Birmingham and Nottingham's joint links with Brazil go from strength to strength

Posted on Tuesday 24th April 2012

The arrival of visiting fellows from Brazil this week marks just one of many growing links the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham are developing with the South American country. 

A group of 16 early career lecturers and post-doctoral researchers from universities in Brazil will spend the next three months at the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham carrying out identified research projects in areas such as Chemistry, Dentistry, Mathematics and Earth Sciences.

In addition to the Visiting Fellows scheme, both universities are offering 10 three-year full fee PhD scholarships specifically for Brazilian students for commencement in October this year. A living allowance for each PhD scholarship student will be provided by the Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES). Subject areas include energy, food security, globalisation, neuroscience, astronomy, the digital economy, and global infection and healthcare, though students from any discipline can apply for these awards.

Coinciding with these schemes, the two universities have partnered with the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) on a joint research investment fund worth £480k. The fund will support joint research projects between FAPESP-funded researchers and researchers from either the University of Birmingham or University of Nottingham, or from both UK institutions. These collaborative research projects can be in any subject area though applications in some specific areas are especially welcomed. 

During May, a week-long workshop focused on Bio-Energy will take place in the State of São Paulo with participants from the University of Birmingham, the University of Nottingham, the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), the University of São Paulo and São Paulo State University (UNESP). Further workshops on the themes of Oil and Gas and Sporting Event Legacies are planned for later this year.

Professor Malcolm Press, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of International Engagement in the Americas at the University of Birmingham, said: “All these initiatives reinforce Birmingham’s commitment to further enhancing its global footprint in specific overseas territories. We are delighted to welcome the Visiting Fellows to our campus as our engagement with Brazilian partners continues to grow.”

Professor Christine Ennew, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation at the University of Nottingham, added: We are particularly pleased to be welcoming a cadre of outstanding academics from Brazil under our Distinguished Visiting Fellows scheme. Initiatives of this nature provide the foundations for longer term partnerships in both research and teaching.”

Flávia Pires Rodrigues from Anhanguera-Bandeirante University of São Paulo (UNIBAN) said: “I feel that joining the Visiting Fellows scheme will be important to become familiar with more advanced research techniques, different experimental designs, new research environments, and will be of huge benefit in developing my early research career.”

From September, both Birmingham and Nottingham will also participate in the Brazilian Government’s Science without Borders programme, enabling Brazilian students to study in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects on undergraduate and PhD sandwich courses, as well as for full PhD scholarships in the UK.

Notes to Editors

Visiting Fellows Scheme: for further information about the scheme at the University of Birmingham, visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/international/collaborate/brazil/dvfs.aspx For further information about the scheme at the University of Nottingham, visit: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/internationaloffice/brazil-visiting-fellowships-scheme-2012.aspx  

CAPES/University of Birmingham/University of Nottingham Brazil PhD Scholarship Scheme:  for further information about the scheme at the University of Birmingham, visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/international/students/finance/scholarships/brazil.aspx For further information about the scheme at the University of Nottingham, visit: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/internationalstudents/scholarshipsfeesfinance/scholarships/scholarshipdetails/research-overseas-brazil.aspx

FAPESP/University of Birmingham and University of Nottingham Call for Research Proposals 2012: for further information, visit: http://www.fapesp.br/en/

Bio-Energy Workshop (w/c 14 May), State of São Paulo: for further information, visit: http://bioenfapesp.org/index.php/en/events/workshops-2012/apr-joint-workshop/program

Science without Borders:  Science without Borders is an initiative of President Dilma Rousseff and the Brazilian Government which aims to send 75,000 Brazilian students to study in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at universities across the world. Starting in September 2012, 10,000 scholarships over four years will be provided for Brazilian students to study at 110 UK universities. Students will be studying in the STEM subjects on undergraduate and PhD sandwich courses as well as for full PhD scholarships. The UK's participation in Science without Borders is worth £170 million. The Brazilian government will pay a package of £15,000 per student to UK universities. This package covers the student's academic programme, including fees associated with coursework or tests, English language provision (as appropriate), student support, accommodation, an industrial placement or supervised industrial project costs and administrative support within the host university.

The University of Birmingham is a truly vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 different countries. Home to approximately 28,000 students, with more than 7,500 postgraduate students from across the world, Birmingham is one of the most popular universities for postgraduate study in the UK. For further information, visit: www.birmingham.ac.uk

The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and ‘the world’s greenest university’. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.  More news…

The University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham Brazil Office: the two universities operate a joint Brazil Office in Joinville, State of Santa Catarina.

For media enquiries, please contact: 

Catherine Byerley – International Press and PR Officer, University of Birmingham, tel: + 44 (0)121 414 8254 / email: c.j.byerley@bham.ac.uk / mob: + 44 (0)7827 832 312 or

Tim Utton – Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham, tel: + 44 (0)115 846 8092 / email tim.utton@nottingham.ac.uk / mob + 44 (0)7825 753 953