Information about funding sources for science in Latin America

October 2008

This list, which contains some information about Mexico and most countries in South America, is far from being complete!


Information by country:



Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva


National agencies that provide funding for research projects:

·         CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas)

·         ANPCyT (Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica)


Most national universities also have lines of financial support for their researchers.

Some examples:





There are also some provincial funding agencies:

·         Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas (Prov. de Buenos Aires)



The organization of the scientific system and the way that science projects are funded is different in Bolivia. For information on their policies you can check the site of:

Viceministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología



Ministerio da Ciencia e Tecnologia

Detailed information on funding sources can be found in:


National agencies that provide funding for research projects:



Federal foundations that support research:

  • CAPES - Fundação Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior


There are many state financial agencies. Some examples:


Federal and state universities also invest in science in various ways and provide some lines of financial support for researchers. Some examples:


Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciencia plays a role in the discussion on science policies and has useful information in its web page:



National Funding Agency:

Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT)


CONICyT provides financial support through different programs. Some of them are:



Science policies in Colombia are coordinated by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología

National financial agency:

Instituto Colombiano para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia y la Tecnología, Francisco José de Caldas – Conciencias



Ecuador has just approved a new constitution which involves a major reorganization of the institutions of the country. To check on their science policies you can visit the site of:

Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología,


Centro de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas de la ESPOL (Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral



Science policies are established by:

Consejo Consultivo de Ciencias


The main national funding agency is:

Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología

Information about financial support for some research projects can be found at:

It is necessary to be registered at Registro Nacional de Instituciones y Empresas Científicas y Tecnológicas to be able to apply for financial support for research projects from national agencies.


The Academia Mexicana de Ciencias is a major player in the discussion on science policies. It also gives awards to scientists of Mexico and of other countries


Major universities may fund research projects. Information about support for scientific research at the largest university of the country, Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), can be found at:

Investigación Científica UNAM


Some states also have their own funding agencies. For example:

Consejo Potosino de Ciencia y Tecnología


Mexico has a very complete web page with information on science and technology:

Portal: e-ciencia y tecnología



The government support of science in Paraguay is very recent. In 1998 the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) was created. In 2002 the first document defining a national policy for the sector was published.

Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología



Consejo Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Tecnológica

Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico, Tecnológico y de Innovación Tecnológica - FONDECYT


Dirección de Innovación, Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo

Information on lines of financial support can be found at:



The organization of the scientific system in Venezuela is different from that of other Latin American countries (such as Brazil, Chile or Argentina).

To learn about science policies in Venezuela you can visit the site of the institution in charge of maintaining the national system of science, technology and innovation:

Ministerio del poder popular para Ciencia y Tecnología

You can also visit the site of the institution in charge of promoting most scientific projects:

Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas:

There is a national financial agency that funds research projects: Fondo Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación


Agencies and institutions from outside Latin America that provide financial support for researchers in Latin America:

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) located in Trieste, Italy, has different lines of financial support for researchers of developing countries. In particular, they provide funds for the organization of schools, workshops and conferences ( They also have programs (the Associate and the Federation Scheme) to provide support for distinguished scientists and for junior representatives of scientific institutes in developing countries ( It has also instituted awards to honor and encourage high level research in the fields of physics and mathematics (

The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS)  also based in Trieste, Italy, has a variety of programs to support researchers from developing countries. However, most lines of support are not intended for physicists (physics related research is supported through ICTP).


The National Science Foundation of USA has an Office of International Science & Engineering (OISE) that encourages funding applicants (from the US) to include an international component in proposals submitted to the appropriate research directorate


For those of you who work in interdisciplinary areas related to physics, medicine and biology, there are several options of foreign funding agencies that would support your research projects in your country. For example, the (National Institutes of Health of the USA) Fogarty International Center collaborates with other components of the NIH and with other partners on a variety of research and training that involve low and middle income countries.


Again for those who work on life-science related research, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute HHMI grants support for promising biomedical research scientists working outside the United States and leading research scientists who are developing new approaches to undergraduate science education.


The Human Frontiers Science Program supports novel, innovative and interdisciplinary basic research focused on the complex mechanisms of living organisms; topics range from molecular and cellular approaches to systems and cognitive neuroscience. Research Grants are awarded for novel collaborations involving extensive collaboration among teams of scientists working in different countries and in different disciplines. Two types of grants are available: Young Investigator Grants and Program Grants. They also fund Postdoctoral Fellowships and Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships (


The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation gives fellowships to assist research and artistic creation . The Foundation only supports individuals selecting its Fellows on the basis of two separate competitions, one for the United States and Canada, the other for Latin America and the Caribbean.


The Fulbright Program is based on binational partnerships and open, merit-based competition. 7,000 Fulbright grants are awarded annually. They are mainly intended for students or researchers willing to study, work or lecture in the USA. Several countries in the Americas have binational Fulbright Commissions.  These commissions play an important role in the creation, administration, and promotion of Fulbright Programs.


The Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) provides financial support for projects that are aimed at solving problems of underdevelopment


Regional and international organizations that provide funding for some projects:


The Centro Latinoamericano de Física (CLAF) provides financial support for the organization of scientific conferences and schools in Latin America. They can also support the travel expenses of young physicists willing to attend conferences or visit other institutions. Finally, they give doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships to Latin Americans willing to study or work on Physics in Brazil (


The Programa Iberoamericano  de Ciencia y Tecnología  para el Desarrollo provides financial support for projects involving institutions of various countries in Latin America.


The Oficina Regional de Ciencia para América Latina y el Caribe (Montevideo, Uruguay) has a variety of special programs some of which provide financial support for specific research projects

STIC-Amsud. Program of scientific cooperation between researchers from France and researchers from some South American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Perú and Uruguay) in the area of information technologies.

Instituto Internacional para la Educción Superior en América Latina y Caribe of UNESCO ( ) has a variety of programs related to improve and generate liasons among institutions of higher education in Latin America. In particular, there is a variety of thematic networks (see and endows several UNESCO chairs at different institutions In particular, there is a chair on Women, science and technology in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The Sociedad de Biofísicos Latinoamericanos provides financial support for the organization of activities related to biophysics in Latin America (


The Biophysical Society of the USA also gives financial support for the organization of activities such as conferences in countries in need. They also provide financial support to researchers from countries in need to attend their Annual Meeting


The Department of Energy and the NSF support a limited number of Pan American Advanced Studies Institutes (PASI). These are short courses of ten days to four weeks duration, at the advanced graduate and post-doctoral level. The courses should involve distinguished lecturers and active researchers in the field, preferably from the Americas. PASIs aim to disseminate advanced scientific knowledge and stimulate training and cooperation among researchers of the Americas in the mathematical, physical, and biological sciences, and in engineering fields (


Some programs to support international collaborations involving researchers from Latin America:


CAPES (Brazil) has several programs for international cooperation. In particular, bilateral agreements for the exchange of students, professors and researchers have been established with the following countries: Germany, Argentina, Chile, China, Cuba, Spain, USA, France, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Timor-Leste, Uruguay.

CNPq (Brazil) has several bilateral agreements with research institutions of different countries ( Within the framework of these agreements it is possible to support travel and living expenses of researchers from Brazil and researchers from abroad to pursue scientific collaborations. It also has several specific programs to support international collaborations ( ). Among them, PROSUL, is intended to support scientific collaboration among researchers of South America ( )

CONICET of Argentina has bilateral agreements with Austria (FWF), Belgium (FNRS), Brazil (CNPq and CAPES),  Canada (MCR), Czech Republic (CSAV), Colombia (COLCIENCIAS), Slovakia, USA (NSF), France (CNRS), Spain (CSIC), UK (Royal Society of London), Italy (CNR), Mexico (CONACYT), Venezuela (FONACIT)

Detailed information on bilateral and multilateral agreements and funding opportunities for international collaborations involving researchers from Argentina can be found at


CONACYT of Mexico bilateral agreements with COLCIENCIAS of Colombia and NSF of USA and is part of numerous multilateral international programs. For more details, visit:


The Biotech Program is a joint program of Mercosur and the European Union that is expected to provide financial support for projects in the area of biotechnology There is also a Brazilian-Argentine Center for Biotechnology that is going to fund projects in the area


The Argentine-Brazilian Center for Nanotechnology provides financial support for the organization of joint activities such as schools and conferences


The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas of Spain has bilateral agreements with many research institutions in Latin America (CONICET of Argentina, CNPq of Brazil, Universidad de la República of Uruguay, CONICYT of Chile, CONCYTEC of Perú, IVIC of Venezuela, COLCIENCIAS of Colombia, Fundación Costa Rica-USA, UNAM and CONACYT of Mexico, among others; see In particular, they have a program to strengthen the institutions that are at the basis of the system of science and technology in Spain and Latin America, fostering the collaboration among these institutions


The European Union has many cooperation programs destined to support collaborations with researchers in Latin American countries. For a list of the regional cooperation programs visit . There are several initiatives are in the area of information and communication technologies


Some years ago the National Science Foundation of the USA established the program entitled “Partnerships for International Research and Education”. These partnerships for International Research and Education seek to catalyze a cultural change in U.S. institutions by establishing innovative models for international collaborative research and education. The new call will take place in 2009.


There are several initiatives to support international collaborations in specific areas, such as climatic change, hydrology, ecology etc. Among them, the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research provides financial support for collaborative projects in the area of global climatic change and the International Geoscience Programme of UNESCO for projects in geoscience


Some other Prizes:


There is a well-known L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Prize for Women in Science that is awarded each year to 5 female scientists from a different region of the World. One such prize goes to a scientist from Latin America. Some years the area of research includes Physics ( More recently, various National L´Oreal-UNESCO Awards have been instituted in Latin American countries, among them, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay. There are also L´Oreal-UNESCO fellowships for young scientists, particularly, for scientists from Latin America.


The Asociación Mexicana de Ciencias has several prizes in science, in particular, a very well-known prize for outstanding researchers in Latin America (