Assessment of scientific programs: a necessary procedure for Brazilian scientific policy - the young investigator program of the state of Sao Paulo research foundation

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Pian, Carlos Alberto de [UNIFESP]
Meneghini, Rogerio [UNIFESP]
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Programs of Science and Technology research have grown significantly in Brazil over the last decades. Until the 1980s the so-called undirected programs, without specific goals and requiring only scientific merit, prevailed. The few programs with defined goals in this period were never objectively assessed. The same situation occurred in developed countries. In the early 1990s, the assessment of programs supported by public funding became mandatory in US and some European countries. In Brazil, program assessment has so far not been implemented yet. The Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa no Estado de Sao Paulo (FAPESP) ( Brazilian funding agency) Young Investigator (YI) Program is in its eleventh year, with approximately eight hundred projects awarded. Although it is free-demand based as concerns areas of knowledge, it has specific goals : (1) conceding grants to YI in view of the balance between funding, merit and real needs so as to enable satisfactory working conditions in the short term, (2) providing priority for institutions with a less extensive background in research, (3) granting a special fellowship to YI with no employment connection and ( 4) introduction of new research fronts in centers with a sound research background. This assessment provided evidence for the achievement of first three goals. The fourth one is still pending on additional data requiring survey assessment. Actions in this direction are recommended.
Anais Da Academia Brasileira De Ciencias. Rio Janeiro: Acad Brasileira De Ciencias, v. 79, n. 3, p. 543-562, 2007.