DFG Presents Funding Programme for German-Brazilian Research Cooperation

(20.04.17) In early April, the Free University of Berlin, the Max Planck Society Regional Office Baden-Württemberg and the German House for Research and Innovation São Paulo (DWIH-SP) held information workshops in São Paulo and Belo Horizonte (state of Minas Gerais) on the topic of submitting proposals for research funding. All key aspects were dealt with in the course of the event – from making contact with research institutions that might potentially carry out the project, through the selection of the most appropriate funding instrument, to putting together a project proposal.

The DFG, together with its partner organisations in the respective states – FAPESP in São Paulo and FAPEMIG in Minas Gerais – gave joint presentations on funding opportunities for bilateral research projects within the framework of existing cooperation agreements with Brazilian partners. After the presentations, Christiane Wolf, DFG advisor in the DFG Office Latin America, was on hand to provide individual advice and clarification to the audience, largely comprising doctoral researchers and postdocs, on the DFG's early career researcher programmes.

Workshop participants during a group activity in São Paulo.

© FU Berlin

In Belo Horizonte, Dr. Eladio Sanchez, Coordinator of the Department of Biochemistry of Animal Venoms at the Ezequiel Dias Foundation, who is collaborating with German researcher Prof. Dr. Johannes Eble of the Institute of Physiological Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry at the University of Münster, reported on his experience with the project funded jointly by the DFG and the FAPEMIG. The aim of the research project is to investigate the structural and functional characteristics of proteins in snake venoms of the species Bothrops and Lachesis muta and their influence on haematogenous metastasis, as well as their potential for application in biotechnology and therapy. The presentation provided participants with valuable insights into collaboration under the German partnership, starting with initial contact in 2006 and the conception and submission of the project proposal, right through to approval and commencement of the current research activities.

At both events, representatives from the Free University of Berlin included its Vice-President Prof. Dr. Brigitta Schütt, who gave the attentive audience useful tips and advice on the development of a joint research project. Prof. Dr. Schütt, who also acts as a reviewer for the DFG, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the DAAD, emphasised that what matters most of all in putting together a successful proposal is clear and precise wording. For this reason, errors such as repetition and empty phrases should be avoided. The renowned researcher went through practical exercises with the participants and provided guidance on the different stages involved in project design: title, summary, writing style and research schedule.