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Fiocruz receives North-American students in a partnership with Princeton University


Isabela Schincariol (Fiocruz Virtual Campus)


Fiocruz will be receiving a group of North-American students from Princeton University, in the United States. The exchange is the result of a memorandum of understanding between the institutions and will involve a total of seven students who will work at five different Fiocruz units. The first four members of the delegation arrived at the Foundation on June 9 and were welcomed with a lecture on the History of Health in Brazil given by Gilberto Hochman, researcher of the Oswaldo Cruz House (COC/Fiocruz), also a professor of the Graduate Program of History of Sciences and Health, as well as a researcher (PPGHCS/COC). The students will spend eight weeks working with Fiocruz. The remaining three members of the mission will arrive at the institution in July.

The goal of the memorandum of understanding between Princeton University and Fiocruz is to establish a cooperative environment and to define, in a shared agreement, the foundations of the international cooperation to be developed in the fields of teaching, research and exchange of students in the field of health.

Five units will be receiving students

The vice-president of Education, Information and Communication of Fiocruz, Cristiani Vieira Machado, highlighted the fact that Princeton has a very expressive and interdisciplinary Global Health Program, and mentioned that summer internships are among their actions. “In this strategy to strengthen this new partnership, our expectation is that interns get to know the work developed by Fiocruz in its different fields of interest, experience the insertion in research projects, and collaborate with them, so they have a professional experience that is rich and includes a lot of learning”, said Machado.

During this first year, interns will be developing research at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/Fiocruz), at the Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health (Ensp/Fiocruz), at the Oswaldo Cruz House, at the National Institute of Women, Children and Adolescents Health Fernandes Figueira (IFF/Fiocruz), and at the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases (INI/Fiocruz). The subjects to be addressed will be Antimicrobial resistance; Hanseniasis research; Reduction of risks of disasters in health; History, ecology and health in the Anthropocene; and public health and applied research in the field of women, children and adolescents health.

Another goal of the initiative, according to Machado, is to tighten cooperation with the university, “involving other actions of student mobility, from there to here and from here to there. This is the first experience of the Summer School project of Princeton with Fiocruz, but beyond that, we intend to expand these exchange and mobility strategies and, if possible, in the future, to advance into other more rewarding joint initiatives, such as the ones we have with several other international institutions, incentivizing the mobility of graduate students and including the exchange of visiting researchers”, she added.

International cooperation

The initiative was born after a visit of Fiocruz's president, Nísia Trindade Lima, to Princeton University in October 2021. On the occasion, Lima participated in a debate on global health at the institution. The memorandum of understanding was agreed with the Fiocruz presidency, but the entire process is being run by the Foundation’s Vice-Presidency of Education, Information and Communication. Within this cooperation program, two Foundation researchers, one from INI and the other from the IOC, went to Princeton in April 2022 to attend a seminar on microbial resistance.

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