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Student and Faculty Impact

Pantanal Partnership: In 2013 and 2014, the Brazil Initiative funded this interdisciplinary project sending 12 students to Brazil to improve sustainable water systems and education in the Pantanal. Read more »

Brazil Initiative Scholarship for Portuguese Language Studies: In 2013 and 2014, the Brazil Initiative funded five undergraduate students for internships and research in Brazil.

Kirsten Weiss is a medical student from the U-M Medical School and a PhD student from the Department of Anthropology. She attended a weeklong course at FIOCRUZ in Brazil, exploring the “History of Medicine” in local contexts and through comparative conversations. These sessions featured professors from the renowned Casa de Oswaldo Cruz.

Kathryn Curtis, a public policy master's student received a Boren Fellowship to study food security and agro-ecology in Brazil, is working with the Instituto Pereira Passos (IPP) in Rio de Janeiro on the “Hortas Cariocas” project at the Secretaria Municipal de Meio Ambiente (SMAC) - Municipal Secretariat of the Environment.

Anna Sadovnikova spent a week in Rio de Janeiro at the Instituto Fernandes Figueira learning about the integration of milk banking into primary care/public health and the pasteurization and quality control process, a week in Brasilia viewing milk bank, and a week with U-M physicians and nurses helping to interpret a mini-course and describe her experience. Inspired by this, she wrote her master's thesis on donor milk banking integration into public health using this model as a rubric framework.

Brazilian Student Exchanges: In 2014, UM’s Prison Creative Arts Program (PCAP) and the Brazil Initiative hosted 5 graduate students from the Theater School of the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) and 2 history students from the University of Sao Paulo (USP). The UniRio students were shown how the U-M PCAP project worked and visited the 19th Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners. As a result, UNIRIO began work with ex-prisoners and their families. The two USP students spent four months at U-M conducting research under history and law professor, Rebecca Scott.

University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy International Economic Development Program in Brazil: In March 2015, with support from the Brazil Initiative, a group of 22 policy, law, and natural resource and environment students coordinated a ten-day research trip to Brazil to explore U.S.- Brazil relations, economic development, social welfare programs, environmental issues, urban planning, and security policy. Students held meetings with 20 key stakeholders from the private, public, and non-governmental sectors to understand the circumstances faced by Brazilian policymakers. Former U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, Melvyn Levitsky, served as faculty advisor.

Student Funding

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) and the Brazil Initiative offer fellowships and grants to students to support the study of Portuguese and for graduate research and dissertation writing. 

Faculty Funding

The Brazil Initiative provides grants to U-M faculty for research and projects that promote collaborations between U-M and Brazilian institutions in the Arts and Culture, Medical and Health Sciences, and Social Sciences and Humanities.  Funding amounts are based on available funding and the project’s relevancy to the goals of the Brazil Initiative.  Please contact for more information. 

The Brazil Initiative also encourages applications from faculty for translation support as part of our Translating the Americas series.

UM-FAPESP Collaboration

The cooperation agreement (signed 9/25/2012) between São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) and University of Michigan (U-M) aims to support the development of joint research projects and may include the exchange of researchers and post-doctorate students in any academic discipline. Projects will be selected through calls for proposals. FAPESP provides funding for research in all fields and supports international collaborations.

On March 28-29, 2016, UM-LACS Brazil Initiative, Wilson Center, and FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) co-sponsored FAPESP Week 2016, held in the Michigan Union, that invited 28 researchers and scientists from the state of São Paulo, Brazil, to speak on subjects including aerospace technology, sustainability, engineering, genetics, US-Brazil relations, health, and human rights. Also presenting at this conference were faculty members from the University of Michigan who shared similar research interests and spoke on the same topics with their Brazilian colleagues and partners. For more info (in Portuguese) »