Brazil’s brightest and best researchers and postgraduate students are to be encouraged to bring their talent to the UK as part of a groundbreaking new initiative.

The joint scheme from the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham will be announced this week during a Government trade mission, leaving on Monday evening (June 20), led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and David Willetts, the Minister of State for Universities and Science.

The move is the latest in a partnership between the two universities, which earlier this year announced a new framework for collaboration that will see them work together in a range of mutually-beneficial areas including research, internationalisation, the student experience and business engagement.

Jointly representing the two universities in Brazil will be Pro-Vice-Chancellors Professor Chris Ennew (University of Nottingham) and Professor Malcolm Press (University of Birmingham). Professor Ennew said: “Brazil is home to a range of truly exciting research initiatives; both Nottingham and Birmingham see real opportunities to bring together academic expertise from the UK and Brazil to address some of the most important challenges facing global society.”

Professor Press added: “We’re excited to be joining one of the largest UK government delegations in over two decades, led by the Deputy Prime Minister and involving five ministries. This is an excellent opportunity for us to consolidate further the relationships that we are building on our earlier engagement with Brazil, including our joint mission in May. Our partnership offers something unique including the opportunity to gain a jointly badged PhD from our two universities.”

The new initiative will offer two supported packages for Brazilian academics and postgraduate students who wish to come to the UK to carry out research or receive research training in a range of priority areas, among them energy (with a focus on sustainable energy), food security, globalisation, digital economy and global infection and healthcare.

The Brazil Distinguished Visiting Fellows scheme will offer 20 junior lecturers or postdoctoral researchers currently working in Brazilian universities the opportunity to spend around three months during 2012 working at either The University of Nottingham or The University of Birmingham.

The scheme will aim to promote closer collaboration between leading research groups in Brazil, Nottingham and Birmingham, support the career development of junior Brazilian researchers and enable the Visiting Fellows to obtain an insight into the way in which research is carried out at British universities. It is hoped it will also help to pave the way for future joint Sino-Brazilian research initiatives.

The Brazil Scholarship Scheme will provide 20 full fees scholarships for PhD students to study in the UK for three years. Under the scheme, The Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham will waive their normal tuition fees and research costs, while the Brazilian Government announced this week that it will offer assistance for living costs to students wishing to travel overseas to study.

The new initiative follows a recent joint research-focused mission to Brazil by senior academics from The University of Nottingham and The University of Birmingham.

The visit strengthened existing links and identified new areas for collaboration which have the potential to secure funding from UK, EU and Brazilian sources. The aim is to enhance long-term research collaborations, researcher mobility, doctoral training and interactions with industry in both Brazil and Europe which will deliver research excellence and potential for innovation in both the UK and Brazil.

More information is available from:

Catherine Byerley, International Press and PR Officer at the University of Birmingham, on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 /     

Emma Thorne, Media Relations Manager at the University of Nottingham, on + 44 (0) 115 951 5793 /  

The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. 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. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:  

The University of Birmingham

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.

The University is the eighth largest employer in the Birmingham/Solihull sub-region and plays an integral role in the economic, social and cultural growth of local and regional communities; working closely with businesses and organisations, employing approximately 6,000 staff and providing 10,000 graduates annually.

The University contributes £662 million to the City of Birmingham and £779 million to the West Midlands region, with an annual income of more than £462 million.

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Priority themes for Nottingham/Birmingham Brazilian Studentships and Fellowships

• Energy, with particular reference to sustainable energy, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage, oil and gas, nuclear energy, and energy policy

• Food security

• Globalisation (particularly from an economics/business perspective)

• Imaging, neuroscience and cognition

• Astronomy

• Mathematics (particularly combinatorics)

• Materials (from nano to structural material properties)

• Digital economy

• Biotechnology, biological chemistry and drug discovery, and green chemistry

• Global infection and healthcare

• Urban planning and regeneration

• Culture, heritage and sport