São Paulo at the British Career Expo

FAPESP participated in Naturejobs and attracted the interest of skilled foreign researchers

For the third time, FAPESP took part in the largest annual British career expo in the field of science: the eighth edition of the Naturejobs Career Expo London, held on September 19, 2014. “Throughout the day at our booth we met many individuals who were interested in research opportunities in São Paulo and in learning more about opportunities for possible financing from the Foundation,” says Professor Roberto Marcondes Cesar Junior of the University of São Paulo (USP), a member of the FAPESP Area Panel Committee on Exact and Engineering Sciences. According to the organization, 1,200 of the 1,700 individuals who had registered attended the event. “The exhibitors included research institutions and companies from many places on the planet, such as Singapore, Germany and the United States.”

Cesar Junior coordinated two workshops at Naturejobs, one on research opportunities at FAPESP and another on the research panorama in the exact and engineering sciences. A third workshop that dealt with life sciences was presented by Professor Mário José Abdalla Saad from the University of Campinas (Unicamp). Saad is also a member of the Area Panel Committee on that field of the Foundation.

Marie-Anne van Sluys, a professor at USP and member of the FAPESP Area Panel Committee on Life Sciences, had attended two previous editions of the event: in London in September 2013 and in Boston in May 2014. She reported that young people were mainly interested in post-doc grants and in the Young Investigators Award Program. “The candidates are concerned about the language barrier, and some had questions about laboratory infrastructure,” van Sluys says. “In the presentations we show that the infrastructure in São Paulo State is competitive with the infrastructure in Europe, North America and Japan.” She also stated that after the Foundation’s first visit to Naturejobs, adjustments were made in the FAPESP Virtual Library so that foreigners could browse the database.

“We use the Virtual Library to show visitors where they can find information on researchers and research groups, and we also provide contact information,” says Professor Euclides de Mesquita Neto of Unicamp and member of the FAPESP Area Panel Committee on Engineering. Mesquita Neto had also attended two of the events in the past. Demand was concentrated in the fields of engineering and sciences, and Mesquita Neto spoke with about 30 individuals. “Although that figure may not be very high, the qualifications of the people we spoke with were excellent,” he notes. “We talked mainly with people who had recently earned their PhD or PhD students who are finishing the program at institutions in the Boston area, such as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Harvard University, Boston University, and Northeastern University, to name a few. In other words, these were very well qualified candidates.”