DFG Outlines Funding Opportunities for Researchers at the UFPR

(25.04.19) The Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) held an event on 10 April in Curitiba to promote internationalisation with a view to demonstrating the opportunities for cooperation with foreign universities to researchers and the management of the university.

The event is part of a series of activities funded by the UFPR as part of the internationalisation programme for Brazilian universities.

The event is part of a series of activities funded by the UFPR as part of the internationalisation programme for Brazilian universities.

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The Director of the DFG Latin America Office, Dr. Kathrin Winkler, who was invited to take part, outlined the activities of the regional office located in São Paulo and the opportunities for international cooperation and joint funding of binational research projects in partnership with Brazilian partner organisations for those in attendance. A researcher from the Ibero-American Institute (IAI) in Berlin, representatives of the French embassy and consulate as well as of the University of Birmingham, Great Britain, spoke at the event.

The event is part of a series of activities funded by the UFPR as part of the internationalisation programme for Brazilian universities (PrInt). The programme was started by partner organisation CAPES with the aim of strengthening internationalisation plans. In addition to the UFPR, 35 other Brazilian universities took part. The UFPR is now committing itself to implementing strategies within the project conceptualised in 2018, which includes the internationalisation of its research activities in strategic areas and the development of international research networks.

One of the priority research areas defined by the UFPR in this context are the digital humanities, a relatively new field at the UFPR with researchers from the humanities, computer science and information sciences. Institutions responsible for generating scientific findings and coordinating digital archives proceed using an integrated approach. They develop and use digital environments and resources to enhance and organise digital documents and related information as well as make them available on a permanent basis.

The UFPR has worked in this field since 2015, when it started to develop a project regarding the German-speaking press in Brazil. "This involves hundreds of thousands of newspapers that are collected in a single common database. The technological resources enable them to now be used more easily as a research base. Researchers from all over the world can access the archive at the same time and communicate with one another; notes made by authorised researchers in the newspapers are recorded and entered into the database. The digital archives can also be supplemented by copies which are available in the archives of other institutions," explained Prof. Dr. Paulo Astor Soethe from the Literature Faculty of the UFPR.

The improvement and integration of databases not only allows researchers to access the sources and information required for their research projects, new technological possibilities also open up new questions. "The revival of intellectual debates held in a number of these newspapers is facilitated by the chronological arrangement of the publications; this makes it easier to locate and order information, which could be about the cultural scene of a certain city or region or about raw data such as temperatures, weather forecasts, product prices and exchange rates," explained Soethe.

As part of the SmartMinds initiative, a PrInt project coordinated by Soethe, the university has come up with an action plan to attach greater importance to this field in the coming years with the support of foreign partners, including the IAI and the University of Potsdam.

One of the current joint research projects is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and is committed to analysing the archive of Curt Meyer-Clason, the German translator of João Guimarães Rosa. The IAI, the UFPR and the University of Potsdam now intend to jointly develop a prototype for the digital presentation of texts typed by Meyer-Clason himself with his German translations of Rosa's work.

Soethe explained that the state of Paraná and Brazilian universities have a keen interest in further developing digital networks for scientific cooperation and knowledge management. "I think that the potential for cooperation with German institutions and colleagues became very visible and clear to all attendees thanks to the presentation of Dr. Kathrin Winkler at our event," he said.

The Araucária Foundation

In parallel to the event at the UFPR, a meeting was held between Kathrin Winkler and Ramiro Wahrhaftig, President of the Araucária Foundation (Fundação Araucária, FA) – foundation promoting the scientific and technological development of the state of Paraná. The FA, one of 26 governmental funding organisations in Brazil, demonstrated a great amount of interest in facilitating the funding of joint research projects of researchers from Paraná and Germany in partnership with the DFG.