By Ascom Faperj
To celebrate the International Day that represents women’s struggle for their rights, FAPERJ announced this Wednesday, March 8, that it will launch – in the second fortnight of April – an exclusive call for young women scientists. Researchers with less than 12 years of PhD who maintain a working or operational relationship in Science and Technology (ICT) Institutions based in the State of Rio de Janeiro are eligible to apply. Applicants must be members of permanent staff or fellows of a Capes-approved Graduate Program (with grades 4, 5, 6 or 7) and supervise or co-supervise an MSc or PhD thesis in progress and must also have at least one scientific orientation of initiation.
In line with recent initiatives of national and international movements to support maternity policies in science, FAPERJ, since March 2018, has started to grant maternity leave to researchers awarded all types of grants granted by the Foundation, in accordance with the recommendation of other Brazilian institutions for the promotion of Science, Technology and Innovation (S,T&I).
Another action taken by the Foundation was the inclusion, in the notices issued, of the extension of the period of evaluation of scientific productivity in the event of the birth or adoption of children in the five years prior to submission. From this new announcement, new policies are adopted to support maternity. In the proposals presented by researchers who became mothers in the last ten years, FAPERJ will extend the period considered in the productivity assessment by two years, changing from five to seven years. In addition, the time limit for doctoral studies for mother scientists will also be increased by two years.
The Scientific Director of the Foundation, Eliette Buskela, the first woman to occupy this position, is one of the supporters and creators of the proposal. The measure aims to offset the expected fall in productivity resulting from the legal removal from research activities at institutes and universities in the state of Rio de Janeiro due to maternity leave. “The tributes that are always made in today’s appointment are not enough, women need concrete actions in all sectors of society and especially within the academy, in order to minimize the gender inequalities that we face every day,” said Eliete.
Researcher and neuroscientist Leticia de Oliveira, president of FAPERJ’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, whose creation was announced by the Foundation in the second fortnight of February, considers support policies aimed at female scientists necessary. “A well-known phenomenon, called the scissor effect, shows that the percentage of women decreases disproportionately with career advancement compared to men. We need support policies aimed at women scientists to prevent us from losing talent and to increase the proportion of women in positions of visibility and decision-making, increasing diversity in science,” she said.
Two public announcements recently published by FAPERJ also resulted from efforts to minimize the effects of disparities that also affect S,T&I production. In September 2021, the public call for Jovem Pesquisador Fluminense (JPF) support with and without employment was published. With resources of more than R$40 million, this call for proposals aims to encourage young researchers already employed and to attract young researchers without an institutional connection to research institutions in the state of Rio de Janeiro. In this announcement, of the 104 proposed proposals, 50 were awarded to female researchers.
In February 2023, the Foundation launched, together with the Serrapilheira Institute, a joint call for proposals in the field of Ecology to support young black and indigenous scientists not employed by Science and Technology Institutions. The announcement foresees a total of BRL 10.2 million between the payment of grants and investments in research, also promoting the mobility of scientists and diversity in science. The content of the call is available for consultation on the websites of both institutions. Registration is still open and can be done on the Serrapilheira website until April 24.
According to the president of FAPERJ, Jerson Lima Silva, these actions are critical for the mitigation of inequality and for the scientific and technological development of the state. “Like every Brazilian institution, FAPERJ is also subject to the 1988 Constitution, so that the universal extension of citizenship and human dignity must also be guaranteed in the structures maintained by the State that aim to promote and support the production of scientific knowledge. That is why it is the duty of the Foundation to promote actions aimed at correcting the inequalities that affect and hinder the travel of researchers who coordinate or in some way participate in scientific and technological research programs in the State of Rio de Janeiro. from the beginning, to scientific initiation, to the most advanced projects at the frontier of knowledge,” he said.
In this new call, which will be launched exclusively for “Young Women Scientists”, at least 15 proposals will be considered, 5 for each of the Colleges founded by Capes: (1) Life Sciences, (2) Humanities and (3) Exact Sciences, Technological and Interdisciplinary. Each proposal can receive support of up to R$700,000 (including scientific start-up grants). Scientists included in public notices Our State’s Young Scientist (JCNE) is Our State Scientist (CNE) can compete. However, the researchers thought in the announcement Young researcher from Fluminense with or without ICT links in RJ state (public notices No. 39 and 40, released in 2021) cannot submit proposals.