pixel 5th edition of the NOVA Science Day debated leadership in research | Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

5th edition of the NOVA Science Day debated leadership in research

The event counted with the testimony of several researchers who have received important international funding. The closing speech was given by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Elvira Fortunato.

Discussing and promoting leadership in research was the motto of the 5th edition of the NOVA Science Day that brought to the Rectory of NOVA University Lisbon, on December 15, faculty, researchers and others interested in discussing the challenges of research excellence and impact.

The Rector, João Sàágua, welcomed the research community of NOVA, from all schools, and congratulated them "for the great work they do every day, expanding the frontiers of knowledge for the benefit of knowledge itself and for the sake of society", stressing that "NOVA counts on your talent and dedication to face the decisive challenges of the knowledge agenda for the 21st century".

Next, the intervention of the Vice-Rector of NOVA for research, innovation and value creation took place. Isabel Rocha gave examples of excellence and impact research as the one that characterizes NOVA and listed the challenges facing the University to strengthen the leadership of its research. Increase of interdisciplinarity, new ways to evaluate research and measure impact, namely in articulation with the Sustainable Development Goals, were some of the aspects addressed.

The event then entered the debate phase with two panels that exemplify well the leadership in science and research at NOVA. The objective was to share experiences and inspire NOVA researchers to affirm themselves as leaders and candidates to international programmes, and also to debate University support measures needed.

The first panel was moderated by Rui Munhá, Coordinator of National Contact Points of the Foundation for Science and Technology, and included Luís Pereira and Ana Cecília Roque, both from FCT NOVA, Cristina Silva Pereira, from ITQB NOVA, Miguel Ferreira, from Nova SBE, and Cristina Brito, from NOVA FCSH. A special group of researchers, since they share the fact of having received grants from the European Research Council (ERC) that reward talent and cutting-edge scientific research. Known as ERC grants for excellence or millionaire grants, ERC grants are the most prestigious and competitive in Europe.

Mafalda Dourado, Coordinator of National Contact Points of the National Innovation Agency (ANI), chaired the second panel. At this time other relevant instruments of international funding were identified by a group of researchers who coordinate or have coordinated major European projects in the context of H2020 or Horizon Europe - António Jacinto, from NMS, João Paulo Costa, from NOVA FCSH, Ricardo Jardim-Gonçalves, from FCT NOVA / Uninova and Carla Ferreira, from FCT NOVA.

Then it was time for the presentation of three Associate Laboratories (AL) coordinated by NOVA, among the ten in which it is participating. Inês Cardoso Pereira introduced LS4Future - Life Sciences for a Healthy and Sustainable Future - the LA that subscribes to the One Health concept, working for the environment and human health to ensure a sustainable future for humanity and for the planet. The i3N, which brings together nanoscience and nanotechnology in strong relation with advanced materials, was disclosed by Rodrigo Martins. Finally, Helena Canhão, brought the Associate Laboratory of Translational and Innovation for Global Health - REAL - that contemplates areas such as lifelong health promotion, the development of new therapies and personalized medicine and patient-centered care.

As in previous years, NOVA Science Day was the stage for the announcement and delivery of the Santander/NOVA Collaborative Research Award that distinguishes projects of junior researchers from at least two NOVA schools. This year awarded in the areas of Exact Sciences and Engineering, the prize was given to researchers Carla Brazinha, from FCT NOVA, and James Yates, from ITQB NOVA, for the project "Dynamic design of green solvent-based nanoemulsions for improved drug delivery", which explores new ways to fight antibiotic resistance.

The closing ceremony was attended by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education. Elvira Fortunato said that NOVA Science Day brings to the debate the main challenges "that are also for us, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, to create conditions to explore and diversify new ways of funding research activities, not only through the Foundation for Science and Technology, but also using European funds. The Minister reinforced the confidence in researchers and in the scientific community, "I believe, that within any institution, scientific research brings gains to higher education, as well as what is developed in higher education also brings gains to scientific research," she said.

On this NOVA Science Day was launched another edition of the NOVA Science magazine that can be consulted here.