The Science Without Borders Program

Launched in July 2011, Science Without Borders is a national program from the Brazilian Federal Government, known in the United States as the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program.

By 2015, the program will fund the exchange of 101,000 undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of exact sciences, engineering, health and medicine, and technology – STEM areas (details in modalities and areas supported). By fostering partnerships between Brazilian universities and institutions of excellence around the world, the government wants to promote the consolidation, expansion and internationalization of science and technology, innovation, and competitiveness in Brazil.

Lemann Foundation and the Science Without Borders Program

In 2012, through a cooperation agreement signed with Brazil’s Federal Government, the Lemann Foundation pledged to support the implementation of the Science Without Borders program at six excelent universities in the United States, with which the foundation already had consolidated partnerships: Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and UCLA.

The primary aim is to contribute toward strengthening the government's investment, assuring an increasing number of students from the Science Without Borders Program at these outstanding institutions, and facilitating the formation of lasting academic partnerships between these universities and Brazilian institutions. To this end, the Lemann Foundation is performing various activities, such as:

  • Facilitate the establishment of academic bridges between professors from Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Yale, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and UCLA and professors from Brazilian institutions;
  • Disseminate opportunities and contacts at these universities to Brazilian students and professors;
  • Conduct International Seminars of Academic Cooperation;
  • Offer supplementary scholarships (link in pt-br) to graduate students approved by Science Without Borders at these universities;
  • Promote meetings of graduate fellows in Brazil and the United States to form a network of highly qualified and talented people.

The Lemann Foundation is a non-profit organization created in 2002 by businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann. Contributing to improve the quality of learning of Brazilian students and forming a network of transformational leaders are the institution’s major goals. Through its scholarship programs and support for partner institutions, the Lemann Foundation has already helped to graduate more than one thousand Brazilian students and researchers abroad. Learn more at www.fundacaolemann.org.br/en.

Partner Universities


In April 2012, the president of Harvard, Drew Faust, received Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at Harvard to sign agreements with CAPES and CNPq for Science Without Borders. The agreements include scholarships for undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral students in the area of engineering, as well as scholarships for “sandwich” Ph.Ds. in engineering and applied sciences. In 2011-2012, the number of Harvard students in formal programs or conducting research in Brazil reached the number of 175, an increase of over 130% since 2006. In addition, more than 35 university professors traveled to Brazil from July 2011 to April 2012.

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Ph.D in Harvard


With the agreement signed with CAPES in April 2013, Stanford University aims to increase collaboration with Brazilian researchers. Departments at various schools of Stanford University are interested in participating in the program as a result of the agreement, including the schools of Earth Sciences, Education, Engineering, Science and Medicine.

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Stanford and Brazil


Columbia University in New York City has an agreement signed with CAPES under the scope of Science Without Borders and is open to receiving Brazilians in various departments. The Columbia University Global Center in Rio de Janeiro is also dedicated to strengthening collaboration with Brazilian universities.


In 2012, representatives from Yale University and CAPES signed an agreement that included Yale as a participant in the Science Without Borders program. “We’re proud of the outstanding students coming from Brazil to Yale and who are now on our campus,” said Yale Provost Peter Salovey. “Yale is honored to be a partner of CAPES, and we anticipate that this collaboration will enable us to receive many more excellent Brazilian students through the Science Without Borders Program.” This agreement strengthens the growing number of collaborations between Yale and Brazil, including summer courses in Paraty and Rio de Janeiro, exchanges in Law and Infectious Diseases with USP, the Fox Fellowship Program, and participation in the Global Network for Advanced Management, with FGV. Yale University received three Brazilian students in 2012 through Science Without Borders, in the modalities of sandwich Ph.D. and post-doctorate.

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Yale and Brazil

Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received 34 Brazilians in 2012 through Science Without Borders, mostly undergraduate students (28), but also sandwich Ph.Ds (5) and post-doctoral (1) students.

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The University of California (UCLA) received four Brazilians in 2012 through Science Without Borders, including undergraduate, sandwich Ph.D. and post-doctoral students.

Capes & CNPq

Science Without Borders is administered by Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) and Ministry of Education (MEC), through their respective research funding agencies – the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES).

More information about the program

Modalities of funded programs

The following programs are funded by Science Without Borders:

  • Full Ph.D.: scholarships of up to four years, including university costs and stipends
  • Visitor "sandwich" Ph.D.: one-year scholarships for advanced doctoral students who wish to work in the laboratory of a professor at an oversees university
  • Post-doctorate: scholarships of up to two years
  • Special Visiting Researcher (PVE): scholarships for senior researchers, to work in collaboration with research groups in Brazil. The scholarship is valid for one to two months per year, for up to three years, during the researcher’s stay in Brazil. Additionally, Science Without Borders will give financial support to the project to be conducted, and may pay scholarships to students to participate in the project not only in Brazil but also abroad.
  • Undergraduate: student exchange of six months to one year.

Master’s degree programs are not funded by Science Without Borders.

Areas Supported

  • Engineering and other related fields;
  • Physical and Earth Sciences;
  • Biology, Biomedical and Health Sciences;
  • Computing and Information Technology;
  • Aerospace Technology;
  • Pharmaceuticals;
  • Sustainable Agricultural Production;
  • Oil, Gas and Mineral 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 (related to technological development and innovation);
  • New Technologies for Construction Engineering.

To learn how to apply and understand how the scholarships are awarded, click here (official website).

News (in Portuguese)