Federal institutions participate in most scientific production – 12/12/2022 – Education

Six out of ten scientific articles published by Brazilian research institutions have the participation of researchers from federal universities, the same ones that have experienced a crisis financial due to lack of funds.

This means that the difficulty of these institutions in bearing the costs of their basic maintenance, such as university restaurants, transportation contracts, security and cleaningaffects scientific research conducted in the country.

To give you an idea, in 2002, 4 out of 10 studies published in Brazil had participation from federal institutions, such as UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul), Unifesp (Federal University of São Paulo) or UFSC (Federal University of Santa Catarina ).

Today, the country has 68 federal universities, one third of the total (the others are state, private and municipal). Twenty-five feds have emerged since 2002.

The pace of academic production at these institutions in all areas of knowledge, such as public health, astronomy or the environment, has increased more than the national average. So, they gained strength in the Brazilian higher education and science ecosystem.

The data were tabulated by Sheet in the international database of scientific journals Web of Science, which brings together more than 12,000 academic publications from around the world. It is the same used in the data collection of the RUF – Folha University Ranking🇧🇷 The extraction was done last Friday (9).

The financial situation of federal universities became an issue after the announcement of a blocking of funds from this year’s General Budget for the MECinstitutional umbrella of these institutions.

The federal government is over giving up the blockade of fundsbut then backtracked. Then he gave up on going back.

On Thursday (8), the Minister of Education, Victor Godoy, disclosed that the folder managed to release R$ 460 million for the payment of education expenses, of which R$ 300 million were transferred to MEC entities such as universities. The block could derail and paralyze important research.

Scientists from federal universities participated in more than 60,000 scientific articles published last year. On average, there were 167 new research results per day, duly reviewed and approved by academia. This includes important research in areas such as Covid.

Two years ago, for example, scientists from the federations of Rio Grande do Norte, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo (Unifesp) signed, with colleagues, a research in The Lancet fundamental for understanding the effectiveness and of the safety of the Pfizer vaccine in the Brazilian population.

At the time, all vaccines against Covid-19, which are now available in the country, were still being tested. This type of research conducted in Brazil was important for forwarding the first approvals of immunizers.

Before the vaccines, a scientific work also came out of a federal university, Ufpel (Pelotas), which showed that the number of infected by Covid would be seven times higher than the official figures.

Data compiled in the Epicovid-19 survey, the largest epidemiological study on coronavirus in Brazil, were also published in The Lancet. The initiative coordinator is epidemiologist Pedro Hallal.

In the first two years of the pandemic, scientists from federal universities participated in more than half (56.6%) of Brazilian research related to the pandemic.

There are also impact works in areas beyond Covid. This is the case of an international scientific article with the participation of UFMG and UFCG (Campina Grande) published in 2020 in the journal Nature Methods.

The work provides an overview of the features of SciPy 1.0, a scientific computing library for the Python programming language used by scientists.

According to data from the Web of Science database, the work has already been mentioned more than 7,800 times in studies published after it. In science, the number of citations to a study in subsequent scientific publications reveals its academic impact.

The most productive institutions, the federal ones in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul, are also among the largest and oldest in the country. They participated in about 15,000 scientific articles last year.

Young federal universities, with less than 20 years old, however, also have significant scientific production. This is the case of UFABC (Federal University of ABC): created in 2005, it participated in 1,300 scientific articles last year.

The contingency of resources at the MEC had also affected the payment of more than 200,000 postgraduate grants from Capes (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel), a federal agency linked to the MEC that encourages research in the country. The situation was rectified last Friday (9).

Research grants are a kind of salary paid to scientists in training to dedicate themselves exclusively to their research work.

According to data also tabulated by the Sheetmore than half of Capes postgraduate scholarships are given to students from federal universities.

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