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More personnel for science

Number of scholarships granted for 2006 increases and the amounts are readjusted

The candidates for scholarships and scholarship holders at FAPESP are beginning the year with reasons for celebration. In February, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved an increase in the number of scholarships for Scientific Initiation, Master’s Degrees, Doctorates and Postdoctoral studies. The amounts were also readjusted by 20%, including the scholarships for the Scientific Journalism programs on levels JC-I, JC-II and JC-III and for Public Teaching. The exception is the Postdoctoral modality, which was given an increase in May 2004. The readjustment is also valid for the payments to be made in March now.

The Scholarships for Research Program is the main support from FAPESP in official or private higher education institutions in the state of São Paulo. One third of the Foundation’s annual spending is invested in this program, excluding occasional expenditure, like the Multiuser Equipment and FAPBooks Programs, for example. The expansion in the number of scholarships was calculated according to the available budgetary funds for 2006, with an estimate for the following years. The objective is to maintain the percentage intended for scholarships at around 33%, as established by the Board of Trustees.

In the last ten years, continuous growth has been occurring in the number of applications, in all the modalities. For Master’s Degrees, for examples, the number of requests went up from 550 in 1994 to 3,443 in 2005. The level of those granted used to follow the curve of the applications, with a rate of 63%, but was reduced with the crisis. In 2005, the approval rate 24%. For Doctorates, applications went from 234 in 1994 to 1,543 in 2005, and the approvals fell from a maximum of 73% in 1999 to 29% in 2005.

When deciding on increasing the level of approvals for scholarships, FAPESP concluded that, considering the qualification of the demand, observed by the selection committees, although all the proposals regarded as excellent have been approved, there were some other very good ones that would end up being rejected for lack of resources. Now, the Foundation is beginning to support a larger number of scholarship holders and is helping to form more personnel with a level of excellence.