In an interview given to Agência FAPESP, the new director reveals his plans to seek more partnerships with institutions, strengthen the Foundation’s international ties and simplify processes by cutting bureaucracy (photo: Marcos Santos/USP Imagens)
Published on 05/08/2023
By Claudia Izique | Agência FAPESP – Márcio de Castro Silva Filho took office as FAPESP’s Scientific Director on April 27. “I’m honored to have been nominated by FAPESP’s Board of Trustees and appointed by the government of São Paulo state,” he said.
His predecessor Luiz Eugênio Mello had occupied the post since April 2020.
Márcio de Castro is a professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of São Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (ESALQ-USP). Until he took office as FAPESP’s new Scientific Director, he was Pro-Rector for Graduate Studies at USP.
He sees himself as an administrator who is “open to dialogue and understanding”. He says the period when he was the head of CAPES, the Ministry of Education’s Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel, and the seven years during which he was a Pro-Rector at USP “left a legacy” that stimulated him to apply for the job of Scientific Director.
“FAPESP is a model agency that has built a history of success based on the talent of its cadre of civil servants and the dedication of the science, technology and innovation community, guaranteeing its planning and investment capacity as well as a percentage budget,” he says. “FAPESP has boldly implemented projects that have advanced knowledge not just in São Paulo but throughout Brazil.”
He plans to use his time as Scientific Director to multiply FAPESP’s partnerships with other institutions, “always aiming at research excellence”, and to strengthen specific-purpose research initiatives.
“We must never forget that collaboration is required to develop solutions to problems involving different knowledge areas. This factor should foster interdisciplinarity,” he says.
He also plans to simplify the process of proposal analysis and approval. “Less bureaucracy and more autonomy will enable us to simplify the process,” he says. “The system as it stands today requires a great deal of information, and this increases the researcher’s workload, which we intend to simplify.”
Márcio de Castro wants to intensify the internationalization of FAPESP. “It’s important to have coordination to define where we want to go and what partners to seek in order to create an international research environment. After all, we have complex problems that require a combination of excellences,” he says.