ICTP and the São Paulo State University (UNESP) have renewed their support for ICTP's partner institute in Brazil, the ICTP-South American Institute for Fundamental Research (ICTP-SAIFR). Created in 2010 and housed at the Instituto de Física Teórica of UNESP's Barra Funda campus, ICTP-SAIFR fosters the advancement of basic sciences in South American countries.
The new agreement recognises the success of the institute's theoretical physics research and training, which has helped ICTP-SAIFR become a centre of excellence in South America. With the support of funding agencies such as the São Paulo Research Funding Agency (FAPESP), the Simons Foundation, and the Serrapilheira Institute, ICTP-SAIFR organizes dozens of schools and workshops each year for graduate students and researchers, as well as outreach activities for high school students and teachers and the general public. Its board of directors includes the directors/presidents of UNESP, ICTP, FAPESP, Serrapilheira and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and its scientific board includes 10 renowned physicists.
Thanks to ICTP-SAIFR's contribution to the development of physics in South America, the American Physical Society awarded its director, Nathan Berkovits, the 2021 John Wheatley Award and awarded its high school teacher training programme the 2020 Innovation Award. Faculty members include Pedro Vieira, a joint professor at Perimeter Institute and winner of the 2018 Sackler Physics Prize and the 2020 New Horizons in Physics Prize for his research in quantum field theory; and Riccardo Sturani, a member of the LIGO-Virgo collaboration which was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for the detection of gravitational waves.
"This successful collaboration has not only raised the level of physics research in South America, but also has helped IFT-UNESP to be the best department of theoretical physics in Brazil that attracts the best graduate students to its master's and doctoral programs and attracts the best researchers to its faculty," said ICTP-SAIFR Director Berkovits.
"ICTP-SAIFR has successfully recreated the ICTP model of science and training excellence, helping to build a strong scientific community in South America," added ICTP Director Atish Dabholkar.