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São Paulo School of Advanced Science (SPSAS) - 2nd Call (FAPESP Call for Proposals 04/2010)

Research Support Organization of a Scientific Meeting

São Paulo School of Advanced Science (SPSAS)

Funding Guidelines

The São Paulo School of Advanced Science (SPSAS) mechanism offers, on a competitive basis and via calls for proposals, funding for the organization of short courses on advanced research subjects in the state of São Paulo.

It is expected that each São Paulo Advanced Science Course (also known as São Paulo Advanced Science Schools) will offer short courses on advanced science and technology subjects, contributing to the academic development of participants and creating a magnet for world-class scientific talent in the state of São Paulo.

Teachers of the ESPCA courses, including invited foreign scientists, should be highly-qualified scientists and leaders in their fields.

Participating students must be enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate programs—in Brazil or abroad—and be potential candidates for masters programs, doctoral programs, or postdoctoral positions at institutions of higher learning and research in the state of São Paulo. Some recently graduated PhDs will also be accepted.

Students chosen to participate in the courses will have the opportunity to present their research findings in poster sessions and discuss their progress with participating scientists.

Applications should be submitted for consideration in response to the calls for proposals announced by FAPESP.

1 Purpose

The research support mechanism “Research Support - Organization of Scientific Events: Short Courses of the São Paulo School of Advanced Science (SPSAS)” is intended to support, in part or in full, the implementation of short courses on frontier science topics that are also the subject of internationally-competitive research occurring in the state of São Paulo. In addition to contributing to the advancement of knowledge, the events are expected to give higher visibility to research, doctoral programs, and postdoctoral opportunities in the state of São Paulo, especially among candidates from other states and abroad.

The ESPCA courses should promote discussion and debate at the frontiers of research in any field of knowledge. Scientists with common professional interests will come together, for a period of one to two weeks, engaging in intense discussion and analysis of the most advanced aspects of their fields of research. These conferences provide a means to disseminate information and ideas in ways not possible using the usual channels of communication, such as scientific publications and presentations at scientific meetings.

2 Proposal characteristics

2.1 Program formats for ESPCA courses

a) A basic format featuring the characteristics listed below is recommended. Proposals with different characteristics will be considered, but alterations to the basic format should be justified in the proposal.

i) The courses should last 1 to 2 weeks, offering educational activities that include a mix of theoretical classes, practical classes, and seminars, as well as supervised technical visits to major centers, research institutions, academic institutions, and businesses that are relevant to the topics covered. The visits should provide enhanced visibility for the research capacity that exists in São Paulo.

ii) Proposals should contain a description of the course program and should outline the various topics of interest in a multidisciplinary fashion.

iii) In order to provide participating students the chance to interact with prominent scientists, scientists with high international visibility—as evidenced by factors such as the receipt of important science prizes, publications whose impact is recognized by peers, and leadership in internationally prominent organizations—should be included among the researchers invited to give mini-courses or seminars.

iv) The team of speakers/instructors chosen for the course should reflect a good balance between foreigners and Brazilians.

v) Programs should include poster sessions for participating students to present the results of their ongoing research.

vi) There should be a procedure for evaluating student satisfaction with the course, including the overall organization, the quality of mini-courses and lectures, level of interest in and timeliness of the topics chosen, opportunities for scientific exchange with colleagues, quality of accommodations and infrastructure, the impact of the course for participants, and other items that the organizers deem appropriate for evaluation.

b) Eligible students applying for the courses should be subject to a selection process.

i) It is expected that each ESPCA will enroll up to 100 students.

ii) Priority will be given to proposals that can show significant participation of students from outside Brazil. It is expected that at least 50% of participants will come from other countries.

iii) The selection of students will be performed by an organizing committee, chaired by the Principal Investigator for the proposal.

iv) Student candidates should apply by sending the required documentation to the Executive Secretariat of the course (the Executive Secretariat should be established by the institution to which the Principal Investigator belongs). The Principal Investigator should request the following documents of student applicants:

1) A letter, written by the candidate, explaining the reason for the application, stating the importance of the course to the education of the candidate, describing his or her research project and the institution at which it is carried out, and indicating the expected date of graduation (undergraduate, masters, or doctoral degree)

2) One-page summary of the research project developed by the candidate

3) Letter of recommendation from the adviser of the candidate

4) Up-to-date academic transcript

5) Curriculum vitae that includes relevant scientific activity (including publications in high-impact international journals)

c) The program of the event should include a presentation explaining the research support mechanisms offered by FAPESP and its international cooperative agreements.

d) Promoting the course

i) With support from the host institution, a website—showing the full program (even if incomplete and updated as confirmations are received), information for candidates, and application forms—should be created and maintained.

ii) The ESPCA course should be announced in high-visibility journals providing broad international coverage, on the FAPESP website, and on the website of the university, research institute, or institute of higher education to which the Principal Investigator responsible for the proposal belongs, as well as on the websites of and at events sponsored by national and international scientific societies.

iii) The announcements should make the selection of participants known four months in advance of the course.

3 Timeline for submission and review of proposals

Deadline for submitting proposals: 12 July 2010.
Successful proposals notified: 30 August 2010.
Schools starting from: 3 January 2011.

4 Items eligible for funding

4.1 Benefits to selected students

a) Financial support for participating students who come from other cities, states, and countries includes airline tickets, local ground transportation expenses (airport-hotel), and per diems in the city that will host the course. The per diem rates used by FAPESP are available at

i) Participating students who live in the host city will not receive financial support.

ii) FAPESP grantees should use technical reserve funds for payment of per diems. The same applies for travel expenses if the course activities involve travel to a city other than the one in which the research grant is based.

4.2 Funding for organization of the course

a) Travel costs and per diems for instructors and researchers invited to give mini-courses and lectures. The per diem rates used by FAPESP are available at

b) Reasonable costs for supplies and materials needed for hands-on class work.

c) Costs of publishing course announcements in scientific journals with international circulation and that are relevant to the field of knowledge of the course topics.

d) Funds for transporting all participants between hotels and the event venue and to supervised technical visits (for students without FAPESP grants and course lecturers only).

e) Third-party services such as the publication of course programs.

5 Items not eligible for funding

a) Costs of clerical and ancillary services.

b) Rental of buildings and rooms

c) Audiovisual equipment

d) Simultaneous translation or printed translations

e) Cocktails, lunches, and coffee breaks

f) Social or tourist events

g) Contracts with commercial event organizers

6 Cost sharing required of the host institution

Support provided by the host institution will include, at a minimum, the following items:

a) An Executive Secretariat, including a support staff to receive and manage applications, assist in the organizational activities, and assist during the event

b) Auditoriums, meeting rooms, and a location for poster sessions

c) Audiovisual support

d) Expenses required for correspondence

e) Preparation and dissemination, immediately following the approval of the proposal by FAPESP, of a website showing the course program and providing mechanisms for communication between applications and organizers.

f) Coffee breaks

g) Support and guidance to foreign applicants seeking to obtain visas, provided by the international relations team or by another designated department experienced in such matters

7 Duration of funding

The duration of support will be specified in the Terms of Award document.

8 Principal Investigator requirements

a) The proposal should be made by a researcher affiliated with an institution of higher education and research in the state of São Paulo who will be considered by FAPESP to be the Principal Investigator. The Principal Investigator will be the course coordinator and will chair the selection committee choosing students and lecturers.

b) It is expected that the Principal Investigators and their collaborators will participate actively in all scientific discussions occurring as part of the mini-courses, lectures, and poster presentations.

c) The Principal Investigator should meet the following criteria:

i) having a PhD or equivalent qualification

ii) being an academic leader in the field of the course, as demonstrated by high scientific or technical productivity, the training of students, and prominent participation in international research collaborations

iii) being affiliated with a research institution in the state of São Paulo

9 Obligations of the Principal Investigator

a) If the proposal is accepted, it is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to examine the Terms of Award document in order to understand the rights, duties, and obligations involved.

b) In all publications (theses, dissertations, articles, books, abstracts of papers presented at meetings, and any other publication or disclosure of activities resulting from, in whole or in part, FAPESP funding), the Principal Investigator should make reference to the support provided by FAPESP.

c) The Principal Investigator should issue expert review opinions without cost when requested to do so by FAPESP on matters within their specialty and within the deadlines requested by the Foundation.

d) The Principal Investigator must be current with his or her commitments to FAPESP (not have outstanding financial reports, scientific reports, or advisory opinions).

e) After acceptance, proposals can be modified only after review and approval by FAPESP and based on a request submitted by the Principal Investigator justifying such changes.

f) The Principal Investigator may not use funds from FAPESP for purposes other than those approved.

g) The Principal Investigator may not use unspent funds without prior authorization from FAPESP.

h) The Principal Investigator may not make financial investments using project funds.

i) Transferring funds or balances from one project to another is forbidden, even if the Principal Investigator is the recipient of more than one course award and even if it involves a continuation of the current project.

j) The Principal Investigator agrees to make all expenditures within the time period specified in the Terms of Award document.

10 Formatting of the proposal

Proposals should be submitted in print form and should include the following:

a) Application for Research Support – Organization of a Scientific Meeting – São Paulo School of Advanced Science (SPSAS)

b) completed researcher registration form

c) curriculum vitae of the Principal Investigator

d) budget request forms including justifications for each item

e) project team description form

f) detailed course proposal:

i) complete course program listing all activities

ii) description of the composition of the Organizing Committee

iii) a document from the Organizing Committee explaining the criteria used in the selection of speakers and students who will participate in the course

iv) text explaining the importance of the course to the scientific or technological development of the country

v) list of speakers with their curricula vitae and institutional affiliations

vi) curricula vitae or short resumés (listing publications, prizes, and professional accomplishments) for all speakers

vii) sample of the questionnaire to be used for student evaluations of the event

viii) overall funding strategy of the course in regards to the participation of researchers from the state of São Paulo and from other states and countries

ix) a table listing the resources requested/received from other funding agencies or other sources of support, from within Brazil (at the state or federal level) or from abroad.

x) declaration of commitment to mandatory cost sharing, signed by the head of the institution

11 Review and selection of proposals

This Call for Proposals provides for the selection of up to 5 (five) proposals.

The proposals will be analyzed and selected via the peer review system traditionally used by FAPESP.

11.1 Criteria applied in the analysis

a) quality and timeliness of the academic program

b) academic record of the Principal Investigator and of the invited speakers

c) selection criteria for candidates, as described in the proposal

d) strategy for attracting foreign participants

e) appropriateness of the budget requested

f) quality and quantity of the institutional support offered

12 Intellectual property rights and confidentiality

The lectures and texts presented should be appropriate for broad distribution, via the course website or other channels.

13 Scientific report

The post-event report should briefly describe the course, discussing the intended and achieved objectives. The report should describe the program that was actually carried out, including a list of all participants, students, and lecturers.

14 Technical reserve

There is no technical reserve for this funding mechanism.

15 Accounting

As per the Terms of Award document and the instruction manual for the use of funds and accounting, items 20, 21, 22 and 24.

16 Additions and alterations to the approved budget

FAPESP will consider requests for supplemental funds, provided that the items and budget amounts in question are justified and are shown to not have been foreseeable at the time of signing of the grant agreement.

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