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Introduction to the Science without Borders Programme

The Science without Borders programme is a scholarship-programme of the Brazilian federal government which envisions the concession of 101.000 scholarships, and which will encourage internationalisation within Brazilian higher education until 2015. The Brazilian government invests US$ 2.02 billion in 75,000 scholarships.The rest of the scholarships will be financed by the private sector. The programme offers Brazilian students the opportunity to study or conduct research at the world’s top universities on three levels: bachelor, PhD and Postdoc.

The scholarships will be given to students who study in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Health sciences, Life sciences and Mathematics, as these subjects are considered subjects of strategic national importance. See the complete list of areas below stated.

Science without Borders applies to the following areas of knowledge:
• Engineering
• Physical Sciences: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry
• Biology and Geosciences
• Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health Sciences
• Computing and Information Technology
• Aerospace Technology
• Pharmaceuticals
• Sustainable Agricultural Production
• Oil, Gas and Coal
• Renewable Energy
• Minerals Technology
• Biotechnology
• Nanotechnology and New Materials
• Technologies for Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Disasters
• Bioprospecting and Biodiversity
• Marine Sciences
• Creative Industry
• New Technologies Construction Engineering
• Practical Technology

Goals of the programme

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The main goal of the programme is to promote the consolidation and expansion of science, technology and innovation in Brazil by means of international exchange and mobility. In order to succeed on this ambitious programme, the government of Brazil relies not only on the interest and expertise of native students and researchers, but also on existing and promising collaborations between local and foreign institutions of excellence.

The strategy envisioned aims to (a) increase the presence of students, scientists and industry personnel from Brazil in international institutions of excellence, (b) encourage young talents and highly qualified researchers from abroad to work with local investigators in joint projects, contributing to the formation of human resources and promoting the return of Brazilian scientists working overseas, and (c) induce the internationalisation of universities and research centres in Brazil by encouraging the establishment of international partnerships and a meaningful review of their internal procedures in order to make the interaction with foreign partners feasible.

Despite being a national initiative, the programme is capable of making a worldwide impact since there are various opportunities for individuals and institutions from abroad. The programme has already been launched and it is being implemented by CNPq and CAPES, the main funding agencies in Brazil.

Science in Brazil has demonstrated a significant growth in recent years. However, the country still faces major challenges ahead: (a) increase the number of PhD's relative to population, (b) enhance the interaction between academia and both the business sector and civil society, (c) promote international collaborations in scientific publications, and (d) foster the rate of patent applications nationally and internationally. (source: CsF-MCT/MEC)

Background

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Every highly qualified academic or research centre around the globe is experiencing an intense process of internationalisation, increasing its visibility and addressing the needs of today's globalised world. Brazilian institutions need to rapidly engage in this process since several factors still hinder a more international view of the Science made in the country. The educational system, for instance, has no current actions aimed to effectively amplify the interaction of native students with other countries and cultures.

Historical background

In the 1970's and 1980's, there was a significant number of Brazilians training abroad. Upon their return, these scientists contributed to the vigorous development of science produced in Brazil. Now, the country needs a new programme to strongly encourage the internationalisation of technology and innovation. The Science without Borders programme aims to launch experimentally the seeds of what could revolutionise the educational system in Brazil, exposing students to an environment of high competitiveness and entrepreneurship. Besides contributing to the correction of the above mentioned limitations, the Science without Borders Programme aims to attract young investigators and internationally recognised research leaders to Brazil.

Science without Borders Holland (SwB Holland)

SwB Holland is part of the overall scholarship programme Science without Borders, through which the Brazilian federal government aims to send abroad 101,000 academics, at bachelor’s, PhD and Post-doc level, until 2015. Their education abroad is to consolidate the quality of Brazilian higher education as well as to strengthen the economy in priority areas.

Nuffic facilitates SwB Holland on behalf of the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

CNPq and Nuffic have signed a Cooperative agreement on 17 January 2012 through which both parties initiate a module of the Science without Borders programme called SwB Holland. The agreement foresees annually 200 scholarships in the sandwich model on undergraduate level, 200 in the sandwich PhD model, 100 scholarships for full PhD studies and 100 scholarships for Postdoc research in the Netherlands.

Financing

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SwB Holland finances scholarships for bachelor students for a period up to 13 months, exceptionally for a period up to 15 months, with the objective of doing study or a practical experience such as an internship at a Dutch higher education institution. SwB Holland also finances scholarships at the research level, namely for PhD students, who in the scope of the research for their thesis, to be presented in Brazil, would like to realise research in the Netherlands for a period up to 12 months (PhD sandwich) and for Postdoc research who would like specialise or deepen their research in a period up to 24 months.

SwB Holland besides these options also offers scholarships for full PhD-programmes in the Netherlands and the possibility to organise double degree PhD programmes within the context of an institutional cooperation between Brazilian and Dutch higher education institutions. The Brazilian PhD students of these cooperating institutions may conduct their research in the Netherlands in a period up to 24 months, resulting in a thesis which should be presented in the Netherlands and in Brazil.

In all modalities students and researchers receive a monthly allowance for personal care, accommodation and travel. The following two paragraphs explain the financing per scholarship in detail.

One modality on the undergraduate level

• A one year sandwich BA modality, for which the Dutch higher education institutions receive a flat rate compensation per student

What will Science without Borders Holland fund?

The Brazilian government is prepared to pay allowances for living expenses, plane tickets and insurance for the Brazilian students. The Brazilian students themselves receive these allowances, and Nuffic is therefore not involved in this aspect of the programme.

Benefits for the Brazilian Candidates (table2)

Benefits Amount Frequency
Scholarship (accommodation, transport, food and other costs) EUR 870.00 Monthly
Health Insurance EUR 1,080.00 Total
Adaptions / First Expenditure EUR 1,320.00 Once
Materials (laptop, tablet) EUR 1,000.00 Once
Air ticket Brazil/Netherlands/Brazil US$ 1,706.00 Total
Additional compensation for accomodation in Amsterdam EUR 400.00 Monthly

Four modalities on research level

The call has four modalities in which scholarships are offered.
• A one year sandwich PhD modality, for which the Dutch institution receives a flat-rate compensation
• A two year PhD sandwich modality directed at setting up a double degree programme through institutional cooperation between Brazilian and Dutch institutions.
• A full PhD programme at a Dutch institution to obtain a Dutch degree, with a maximum duration of four years.
• A full post-doc programme with a maximum duration of two years.

What will Science without Borders Holland fund?

The Brazilian government is prepared to pay allowances for living expenses, plane tickets and insurance for the Brazilian students. The Brazilian students themselves receive these allowances, and Nuffic is therefore not involved in this aspect of the programme.

Benefits Amount Frequency
PhD Scholarship (accommodation, transport, food and other costs) EUR 1300.00 Monthly
Postdoc Scholarship (accommodation, transport, food and other costs) EUR 2100.00 Monthly
Health Insurance EUR 1,080.00 Total
Adaptions / First Expenditure PhD / Postdoc EUR one month extra Once
Materials (laptop, tablet) EUR 1,000.00 Once
Air ticket Brazil/Netherlands/Brazil US$ 1,706.00 Total
Additional compensation for accomodation in Amsterdam EUR 400.00 Monthly

Calls and structure

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On 16 March 2012 Nuffic, with the presence of the Vice-President of CNPq, Manoel Barral Netto, opened the first call within the SwB Holland programme and simultaneously launched the SwB Holland portal directed at Brazilian students: www.swbholland.org. The portal contains information per level for interested candidates about the steps to follow. At the PhD / Postdoc page students can register by creating a profile, which can be used in contact with Dutch institutions through a contact list per priority area. Dutch institutions on the other hand can place vacancies per priority area to attract Brazilian PhD students and researchers. A new page is being constructed to substitute the information page for Dutch institution that is currently to be found at www.nesobrazil.org/swbholland.

Results so far

In 2012 CNPq and Nuffic launched two bachelor sandwich calls, the first one directed at the academic year 2012-2013 and the second directed at a one-year study during the calendar year 2013. In total 384 students were selected for a scholarship and accepted by a Dutch higher education institution.

Some statistics of the two groups combined (first call 179, second call 205 students).

Current Call

Currently SwB Holland is processing its third BA call, in which it has standardised its procedures. Out of the total of 663 students who applied for a SwB Holland scholarship within this call, 419 were preselected. Preselected means that they proved to have attained the minimum English proficiency level according to the Code of Conduct. Besides that they were confirmed to be excellent students by their home institutions and were approved by the Brazilian government, through its executive organ CNPq, to receive the scholarship.

To definitely receive the scholarship the 419 preselected students should contact a Dutch higher education institution before 27 March to achieve acceptance of an one-year placement in an existent or tailor made English-taught bachelor programme during the academic year 2013-2014. The one-year programme should offer a total of 60 ECTS, including a practical experience, which can be an internship, group or individual project or lab experience.

The 419 students are originated from the following priority areas at their home institutions.

Future steps

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Nuffic is preparing to include the offer of English preparatory courses into SwB Holland.

The programme is executed according to the Dutch Code of Conduct and therefore will look at the possibilities to offer 6 months or 3 months courses for students that have attained the applicable English proficiency scores. After the preparatory course students will be tested before they start their one-year course in the Netherlands. CNPq will finance the students with an additional scholarship.

For procedural information on the calls visit www.nesobrazil.org/swbholland

FAQ

Science without Borders Holland FAQ

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Get in contact

(61) 3041-6094

swbholland@nesobrazil.org

© 2012 Science without borders All rights reserved.