Brazil minister urges more funding for science, technology

Scholarships for researchers should be increased, he argued

Published in 26/05/2022 - 12:50 By Luciano Nascimento - São Luís

Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Paulo Alvim argued for increasing the budget aimed at science and technology, more investment in education, and updated values for research scholarships.

This year’s budget is slightly above BRL 9 billion, but expenses total some BRL 15 billion, as per official figures.

“If we look at the ministry’s budget resources, we see we’ve been on the wane. I don’t want to refrain from advocating we need more resources in science and technology,” the minister declared during a hearing of the lower house Science and Technology, Communication and Information Technology Commission, on Wednesday (May 25).

“[Science, technology, and education] pervade all activities and sectors in the modern world. Science and technology are an essential tool for economic, social, and environmental development. You can’t build a sustainable country, without a great deal of education, science and technology,” he said.

Paulo Alvim drew attention to the decrease in the budget of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, known as CNPq. Even with resources at the ministry lowered, he pointed out, no reduction was made in the amount of research scholarships, and the integrity of funding for researchers was maintained. The minister, however, underscored the need to bring the amounts paid up to date.

“In these three years, we were able to maintain the integrity of resources for scholarships. No cuts were made. We’re facing the challenge of adjusting grants, and we need to increase the number of scholarships offered,” he said.

Despite the constraints, he went on, the country sees 50 thousand masters and 25 thousand doctors graduate each year. Alvim also noted, however, that researchers must be recognized, adding there is currently a shortage of scientists in the country.

“If we don’t act fast, the master’s scholarship could be lower than the minimum wage in some regions by next year. This is not how researchers should be treated anywhere. This is something we need to build together. It doesn’t depend on the Ministry of Science and Technology alone.”

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Pedro Ivo de Oliveira / Nira Foster

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