Science without Borders

Science without Borders: option to study abroad

By 2015, more than 100,000 Brazilian students will have had the opportunity to study abroad thanks to Science without Borders, a scholarship program, funded by the Brazilian government, with additional private sector support. Since 2011, the program has distributed scholarships for scientific exchange overseas in areas identified as priorities for the country’s development, mostly STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The program also seeks to attract 2,000 visiting researchers from abroad.

The goal is to strengthen and expand the initiatives of science and technology, innovation and competitiveness, by placing the best Brazilian students in the best universities in the world. “We want Brazilian students can study at the world’s top universities, and come back to apply in Brazil everything they studied, researched and learned overseas” said the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.

Science without Borders is a joint effort of the Ministry of Education (MEC) and the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI) and covers several types of degrees, since undergraduate to postdoctoral studies. The awards cover international airfare, a monthly stipend (housing and living costs), health insurance and tuition fees. Only the Brazilian government will invest U.S. $ 1,3 billion over the four years of the program.

On the one hand, the country receives more qualified professionals, and on the other, students have the opportunity to study for up to a year in a center of excellence and enrich their curriculum and culture. The program has awarded more than 43,000 scholarships until the first half of 2013. Bruno Jacob, a mechanical engineering student, and Noemi da Rocha, environmental engineering student, are part of this universe, in many senses. Undergraduate students and program fellows, both of them are currently doing an internship since May at NASA, the U.S. aerospace agency. They work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a global reference center for research and space technology located in Pasadena, California.

“This is a great personal and professional experience. The knowledge I have acquired during these months are unparalleled. It opened my eyes to a sea of ​​opportunities to grow academically and professionally, as well to seek the best for me and my country”, stressed Naomi, now a fellow at the North Carolina State University. Bruno also confirms that studying abroad is a big difference. “I have a close contact to researchers who are international references” said Bruno, who studies at the University of Illinois, with a scholarship from Science without Borders.

About the program (source: Science Without Borders website)

Goal of the program: To qualify 100 thousand Brazilian students and researchers in top universities worldwide.

Period of scholarship: up to 12 months.

Types of payments provided: students’ tuition, room, board and health insurance. Also, round trip transportation to/from Brazil and a monthly stipend.

Fields of interest:

  • Engineering;
  • Physical Sciences: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geosciences;
  • Clinical, Pré-clinical and Health Sciences;
  • Computing and Information Technology;
  • Aerospace Technology;
  • Pharmaceuticals;
  • Sustainable Agricultural Production;
  • Oil, Gas and Coal;
  • Renewable Energy;
  • Minerals Technology;
  • Biotechnology;
  • Nanotechnology and New Materials;
  • Technologies for Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Disasters;
  • Bioprospecting and Biodiversity;
  • Marine Sciences;
  • Creative Industry;
  • New Technologies Construction Engineering;
  • Pratical Technologists;

How to Apply: through the Science without Borders website:

Other questions: look at the Frequently Asked Questions-Faq section at the program’s website or visit the Science without Borders channel at Youtube.