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Institutes create the Brazilian Forum of Advanced Studies

by Richard Meckien - published Aug 13, 2015 11:40 AM - - last modified Jan 28, 2016 04:30 PM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Mauro Bellesa

3º Encontro de IEAS Brasileiros - 1The performance of institutes for advanced studies in Brazil as producers of research, and inter- and transdisciplinary analyses on issues of science, technology, innovation, arts, pubic policies and the future of universities is becoming increasingly significant. However, there was a lack of a better coordination between them for this catalytic role to benefit from the different experiences of each institute and the possibility of joint initiatives.

This organizational level was reached at the end of the 3rd National Meeting of Brazilian Institutes for Advanced Studies, held on August 11 and 12 in Belo Horizonte, with organization of the Institute of Transdisciplinary Advanced Studies (IEAT) of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).

Joint initiatives of IASs are becoming more frequent as one can see through the existence of the University-Based Institutes for Advance Study (UBIAS) network, of which the IEA-USP is one of the founding members, and of the Réseau Français des Instituts d'Études Avancées, founded by the French government.

According to the letter written as a conclusion of the encounter and signed by the leaders to set the creation of the forum, it "aims to design and develop initiatives and programs for the integration between universities, governments, companies and social organizations through the construction of knowledge production networks based on inter- and transdisciplinarity, and on public responsibility of knowledge.” Despite of not having attended the meeting, the University of Brasília's Center of Multidisciplinary Advanced Studies (CEAM) is also a member of the forum.


The forum has already established some goals in the short and medium terms. One of them is the execution of a project that should bring together senior and junior researchers for the interdisciplinary study of a topic to be defined.

The initiative will have as its reference the first edition of the UBIAS Intercontinental Academia, a project being developed by the IEA-USP and the University of Nagoya's Institute for Advanced Research. The first immersion period was held in April in São Paulo, while the second one will be in March, 2016, in Nagoya.

Another proposal discussed at the meeting has been presented by Francisco César de Sá-Barreto, from the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and member of the Supreme Council of CAPES: sponsoring professorships in IASs through the foundations that support research. The forum aims to add discussions with national funding agencies for a greater support to research projects of the IASs.

Related material

3nd National Meeting of Brazilian Institutes for Advanced Studies
October, 2011 (São Paulo)
PhotosLetter (creation of the FOBREAV)


Workshop: Advanced Studies and the University
October, 2011 (São Paulo)
Video (in Portuguese)

2nd National Meeting of Brazilian Institutes for Advanced Studies
August, 2013 (Porto Alegre)


The meeting has been attended by Jaime Arturo Ramirez, President of the UFMG, and by the most important leaders of the main IASs based in universities of the Federal District, and of the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Pernambuco and Ceará.

The participating IASs and their representants were:

Martin Grossmann - IEA-USP

Estevam Barbosa de Las Casas - IEAT-UFMG

José Sérgio Leite Lopes - Brazilian Advanced Studies College (CBAE) - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Júlio César Hadler Neto - Forum for Strategic Thinking (PENSES) - UNICAMP

César Barreira - College of Advanced Studies (being established) - Federal University of Ceará

Paulo Henrique Martins - Institute of Latin American Studies - Federal University of Pernambuco

José Vicente Tavares dos Santos - Latin American Institute for Advanced Studies (ILEA) - Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Alexandre Camera Varella - Mercosur Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEA) - Federal University of Latin American Integration

Fabiana Dultra Britto - Federal University of Bahia

José Vicente Tavares dos Santos has been appointed coordinator of the forum, while Estevam Barbosa de Las Casas will be deputy coordinator. The IEA-USP will be in charge of developing and implementing the forum's website.

Fabiana Dultra, Júlio César Neto, Francisco César de Sá Barreto, Estevam B. de Las Casas, reitor da UFMG Jaime Arturo Ramirez, Márcio F. Dutra Moraes, José Vicente T. dos Santos, César Barreira, Paulo H. Martins, Martin Grossmann and Alexandre VarellaHistory

The creation of the forum is the result of a process that initiated in October, 2011, in São Paulo, when the IEA-USP organized the workshop Advanced Studies and the University, a meeting that marked the first gathering of Brazilian IASs. Each institute had the chance to present its main features and lines of action.

The initiative to organize this meeting was of the then director of the IEA-USP, César Ades, who participated in the creation of the UBIAS network exactly one year before, at a meeting organized by the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Freiburg, Germany.

In August, 2013, in Porto Alegre, the 2nd National Meeting of Brazilian Institutes for Advanced Studies had the coordination of the ILEA-UFRGS. At this meeting (which discussed ways of cooperation between the IASs) the creation of a forum was firstly mentioned.

Profile of the forum

In recent decades Brazilian IASs have been working hard not only regarding current issues of science and culture but also in what concerns to the structural issues for society, such as political science, technology and innovation, judicial and institutional political reforms, higher education and the future of universities, public policies in health, education, sustainability, public safety, sanitation, international relations and the integration of Latin American.

Thanks to the dedication to these issues, the IASs have naturally hosted academic leaders and numerous representatives of politics, diplomacy, business, work, art and various other social sectors in their teams, projects and discussions.

To confirm that, one just has to mention the case of the IEA-USP, which currently has three of its former Board members in positions of the federal government: philosopher Renato Janine Ribeiro as Minister of Culture, biochemist Hernan Chaimovich as President of CNPq and zoologist Carlos Roberto Ferreira Brandão, President of the Brazilian Institute of Museums. Other participants of the institute have also played prominent roles in the state and federal level, such as physicist José Goldemberg (honorary professor of the IEA-USP - former dean of USP and former Minister of Education) and sociologist Glauco Arbix (creator and member of IEA-USP's Observatory for Innovation and Competitiveness - former president of Ipea and Finep).

Thus, the forum comes to live with an extremely qualified institutional profile, reflecting the competence of the members and employees of the IASs that constitute it. Certainly, this becomes an asset to articulate their demands for more support from the foundations that support research and federal funding agencies for the studies that the IASs have.