September 2019: Given all the cuts that the Brazilian scientific and educational (CNPq and CAPES) have suffered recently, I am not accepting new students to conduct research in my lab. As most of you are aware, the new federal government (elected in the major elections of 2018) has been freezing and slashing funds associated with science and education in Brazil. Recently, all available CNPq and CAPES scholarships available for graduate research programs to allocate to enrolled students were cut. These two funding agencies currently pay the salaries of students that already have scholarships, but even these are not guaranteed. CNPq has announced that it does not have funds to honour the payment of salaries to their grantees in November and December 2019. So we are facing a real possibility that grantees from CNPq will be left without their scholarships starting November, which is (to say the least) a breach of contract.
CAPES has announced that all scholarships that become available to graduate research programs will be collected without the nomination of new grantees. I supervise students in two graduate programs (Ecology and Zoology of the University of São Paulo). Both these programs have entry exams scheduled over the next few months for new MSc and PhD students. However, because of the current cuts, we do not know whether we will have any available scholarships to allocate to the students that are admitted.
Therefore, while the federal government is dismantling science and education in Brazil by cutting research funds and scholarships it would be irresponsible from my part to accept new students under my supervision. Graduate school is hard enough when all is working well to support students. I cannot jeopardise the mental health and livelihood of students by accepting them under my guidance just to see new cuts affect their research.
So for the time being, I kindly ask that prospective students wait until further notice. I hope that this won't last too long. The Brazilian society will pay the costs of these dismal actions.
P.S.: I decided to write this text in English to give my friends and colleagues from overseas an idea of the issues we are currently facing in Brazil at the moment. A generation of scientists will not be able to receive proper graduate education.
I will post information about our research and teaching here