Five research projects have been chosen to receive joint funding under an innovative research exchange agreement between the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Western University and the University of Toronto, the partners announced today.
The announcement, made in São Paulo, was the culmination of a call for proposals driven by an innovative memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was launched by the three institutions in July 2011. The aim of the agreement is to promote international scientific and scholarly research exchanges between Canada and Brazil.
The program awards successful Canadian applicants up to $10,000 CDN per year for two years to cover travel and living allowances in the State of São Paulo. Researchers associated with universities in São Paulo will receive the same amount to cover air travel to Canada plus health insurance and living expenses.
A total of five teams were funded and will work on the following projects:
• São Paulo-Ontario Soil and Water Remediation Consortium; to be conducted by U of T, Western University and the University of São Paulo (USP);
• Assessment in Individuals with Lung Disease: From structures to function; to be conducted by U of T and USP;
• Antidepressant-like Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation in Rats and the Hypothalamic, Pituitary, Adrenal Axis; to be conducted by U of T and the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP);
• Community of Practice: a methodology to improve Occupational Therapy Practice; to be conducted by Western University and USP; and,
• Probing the Physical Characteristics of the Disks Surrounding the Stars; to be conducted by Western and USP.
University of Toronto President David Naylor said the funding for these five proposals paves the way for future collaborations, including potentially large-scale joint activities that flow out of the projects.
“I’m very pleased with the results from this initial call for proposals,” said President Naylor. “The winning proposals bring together top scientists and researchers from São Paulo, Western University and the University of Toronto to work together on a diverse range of pressing scientific challenges. I am confident they will spark future collaboration and joint research opportunities.”
Western University President Amit Chakma added that the Brazilian partnership provides an innovative model for international academic exchanges that can produce mutual benefits for both countries and beyond.
“FAPESP is enabling the brightest minds to bridge the distances between them so they can collaborate more effectively in solving problems of global consequence,” said President Chakma. “It’s an example I hope others will follow, and we are thrilled to see Western researchers from several disciplines have this opportunity to engage more closely with Brazilian colleagues.”
“FAPESP is happy with this collaboration which fits our strategy for intensifying international connections,” said Prof. Brito Cruz, Scientific Director of FAPESP. “The selected projects represent world-class research that will have higher impact and faster development because they join efforts by top-level researchers at Toronto, Western and in the State of São Paulo, Brazil.”
About Western University
Western University in London, Canada, delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our world. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad global view, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.
About the University of Toronto
The University of Toronto has assembled one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America, presenting top students at all levels with an intellectual environment unmatched in breadth and depth on any other Canadian campus.
U of T faculty co-author more research articles than their colleagues at any university in the U.S. or Canada other than Harvard. As a measure of impact, U of T consistently ranks alongside the top five U.S. universities whose discoveries are most often cited by other researchers around the world. U of T faculty are also widely recognized for their teaching strengths and commitment to graduate supervision. Established in 1827, the University of Toronto today operates in downtown Toronto, Mississauga and Scarborough, as well as in nine renowned partner hospitals.
About the São Paulo Research Foundation, FAPESP
The São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP – is an independent public foundation with the mission to foster research for the scientific and technological development of the State of São Paulo.Funded by the State of São Paulo with 1% of all state revenues, FAPESP supports research in all fields since 1962. All of the ca. 20,000 research proposals received annually are subject to a rigorous peer reviewing system.
In 2011 the expenditures of FAPESP were $600M. The stability of the funding source and the autonomy of the Foundation allow for long term planning and efficient management of the resources. As a result, while the State of São Paulo has 22% of the Brazilian population and 30% of the scientists with a Ph.D. in the country, the State responds for 50% of the country’s scientific articles published in international journals. FAPESP supports research through fellowships, grants for academic research, grants for university-industry joint R&D and grants for small business R&D.