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Brazil Reaches Beyond Borders to Strengthen STEM Education

July 31, 2012
The Brazilian government has set an aggressive goal: To train 101,000 Brazilian students and researchers in top universities worldwide in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields by 2014.

[caption id="attachment_8616" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Science without Borders student at NASA"]Student[/caption]

Launched in 2011, the Science without Borders program is a Brazilian scholarship program, primarily funded by the government of Brazil, that seeks to strengthen and expand science and technology initiatives, innovation and competitiveness through international mobility of undergraduate and graduate students and researchers.

Brazilian students and researchers can participate by studying abroad through a scholarship program. In the U.S., more than 100 universities have hosted Science without Borders students and researchers so far. In addition, non-Brazilian students and researchers with good scientific accomplishments who have excelled both qualitatively and quantitatively in their scientific or technological career are eligible to receive funding and resources to perform a two to three year-long research project in Brazil.

Every highly qualified academic or research center around the globe is experiencing an intense process of internationalization, increasing its visibility and addressing the needs of today's globalized world. Brazilian institutions need to rapidly engage in this process since several factors still hinder a more international view of science made in the country.

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 program to strongly encourage the internationalization of technology and innovation. The mobility program proposed here aims to launch experimentally the seeds of what could revolutionize the educational system in Brazil, exposing students to an environment of high competitiveness and entrepreneurship.

The fields of interest are mostly STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), as detailed below:

  • 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;

  • Pratical Technologists;

  • Types of Scholarships;

  • Undergraduate Study Abroad;

  • PhD Internships Abroad;

  • Full-Time PhD;

  • Postdoc;

  • Professional Education;

  • Visiting Researchers/Scholars.

The program is a joint effort of the Ministry of Education (MEC) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) through their respective funding agencies - CAPES and CNPq.

For more information, please visit