAPESP file, in cases in which the total amount of pooled resources is higher than R$10.000,00.

7.2.4) Other rules applicable to the Research Overhead

a) If a Thematic project involves several departments, the research overhead will be divided in the proportion suggested by the Principal Investigator responsible for the project, with explicit agreement of all other Co-Principal Investigators, if any.

b) The value of occasional supplementary grant amounts and additional resources for special support to the infrastructure of Thematic projects will not be taken into account to calculate the Research Overhead.

c) As usual, due to FAPESP statutory restrictions, it is forbidden to allocate quotas for uses that, regardless of their merits, are not strictly related to research activities. In particular, the following  items are not allowable:

c.1) Allocations whose justification is solely based on teaching and extension activities;

c.2) Administrative activities of any nature, including expenses to hire personnel;

c.3) Expenses to pay personnel;

c.4) Construction works that result in expansion of the constructed area.

7.3) Overhead for research infrastructure

In the initial application or on the occasion of submitting the second scientific report, the Principal Investigator may request resources for small building renovations, whose goal is to guarantee the necessary infrastructure to conduct the project. New constructions are prohibited. This request shall be justified in detail and shall be associated relevant matching contribution provided by the Host Institution.

7.4) Complementary proposals

Complementary Proposals are those related to the objectives of a current Thematic Project and whose review process is not the standard one, due to this association. Proposals that are complementary to the Thematic project are called “Linked FAPESP files”. This concept is applied to Visiting Researcher Grants, Publication Grants, Scientific/Technological Meeting Attendance Grants and applications for Fellowships in Brazil and Abroad.

IMPORTANT: A complementary proposal linked to a Thematic Project, RIDC or Young Investigator Award can be submitted only if the main grant has been awarded by FAPESP. If the proposal is approved, the corresponding Grant or Fellowship Contract will be issued only after the signing of the Grant Contract of the main award.

a) Complementary Proposal requests can only be in effect within the award period of the Thematic project to which they are related. This award period cannot be exceeded by any means.

a.1) The length of the stay in a Visiting Researchers Awards must not go beyond the end of the Thematic Award to which it is linked.

a.2) The duration of a linked fellowship cannot go beyond the Grant to which it is linked. The adequacy of the dates will be analyzed by the Scientific Directorate considering items such as the nature of the work plan and the duration of the grant in relation to the duration of the fellowship.

a.2.i. If the overlapping is not considered appropriate, the fellowship request maybe reviewed, but will not qualify as a complementary proposal.

b) Complementary proposal requests shall necessarily be endorsed by the Principal Investigator of the Thematic project to which they are linked.

c) Requests submitted to FAPESP, as “Complementary Proposal application” but that do not fit in the definition on item 7.4 above will be processed as independent, not linked, requests.

d) Requests for Complementary Proposals for Visiting Researcher Grants, Publication Grants, Scientific/Technological Meeting Attendance Grants and Fellowship Abroad related to Thematic Project may not require external peer reviewing, being only analyzed by the Area Panels. 

e) Complementary Proposals for Master’s, Doctoral, Direct PhD, and Post-Doctoral Fellowships associated to Thematic projects will be given priority in their respective comparative analysis sessions, as long as they are considered to be on equal terms with the other proposals under comparative analysis as to academic requirements.

f) Complementary Proposals for Post-Doctoral Fellowships receive a different treatment regarding the maximum time limits (terms available at www.fapesp.br/bolsas/pd).

g) Supplemental funding requests shall be submitted individually, in appropriate forms and supported by relevant documents, as described in the respective manuals. They shall also be supported by a summary of the corresponding Thematic project, an essential element for the analysis of the activity proposed, emphasizing the fact that the  request is complementary to the Thematic project, mentioning its FAPESP file number. (See also “Overhead Research Overheads”, item 7.2.1 herein).

g.1) These requests will be treated as new FAPESP files, with their own scientific and financial reports. The resources awarded will not be deducted from the grant amount of the Thematic project.

 

8) Application format and required documents (back)

Applications must be submitted exclusively through the SAGe software. 

The required documents for the application are:

a) Description of research team 

a.1) In addition to the Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator(s), the team may include:

a.1.i. Investigators associated to the project;

a.1.ii. Graduate students;

a.1.iii. Interns;

a.1.iv. Technical support staff;

a.1.v. Administrative staff.

b) Abridged CVs for the Principal Investigator, each proposed Co-Principal Investigators, and each Associate Investigators (see abridged CV format instructions at www.fapesp.br/sumula).

c) Summary of results obtained previously in the scope of FAPESP grants or fellowships, listing project titles and FAPESP file numbers (two pages maximum). 

d) Research project of up to 40 pages for items 1 to 8, with line space 1.5, and font equivalent to Times New Roman 12. It is strongly suggested that the project be organized according to the Guidelines for formatting a Thematic research project.

Items 9 and 10 are not included in the 40 page limit established above.

e) Additional documents needed for proposal review:

e.1) Justification for each one of the items requested in the budget.

e.2) Quotations (it is not necessary to submit invoices) for each one of the Equipment to be purchased in Brazil or abroad whose value is ten times higher the minimum wage in Brazil.

Important: The budgets submitted with the application are valid for submission and analysis purposes. According to the Manual for Financial Report, it is necessary to obtain new quotes at purchasing.

e.3) Description of institutional support and available infrastructure to conduct the project, including:

e.3.i. Academic, administrative, and technical support services available at the host institution(s), personnel hired by the host institution(s) to support the project.

e.3.ii. Description of the scientific equipment base available at the host institution(s). FAPESP suggests that the host institution(s) maintain a prepared listing, updated annually, with the official institutional seal, to be provided to investigators.

f) Document containing the Data Management Plan.

The “Data Management Plan” is a text of up to two pages that must answer two basic questions:

  • Which data will be produced by the project; and

  • How these data will be preserved and made available, considering ethical, legal, and confidentiality issues, among others.

Details in Plano de Gestão de Dados.

9) Authorizations required by law before the release of the decision; and documents required for the signature of the Grant Contract (back)

The researcher and the Host Institution are responsible for requesting, obtaining, and getting all the legal authorizations required for the proper execution of the project. When so required, such authorizations must be issued by the control and auditing bodies relating to the nature of the research. 

The Grant Contract will have a clause stipulating that the Principal Investigator and the Host Institution must have such permits to present to FAPESP whenever requested.

9.1) Documents required to sign the Grant Contract

a) Description of institutional support and infrastructure to be made available to develop the project, including:

a.1) Academic, administrative, and technical support services available at the host institution(s), facilities, and personnel hired by the host institution(s) to provide support for the project.

a.2) This document, which shall follow the guidelines in Appendix II of the Grant Contract, shall be signed by the Principal Investigator and by the Host Institution Head, with the authority to ensure that the terms present in the contract will be followed. The document must then be attached to the Grant Contract.

b) For proposals in which the Principal Investigator does not have an employment relationship with the Host Institution, a statement of non-employment relationship shall be submitted, establishing, among other items considered necessary by the Host Institution, that:

b.1) Any intellectual property developed during the term of the Principal Investigator in the Host Institution will remain with the Host Institution; and

b.2) Inventors will be entitled to a quota of the benefits resulting from licensing or commercialization of Intellectual Property, according to Host Institution rules and Act 10.973/2004.

 

10) Intellectual Property issues (back)

FAPESP rules regarding the intellectual property of results from Foundation-supported projects are described at www.fapesp.br/pi.

 

11) Review and selection of proposals (back)

11.1) Review criteria

a) It is expected that a Thematic project aims at obtaining a comprehensive collection of conceptually coherent results on a research theme, or on themes having close affinity.

a.1) Proposals that merely bring together several subprojects with no conceptual coherence among them do not qualify as Thematic projects.

b) The project shall have bold objectives concerning the state-of-the-art in the area, which must be well defined so that they can be achieved in a maximum of 5 years.

c) About the Principal Investigator:

c.1) Quality and regularity of scientific and/or technological results.

c.1.i. Important elements for this review include, among others: publications in periodicals with selective editorial policy; patents in which the applicant appears as the inventor; other instruments of intellectual property; research results effectively transferred and adopted by companies or by the government; and any additional information relevant for the assessment of this item.

c.1.ii. Proven experience as head of research projects related to the theme of the proposal under review.

c.1.iii. Proven capacity to train researchers, emphasizing recent supervision of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

c.1.iv. Proven experience in scientific exchange and execution of research projects in collaboration with researchers from other institutions in Brazil or abroad.

c.1.v. Results obtained in previous FAPESP-funded projects.

d) About the research project:

d.1) Definition and relevance of objectives.

d.2) Scope and boldness of objectives that justify framing the project as a thematic project.

d.3) If the project is organized in subprojects the synergy among them.

d.4) Originality and importance of the intended contribution for the corresponding field(s) of knowledge.

d.5) Scientific foundations and methods employed.

d.6) Suitability of budget requested, considering:

d.6.i. The importance of the intended scientific or technological contribution.

d.6.ii. The quality of the justification for its main requested items.

d.7) If the proposal is related to a previous Thematic project, the quality and quantity of previous results will be considered in the review process, considering, among others, training of researchers, scientific publications, and intellectual property created.

d.8) Potential to attract post-doctoral fellows, visiting researchers, scientific initiation students and graduate students.

d.9) Suitability of the proposed schedule to the development of the project.

d.10) Suitability of institutional and physical infrastructure offered by the institution(s) in which the project will be conducted.

d.11) Compatibility of the Data management plan with the proposal, considering eventual ethical, confidentiality or security issues, among other applicable constraints, according to the practices of the research areas involved in the project.

e) Concerning the research team:

e.1) Clear specification of the role of each team member.

e.2) Suitability of researchers in the team to meet project objectives and activities.

e.3) Participation in the project, commensurate with the proposal, of scientific initiation or graduate students, for projects conducted in academic institutions.

f) Concerning the proposed budget:

f.1) Need for the equipment and materials requested for project development, also taking into account the infrastructure already available at the institution, and the applicant’s and the team’s ability to use them. The analysis will consider, among others, whether the need for equipment and materials, of more than R$ 20,000.00, is justified in the proposal. Proposal analysis will also consider whether there are equipment and materials for which FAPESP must or may request that they be made available to third parties not involved in the project.

f.2) Need for the consumables requested.

f.3) Need and suitability of third-party services.

11.2) Procedures

a)  FAPESP practices the peer-review system adopted in the most important research funding agencies worldwide.

b) Each application is reviewed by one or more researchers, without any formal ties with FAPESP, with expertise in the knowledge area under consideration. These reviews ground the decisions issued by FAPESP.

c) If the reviewers recommend that the application should not accepted, the applicant has the full right to appeal against this negative decision. Appeals are reconsideration requests based on the discussion of the objections raised by the ad hoc reviewers.

c.1) The full realization of this right of appeal – which can even entail appeal to the arbitration of other ad hoc reviewers – is the necessary counterpart to the weight external reviewers’ opinions have on the decisions of the Scientific Directorate.

d) International experience and experience accumulated by FAPESP teach that the good performance of this review system depends essentially on the preservation of the anonymity of the ad hoc reviewers. The degree of independence and objectivity of peer reviews is certainly proportional to the degree of reliability of the secrecy offered by the Foundation regarding the identity of these reviewers.

d.1) Thus, by decision of FAPESP’s Board of Trustees, its higher decision body, every request for an opinion to an ad hoc reviewer is accompanied by an explicit commitment to preserve his/her anonymity.

e) On the other hand, ad hoc reviewers commit themselves to maintaining confidentiality regarding the content of their own opinions, of which only FAPESP divisions and area panels involved in the application review process are aware. This trust relationship between FAPESP and its reviewers cannot be broken under any pretext whatsoever.

f) Upon sending an application to FAPESP, the applicant declares that:

f.1) (S)He is familiar with the FAPESP review system.

f.2) (S)He authorizes that his/her application be reviewed according to this system and, in particular,   be submitted to review by researchers chosen by FAPESP, whose identities will be kept confidential.

g) FAPESP’s review system is described at www.fapesp.br/1478.

11.3) FAPESP Conflict of interest policy

a) Committed to both preserving the high degree of credibility of its analysis procedures and avoiding potential embarrassment to its peer reviewers,, FAPESP requests that, before starting to review a project, the reviewer considers the possibility of a potential conflict of interest. According to FAPESP, the following situations configure a potential conflict of interest:

a.1) Current or previous participation in the project;

a.2) Regular collaboration, in research activities or publications, with any of the applicants in recent years;

a.3) Relationship supervisor/student with any of the applicants;

a.4) Financial interests in the proposed research;

a.5)  family relationship with one of the applicants;

a.6) Any previous relationship with any of the applicants that can be seen as a hindrance for an unbiased opinion.

b) If one or more of the mentioned circumstances occur, or that there exists any other situation that might characterize potential conflicts of interest, the reviewer shall return the application immediately. If the reviewer feels unsure about the existence of a potential conflict of interest or not, (s)he can consult with FAPESP’s Scientific Directorate.

11.3.1) Reviewer Declaration

On signing the advisory report, the ad hoc reviewer formally declares: “There is no circumstance that typifies a situation of potential conflict of interest or that may be seen as a hindrance for an unbiased opinion. I hereby agree to keep completely confidential and not disclose, publish or use for any purpose, except as expressly authorized by the Principal Investigator responsible for the current proposal, any information obtained by reading the Proposal”.

11.4) Reconsideration requests

FAPESP guarantees to the applicant, the right to a new review of the application, upon a justified request submission for reconsideration of the initial decision. Further information at www.fapesp.br/reconsideracao.

 

12) Scientific Progress Reports (back)

a) Deadlines for submitting Scientific Reports are defined in the Grant or Fellowship Contract. Their submission within stipulated time limits is essential for the release of the remaining balances of the awarded grant.

b) Eventual balances will be automatically cancelled on the very date stipulated in the Grant Contract to be the end of the project.

c) It is suggested that the Final Scientific Report and every (annual) Scientific Progress Reports be written according to the model in the Formatting Manual for Scientific Reports (annual).

d) Upon submission of the Final Scientific Report, the Principal Investigator must provide a link to a Web page that describes how to access the data made available by the project. This link can be provided upon submission of the first Scientific Report, and is compulsory upon submission of the Final Report. 

WARNING: FAPESP files submitted through SAGe should have their Scientific Progress Reports submitted electronically as described in the Scientific Report Submission Manual that can be consulted at SAGe, on the link “Manuais”.

 

13) Financial Report (back)

a) Deadlines for submitting Financial Reports are defined in the Grant or Fellowship Contract.

b) The Financial Report must be written according to the model available at www.fapesp.br/1416.

c) FAPESP allows the Principal Investigator to appoint SAGE account users to support entering the data on the Financial Report. Information about the registration of users and their official appointment are available in www.fapesp.br/1416.

 

14) Grant changes (back)

a) By signing the Grant Contract, the principal investigator officially acknowledges   that resources provided by FAPESP are sufficient to enable the execution of the approved project, barring unpredictable circumstances.

b) For this reason, investigators are advised to sign the Grant Contract only after having assured themselves that the items and amounts in the budget FAPESP approved are, under predictable circumstances, enough to fully guarantee the successful execution of that project.

c) In the lack of this certainty, it is recommended that the investigator does not sign the Grant Contract and   immediately submit a well-founded request for reconsideration of the approved budget, which will be analyzed by FAPESP Area Panels.

d) Recognizing that, in certain cases, circumstances unpredictable at the moment of the initial award may occur, requiring changes in the agreed conditions, FAPESP accepts that requests for changes in the award instrument may be made by means of an Amendment to the Grant Contract, under the following conditions.

14.1) Requests for Amendment to the Grant Contract justified by unpredictable circumstances, and without the granting of additional resources

a) Requests for amendments for extending the duration of the grant due to unpredictable circumstances, without granting additional resources, may be analyzed by FAPESP, when they are submitted at least 30 days before the closure date initially approved, together with a Scientific Progress Report.

b) Requests for amendments for other changes justified by unpredictable circumstances, without granting additional resources, may be analyzed by FAPESP, when submitted at least 30 days before the date on which the change will be effective.

c) Requests shall be submitted, together with their proper justification, via the service available for this purpose at “Converse com a FAPESP” (“Talk to FAPESP”) (www.fapesp.br/converse) or via SAGe (www.fapesp.br/sage).

Note: For FAPESP files managed via SAGe, access instructions to Requests for Budget Amendments.

14.2) Requests for Amendment to the Grant Award for supplementary resources, justified by unpredictable circumstances

a) Requests for amendments to supplement resources, justified by unpredictable circumstances, may be analyzed by FAPESP, when they are submitted at the moment of submitting a Scientific Progress Report.

a.1) Requests for amendments to supplement resources not submitted on these occasions will be analyzed exceptionally only if the grantee demonstrates that the budget items and amounts in question could not have been predicted at the moment of signing the Grant Contract or of submitting previous Scientific Progress Reports.

a.2) Requests for amendments to extend the limit of  a fellowship granted as budget item will be analyzed only if submitted with a Scientific Progress Report together with an Abridged Individual Report, describing all the activities developed within the period and the fellowship holder work plan for the extended period, according to terms available at www.fapesp.br/bolsas/bolsasconcedidasemauxilios.

b) Requests shall be submitted, together with their proper justification, via the service available for this purpose at “Converse com a FAPESP” (“Talk to FAPESP”) or via SAGe.

 

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS AND FURTHER INFORMATION 

1) Guidelines for formatting a research project and required documents (back)

1.1) Thematic Research Project

A research project shall demonstrate clearly the scientific and technical challenges to be overcome by the proposed research, the means and methods to achieve this purpose, and the relevance of the expected results for advancing knowledge in the field.

1.2) Formatting

The text shall be printed with a line space of 1.5 and font equivalent to Times New Roman 12, with margins set at 3.5 cm on the left, and at 1.5 cm on the right. Figures and tables, if any, shall have caption and numbers to be referred to in the text.

1.3) Research project organization

a) This is only a recommendation – following it does not imply approval for the project.

b) It is strongly suggested to the applicant to read the form used by scientific reviewers to report their opinions (www.fapesp.br/assessores). This form makes clear what are the points to be analyzed by the reviewers consulted by FAPESP.

c) It is recommended that the project be structured according to the table below. It is suggested to use the titles listed from (1) to (8), below, as section titles.

d) Items (1) to (8), below, shall be written in up to 40 pages, with font equivalent to Times New Roman 12 and a line space of 1.5. 

1.4) Guidelines for formatting a Thematic research project

0) Title pages (two; one in Portuguese and the other in English), with the title of the proposed research project, the principal investigator’s name, the host institution, and a 20-line summary.

1) Statement of the problem: What will be the problem addressed by the project and what is its importance? What will be the contribution to the field, if successful? Mention relevant research in the field.

2) Expected results: What will be created or produced as a result from the proposed project? 

3) Scientific and technological challenges and the means and methods to meet them: Explain the scientific and technological challenges that the project intends to meet to achieve its objectives. Describe the means and methods to meet these challenges. Mention references that help the reviewers who will analyze the proposal to understand that the mentioned challenges have not been met yet (or have not yet been met appropriately), and that they may be met by the means and methods of the proposal under analysis.

4) Principal Investigators and their responsibilities: for each of the suggested Co-Principal Investigators, including the Principal Investigator, describe briefly their responsabilities in the Project, based on items described in item (1.4d)  Scientific and technological challenges and the means and methods to meet them.

5) Schedule: When will the project be completed? What are the significant events that will be used to measure the progress of the project? If the proposed project is part of another larger project already under way, estimate deadlines only for the proposed project.

6) Dissemination and evaluation: How will project results be evaluated, and how will they be disseminated?

7) Other supports: Enumerate other supports for the project, if any, in the form of funds, goods or services, but not including items such as use of facilities already available at the institution. Observe that the authors of selected proposals shall submit an official letter signed by the institution director, involving the additional resources and goods described in the proposal.

8) References: List the bibliographical references cited in previous sections.

Items 9 and 10 are not included in the 40 page limit established above.

9) Work plan for the requested fellowships (Technical Training, Scientific Initiation, Direct PhD, Post-Doctoral, Scientific Journalism (JC) and Pedagogical Skills (PS)) (this item and the following shall not be included in the limit of 40 pages mentioned above): For each fellowship requested, a work plan of up to two pages, for TT ,SJ, PS and SI, and of up to four pages, for D and PD, must be submitted, together with the initial proposal, including fellowship project title, summary, and description of plan, according to regulations available at www.fapesp.br/bolsas/bolsasconcedidasemauxilios. It is not necessary to mention the fellowship holder’s name in the proposal. If the project is approved, the Principal Investigator shall make arrangements for a selection process publicly advertised to choose fellowship holders on their academic merit.

10) Budget spreadsheets and physical and financial schedules: Spreadsheets are available at www.fapesp.br/formularios/planilhas. Once filled in, they will become item 8 of the research project. In any case, spreadsheets shall form a single document together with the “Research Project”.

10.a) Consolidated budget spreadsheet, by item and by source (FAPESP and other sources, such as university, other agencies).

10.b) Spreadsheets for items to be funded by FAPESP:

i) Spreadsheet for items of Equipment purchased in Brazil

ii) Spreadsheet for items of Equipment Purchased Abroad

iii) Spreadsheet for items of Consumables Purchased in Brazil

iv) Spreadsheet for items of Consumables Purchased Abroad

v) Spreadsheet for items of Third party Services Hired in Brazil

vi) Spreadsheet for items of Third party Services Hired Abroad

vii) Spreadsheet for Transportation items

viii) Spreadsheet for Per diem items

10.c) Annual physical and financial schedule of resources requested from FAPESP

i) Schedule for project execution

1.5) Additional documents necessary for reviewing the proposal:

a) Justification for each one of the items requested in the budget.

b) Three different budgets (it is not necessary to submit invoices) for each one of the items in the category Equipment Purchased in Brazil or Equipment Purchased Abroad whose value exceeds ten times the Brazilian minimum wage.

c) Description of institutional support and infrastructure available (Appendix II of the Grant Contract) for developing the project, including:

i) Academic, administrative, and technical support services available at the host institution(s), personnel hired by the host institution(s) to support the project.

d) Description of the scientific equipment infrastructure available at the host institution(s). FAPESP suggests that the host institution(s) has(have) a prepared list, updated annually, with the institutional seal, to be provided to investigators.

Click to go back to item 8) Application format and required documents.        

2) Guidelines for scientific progress reports (annual) and final scientific report (back)

The Final Scientific Report and each one of the Annual Scientific Reports shall contain the following items, preferably in the suggested particular order, ensuring that the items 2.1 to 2.7 do not occupy more than 30 pages:

2.1. Form for submitting a Grant’s Scientific Report, properly filled in and signed. Required for Annual Scientific Reports, Final Scientific Reports and the Reformulated Report.

a. Only The Principal Investigator shall sign the form and the Scientific Report.

2.2. Cover page (1 page) with:

a. Project title;

b. Principal investigator’s name;

c. Host institution(s) of the project;

d. Research team, including names, qualifications and institutions, if different from Host Institution;

e. FAPESP file number;

f. Period for which project was approved;

g. Period covered by the Scientific Report in question.

2.3. Summary of objectives of the project as proposed (up to 2 pages).

2.4. Accomplishments in the period, with reference to the list of publications in item (8) (up to 20 pages).

2.5. Description and evaluation of institutional support received in the period (2 pages).

2.6. Plan of activities for the following period (not applicable to the Final Scientific Report) (up to 2 pages).

2.7. Specific section with brief and justified description for allocation of resources from Research Overhead in the period covered by the Report (Direct Research Infrastructure Cost, PI and co-PI overhead) (3 pages).

a. When resources have been used for participation in scientific events, a copy of each of the papers presented must be included, with a note by the principal investigator, stating that: “This paper was presented by [investigator’s name] [orally/in panels] in the scientific event [name of event] that took place from [starting date] to [closing date] in [location].”

Items 2.1 through 2.7 of the Report should not exceed 30 pages; the items that follow do not count in the 30-page limit.

2.8. List of publications (including material accepted for publication, informing this situation in each case) in the period, containing:

a. Papers in indexed scientific periodicals;

b. Papers in non-indexed scientific periodicals;

c. Papers presented in international conferences;

d. Papers presented in Brazilian conferences;

e. Patents requested or obtained;

f. Chapters in published books;

g. Books published together with team members as author, organizer, or editor;

h. Dissertations defended;

i. Theses defended;

2.9. For the publications listed in item (2.8), include copies of the first page.

a. For Theses and Dissertations, include copies of the title page containing the title, summary and signatures of banking.

2.10. List of papers prepared or submitted (and not yet accepted) for publication, with copies of these papers attached.

2.11. If there were grants for Technical Training, Scientific Journalism (JC), Pedagogical Skills (PS) and Scientific Initiation Fellowships granted as Budget Item, an appendix containing the spreadsheet and the Synthetic Reports of the fellowship holders, according to instructions available respectively in www.fapesp.br/bolsas/tt, www.fapesp.br/9826, www.fapesp.br/9827 and www.fapesp.br/4729.

2.12. An appendix for each of the annual Scientific Reports by Direct PhD and Post-Doctoral fellowship holders whose fellowships have been awarded as budget items in the project.

2.13. Theses or dissertations will not be accepted as Scientific Progress Reports.

 

3) Document containing the information on institutional infrastructure (Appendix II of the Grant Contract) (back)

 

4) Description of the scientific equipment infrastructure of the institution(s) hosting the thematic project (back)

A list of the equipment infrastructure available at the host institution(s) must be submitted, including equipment whose purchase values have been equal to or higher than US$ 20,000.00, informing for each one of the items:

a. Type, manufacturer and model (e.g.: Oscilloscope Tektronix mod. 7904); 

b. Relevant features (e.g.: 500 MHz; 1mV; single beam);

c. Nature: domestic or imported material;

d. Purchase year;

e. Purchase price;

f. Person in charge of allowing access to the equipment at the institution.