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International Collaboration

International partnerships and cooperation agreements maintained by FAPESP

FAPESP encourages researchers in São Paulo to develop collaborations with colleagues in other countries.

The Foundation has a large number of agreements with foreign research funding agencies, higher education and research institutions and companies to co-select and co-fund collaborative research projects. The funding opportunities available under each of these agreements are announced on FAPESP’s website (

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of agreements:

a. Agreements that provide seed funding, mostly for student and researcher exchanges, as well as small workshops. In this case the foreign partner is typically a university or research institution.

b. Agreements that provide full funding for research projects selected jointly by FAPESP and the partner agency or company. In this case the foreign partner is typically a research funding agency or an industrial research laboratory.

The agreements help make the opportunities for collaboration more visible but are not a necessary condition for the establishment of cross-border collaborative research projects.

Even in situations not covered by any existing agreement, researchers in São Paulo who are interested in partnering with colleagues abroad can submit proposals at any time for one of FAPESP’s regular funding lines, mentioning the agencies from which foreign partners are also seeking funds to support the collaboration. If FAPESP approves such a proposal, the researcher responsible for the proposal in São Paulo must then file documents proving that the foreign partners have the requisite institutional support for the development of their part of the project.

São Paulo Researchers in International Collaboration (SPRINT) is a program designed to encourage and promote the advancement of scientific research through the engagement of researchers affiliated to institutions in São Paulo State with partners abroad. It provides seed funding for cross-border research collaborations with the clear expectation that the next step will be for the researchers from São Paulo to present a proposal for one of FAPESP’s regular funding lines in order to assure the continuity of the research project under SPRINT and hence consolidate the partnership.

In addition, FAPESP encourages researchers supported by its grants and fellowships to develop international collaborations through the following institutional instruments:

a) Most grants and fellowships awarded by FAPESP include funds that can be used for international research collaboration, at the Principal Investigator’s discretion, and in accordance with FAPESP’s rules.

b) FAPESP’s Visiting Researcher Program awards grants to foreign scientists selected by peer review. In 2014, 199 proposals received funding out of a total of 243 submissions evaluated. These grants provide stipends and travel expenses for foreign scientists to visit colleagues in higher education and research institutions in São Paulo State for periods ranging between two weeks and one year.

c) Through Research Fellowships Abroad (BPE), FAPESP supports researchers affiliated to higher education and research institutions in São Paulo State for stays abroad ranging between one month and one year at qualifying research institutions. These fellowships cover living and travel expenses. In 2014 FAPESP evaluated 226 proposals and approved 214.

d) The São Paulo Schools of Advanced Science (SPSAS) Program supports the organization of short courses lasting one to three weeks. They address recent scientific advances and take place in higher education and research institutions in São Paulo State. Each SPSAS is typically attended by 50-150 PhD students and young postdocs, half of whom are foreigners, and between seven and 20 eminent lecturers from Brazil and abroad. In 2013 and 2014 FAPESP supported four and ten of these events respectively.

e) FAPESP’s Research Internships Abroad (BEPE) offer all its fellowship holders in São Paulo State the opportunity to spend from four to 12 months as research interns in high-profile research centers abroad, working on a theme associated with the research project in which they are participating in São Paulo. In 2014 FAPESP evaluated 1,124 proposals and approved 999.