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[BUENOS AIRES] The Brazilian government has launched a programme to fund post-doctoral research by 50 Argentinean scientists in leading Brazilian scientific institutions.

The initiative, which aims to strengthen science co-operation between the two nations and reduce the 'brain drain' from Argentina, will cost the Brazilian government a total of US$950,000 in travel costs and fellowship stipends.

Argentinean scientists will spend two years at Brazilian research institutes under the programme, after which they must return to Argentina.

"The idea was suggested as a solidarity action by Brazil to help us when the economic crisis occurred in late 2001 and young scientists began to go abroad", says Jorge Tezón, the sub-manager of science and technology promotion at Conicet, the public body that runs the programme in Argentina.

Applications for the fellowships are now being invited. Conicet authorities will make an initial evaluation of the applicants in March, and Brazil's National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) will make the final selection of successful candidates.

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