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Delegation from Leiden University forges new links in Brazil

A delegation from Leiden University is visiting Brazil from 14 to 18 March. The first day of the visit was spent with scientists in São Paolo.

Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker is heading the delegation, which also includes representatives from the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Law, the LUMC, the Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology and the Faculty of Archaeology.   

Science funding in São Paolo

The programme started on Monday 14 March in São Paulo. The delegation visited FAPESP, the organisation that finances scientific research in São Paulo. The President of FAPESP, José Goldemberg, and Rector Carel Stolker signed an agreement in which both institutions commit to further collaboration. This agreement will allow researchers from Leiden and Brazil to initiate joint research projects and organise seminars and workshops. It also provides for exchange programmes for PhD candidates and researchers.  

Research presentations

The agreement was put into immediate practice: the FAPESP organised a workshop during which Leiden scientists presented their research to fellow researchers in São Paulo. They discussed Leiden research on scientometrics, law, life sciences and physics. Both parties saw good opportunities for further collaboration. As a follow-up step, FAPESP and Leiden University will set up a joint working committee to define potential areas for collaborative research projects. 

Meeting between the Rectors of Leiden and São Paolo 

Later on Monday, a meeting took place between the Rectors of Leiden University and the Universidade de São Paulo (USP). USP was Leiden's first partner university in Brazil, and the two universities have been collaborating with one another since 1994. The USP is generally regarded as the foremost university in Latin America. The Rectors signed a new agreement that will allow Humanities students to spend part of their programme in São Paulo. There are already similar exchange programmes in place with USP for students from the Law Faculty and Leiden University College.

Alumni meetings

On Monday evening the delegation visited the residence of the Consul-General Cor van Honk in São Paulo, the first in a series of meetings with Brazilian alumni. The Leiden delegation will remain in Brazil for the whole week visiting universities and government organisations in São Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. 

Einstein Hospital

On Tuesday, the delegation visited the Einstein Hospital, with which LUMC is conducting discussions about further collaboration in such areas as research on ageing and teaching. Meetings were also held with the Rectors of UNESP and the Universidade Federal de San Carlos to discuss opportunities for student exchanges. The Leiden party then visited the CNPEM, the national research centre for materials and energy, to conclude agreements on further collaboration. 


In Brasilia, Ambassador Han Peters invited the delegation to a dinner where they met representatives of the University of Brasilia, the higher education foundation CAPES and the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the remainder of the week, the Leiden delegation will be visiting universities and government organisations in São Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. 

New chair in Brazilian Studies

On Wednesday the Leiden delegation visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brasilia. During the visit the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Ministry announced that a position would be funded for a lecturer in Portuguese at Leiden University. Leiden is the only Dutch university where Portuguese is still taught. A new chair in Brazilian Studies will also be installed. 


Rector Carel Stolker signed a number of agreements on behalf of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA), of which Leiden is a part. This research school concluded agreements with the National Observatory in Rio de Janeiro and three other universities

Reciprocal visits

A number of reciprocal visits have been planned, including a visit by a delegation from the Albert Einstein Hospital to the LUMC in April. The consulates in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and the Embassy in Brasilia will continue to support Leiden University and its researchers in their activities in Brazil. 

Participants Leiden delegation

Prof. Carel Stolker, Rector Magnificus & President
Ans Kluit, Personal Assistent Rector Magnificus
Dr Eric Beerkens, Senior Advisor International Affairs
Hanneke Wiessing, MSc, Alumni Policy Adviser

Faculty of Science
Prof. Jan Aarts, Leiden Institute of Physics, Quantum Matter & Optics (LION)
Dr Luca Avena, Assistant Professor Mathematics
Prof. Martin van Exter, Leiden Institute of Physics, Quantum Matter & Optics (LION)
Prof. Marin van Heel, NeCEN, Cryo‐EM Data Processing
Prof. Koen Kuijken, Leiden Observatory
Dr. Fons Verbeek, Associate Professor Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science

Faculty of Archeology
Manuel May Castillo, MA, University Lecturer Indigenous America Studies

Leiden Law School
Prof. Wim Voermans, Constitutional and Administrative Law

Faculty of Humanities
Dr Marianne Wiesebron, Senior University Lecturer Latin American Studies, Brazilianist, Coordinator for Latin American Relations

Leiden University Medical Center
Prof. Eline Slagboom, Medical statistics and bio‐informatics

Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Dr Ed Noijons, Research fellow at the Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)
Dr Erik Bähre, Assistant Professor Economic Anthropology

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