Segunda-feira, 19 de Março de 2018Sexta-feira, 23 de Março de 2018
Guarujá, SP

Translating knowledge into innovation: exploring the potential of biological soft matter science in agrifood challenges.

UK Coordinator: Dr Hermes Gadelha, University of York
Brazil Coordinator: Prof Jose Cuminato, Universidade de São Paulo – São Carlos
Uruguay Coordinator: Dr. Nicolas Benech, Universidad de la Republica
Mentors: Prof Martin Bees, University of York; Prof Gustavo Buscaglia, Universidade de São Paulo – São Carlos; Prof Carlos A. Negreira , Universidad de la Republica.
Dates: 19-23rd March, 2018
Venue:  Blue Tree Towers Guarujá, Guarujá (SP), Brazil

The programme Newton Fund Researcher Links provides opportunities for early career researchers from the UK, Brazil and Uruguay, and internationally to interact, learn from each other and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research collaborations. As part of this programme, we are now recruiting early career researchers to participate in the above workshop. 

The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for sharing research expertise and networking. During the workshops early career researchers will have the opportunity to present their research in the form of a short oral presentation and discuss this with established researchers from the UK and partner countries (see coordinators and mentors above). Although this is not an eligibility/selection criterion, we will encourage selected participants to submit an outline draft of their presentations before the workshop.

There will be a focus on building up links for future collaborations and participants selected on the basis of their research potential and ability to build longer term links. 

The British Council and São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) will cover the costs related to the participation to the workshop, including: travel (both international and local), accommodation and meals. Costs for the visa will be covered; however participants will be responsible for making all the necessary arrangements. Although this cost will not be covered by the British Council, participants are encouraged to purchase an adequate travel and medical insurance. The British Council accepts no responsibility for any problems which may occur when the participants are in-country.

Participants will be notified of the results of the selection process two months prior to the workshop date.

Application deadline: rolling call ending on 19th February 2018 (early applications are encouraged)

Notification of results: 26th February 2018


  • Applications must be submitted using the Researcher Links application form;
  • Application must be submitted before the above deadline;
  • Participants must be Early Career Researchers: Early Career Researchers are defined as holding a PhD (or having equivalent research experience – candidates in the late stages of their PhDs will also be considered) and having up to 10 years post-PhD research experience. They are equivalent to the ‘Recognised Researcher’ and sometimes ‘Experienced Researcher’ categories in the EU framework for researchers’ careers;
  • Participants must have a research or academic position (a permanent post, research contract, or fellowship, PhD student etc.) at a recognised research institution either in the UK, Brazil or in Uruguay;
  • Participant's research area can be in any subject in Physics, Mathematics and Biology, experimentalists and theorists, or other disciplines related to the broad theme of the workshop, in particular, but not exclusively, biological soft matter, mathematical biology and biophysics, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and elasticity, stochastic and dynamical systems, elastography (see description below);
  • Participants are expected to attend all sessions of the workshop.


  • Experience in agrifood production is not needed, but rather interest on global challenges revolving this topic;
  • Relevance of the applicant's research area and topic to the workshop;
  • Motivation and contribution to the aims of the workshop;
  • Description of the long term impact expected through participation in the workshop.


The selection will be competitive within each career stage. Participant will be selected in accordance with academic merit, eligibility and selection criteria set above.


“Soft matter”, a term introduced by Pierre de Gennes in his Nobel prize lecture, deals with plastics, rubbers, complex fluids, colloids, polymers, gels and all kinds of "squidgy" materials. This encompasses all biological matter, from tissues and organs in the human body to fauna and flora, essential in agriculture, to microbes and pathogens that are crucially relevant to health and disease.  Uruguay and Brazil share common challenges in agriculture and food production, from livestock farming and selective breeding to biofuel production, which form a significant part of both economies. Lack of water sanitation, growing bacterial-resistance and extensive use of antibiotics and growth hormones, are deadly and affect millions of lives. Bio-soft matter science can directly tackle all of the above. This workshop aims to accelerate the integration of this expertise. This will immediately kick start research collaborations to attack these problems and lay the foundation for developing deeper understanding of the current challenges in agrifood production. 


The impact of bio-soft matter on the current needs and challenges of developing countries is undisputable.  Fundamental research is present in all fronts of bio-soft matter science, from mathematical biology to experimental physics, to the biology of the cell and agrifood technologies. This is an explorative workshop which aims to inspire and challenge all participants by asking each one’s visions of the future on how bio-soft matter science can be exploited to tackle the sustainable development goals set out by the UN, by not limiting ourselves by what is possible now, but crucially our views for the next 10 years. The starting point will be the current forefront of each participant’s research, using this as a steppingstone to project and translate into new collaborations. This forum will further identify the critical advances and discoveries needed in the next 10 years in bio-soft matter science, as well as the priorities and challenges for the next few years.

Specific topics

No experience in agrifood production research is needed, but rather interest to learn and apply soft matter research to tackle opportunities revolving this global challenge. 

The workshop will focus on soft-matter science with the novel view point of agrifood challenges. This encompasses areas such Elastography, mechanical properties of soft material, mathematical biology and biophysics, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and elasticity, stochastic and dynamical systems in a wide range of length-scales, from single molecule to population dynamics, from theory to experimentation.  

Suggested areas and applications include reproductive and livestock science, plant and animal science, including marine systems, biofuel production and biofilm formation. Meat/fish production and meat elastography. Water science, water filtration, waterborn infections, bacterial growth and antibiotic bacterial-resistance and viruses, elasticity related diseases either at cell or macroscopic level. Participants are encouraged to bring other cross-related  areas of interest.