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FAPESP widens the communication network with researchers

FAPESP is widening the services offered and available on the Internet in order to make its communication with the academic community nimbler. Since February, directors of teaching units, research pro-rectors and São Paulo university rectors have been able to make use of the Foundation’s site (www.fapesp.br) to obtain information about the number of scholarships and the total value distributed to their respective institutions. Until that moment , this data – which is public – was given out in reports and distributed on diskettes at the start of each year. The investments in the broadening of the interactivity of the network have also benefited researchers and scholarship winners, who can now make use of the site as support to render accounts with FAPESP.

This new relationship system fulfills the demands of the managers of teaching and research institutions for updated information to assist institutional development policies and to follow up the performance of research in their units. So much so that they frequently asked FAPESP to send the list of new scholarship winners. “FAPESP works directly with the researcher and not always does the institution follow this process”, explains Joaquim de Camargo Engler, the Foundation’s administration director. Now, this data can be accessed in a specific field of the site, through passwords and user names that are being distributed by the Data Processing Center (DPC). The rectors and pro-rectors will have access to all of the resources distributed by FAPESP in their university, and the directors to the data regarding their teaching and/or research units. The information can be printed out or extracted to an Excel worksheet in the user’s machine.

Researchers also can make use of the site for the rendering of accounts of the scholarship grants doled out by the Foundation. Equally, through passwords and user names they will have access to accounts that will allow them – during the period of validity of the scholarship – to feed information about their expenses, as they are being realized. The system can total up this information and transport it to a table that remains stored in the DPC’s data bank. FAPESP will only have access to the account when the researcher presents his scientific report.

If the researcher fills in the account sheets in accordance to the instructions available on the site, and adequately stores the documents, then at the end of the project his presentation of accounts will be ready to be presented and the balance sheet will be available to be sent to the Auditing Service. This system guarantees the researcher greater easiness in the control of resources handing out and of the balance of values received, reducing the number of contentions by the end of the project. Any doubt can be solved with the option Help on the menu, which gives access to guidance about the procedure that should be adopted for using the resources and respectively setting up the accounts.

For FAPESP, this change of procedure also produces some advantages: agility in checking the rendering of accounts and makes the publicizing of changes in rules or internal procedures much easier as well as new legal demands. Nonetheless, researchers are not exempt from the presentation of the documentation demanded at the end of the process of the rendering of accounts, which has to be sent in for the auditor’s evaluation.

The foundation is testing out the possibility of using the network for sending in requests for post doctorate scholarships. Those interested should enter the site, sign up and await their password, which will be sent to them by mail, before sending in their scholarship request.

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