The Regional Government has awarded three research grants under the short-term scholarship programme between universities and research centre in the United States of America and the Region. They are aimed at pre-doctoral researchers of Portuguese nationality residing in the archipelago.
This programme was launched at the end of last year as part of the cooperation protocol between the Regional Government and the Fulbright Commission. It provided for the awarding of approximately five grants per academic year for research projects at US universities or research centres, with a duration of four to nine months, to be carried out by pre-doctoral researchers, i.e., PhD students, masters or graduates.
The Regional Director for Science and Technology stressed that these research grants “rewarded the merit” of three researchers, namely Catarina Ritter (Paleoecology), Diogo Ferreira (Oceanic Renewable Energy) and Paulo Borges (Hydrogeology), who “will have the opportunity to further their studies at US research centres, namely in Pittsburgh, Virginia and Arkansas.”
According to Bruno Pacheco, this programme “is a winning strategy for the Regional Government as the challenge launched to young researchers was welcomed, demonstrating that there is a great willingness and need for this type of collaboration.”
The Regional Director pointed out that “this programme aims to enrich the academic and professional profile of our researchers.”
Bruno Pacheco also mentioned that the Fulbright Commission, “with extensive experience in this type of procedure, considered that the results of the application were quite positive, taking into account that it was the first edition held in the Azores.”
“A second application is scheduled for October, also under this protocol, which will be aimed at US students and researchers holding pre-doctoral degrees,” revealed the government official. According to him, this is a way to promote “scientific and technological knowledge in the Region as well as the development of factors that foster innovation.”
“This scholarship programme is a contribution to the consolidation of a knowledge-based society that begin to take root in the Region, while becoming a driving force for the cultural and economic development of the Azores and the Azoreans,” said the Director Regional.
The cooperation protocol between the Regional Government and the Fulbright Commission was signed in October 2019 on the island of Terceira. It established a cooperation agreement with the goal of promoting a joint Fulbright scholarship programme for research with the support from the Regional Fund for Science and Technology.