FONDECYT RECOGNIZES ACADEMIC QUALITY OF THE CORPORATION

TO COMPLETE THEIR STUDY GROUPS, THE PROGRAM APPOINTED SIX RESEARCHERS WORKING IN DIFFERENT UNITS TO SUPPORT HIGHER COUNCILS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT.



August 11, 2017

Six researchers from different areas were designated by the Fondecyt Program and the Higher Councils of Science and Technological Development to form study groups in an advisory capacity of these instances. Some of them repeated this function for which they were named in previous periods.

The academics called to give their collaboration in this area are Carolina Torres, in Agronomy; Pedro Zamorano, in Art and Architecture; Raul Herrera and Juan Carlos Tapia, in the Biology 3 study group; Sebastian Donoso, in Education and Ismael Gallardo, in Psychology.

In order to be appointed, aspects such as academic career, current knowledge in specific disciplinary areas and regional and gender representation are considered. The groups are partially renewed every year.

Even if the academics elected participate in their personal capacities, the director of Research of our University, Ivan Palomo, stressed that these designations constitute "a recognition of the quality of the researchers as well as to the positioning of our University among the best universities".

"At Conicyt they know that, at the UTALCA, there are70 Fondecyt Projects, Regular and initiation, running, and that each year more scientific articles are being published, with a good annual average per capita index," he said.

Counseling and Evaluation 

The functions of the study groups are to advise the Higher Councils of Fondecyt in the processes of evaluation and monitoring of projects, the appointment of external evaluators, review of quality and relevance of the assessments. In addition, it is for them to evaluate the résumé of applicants and progress and final academic reports, among other responsibilities.

Carolina Torres, a researcher from the Department of Agrarian Sciences, has been member of the Study Group of Agronomy since three years already, and "it is a recognition to the scientific career, to the history of the developed projects and publications in the area." She also assumes this work as a duty for those who are part of a State university as a way to collaborate with the Chilean scientific community through the evaluation of projects by their own colleagues.

For Sebastian Donoso, Director of the Institute of Educational Research and Development (IISL) being a member of these groups also "represents something of a recognition" and indicated that this instance is different from the function performed by Fondecyt project evaluators, a role which he also plays.

Arts and Architecture

For his part, Pedro Zamorano, Director of the Institute of Humanistic Studies Juan Ignacio Molina, who has extensive experience in research projects, explained that in the previous three years he belonged to the Study Group in Architecture, Urbanism, Geography and Arts, which this year was divided in two, "which gives a better technical context to study the projects". He is now a member of the group of Arts and Architecture. "Participation is very interesting because it is an instance in which are awarded projects and also from the institutional point of view, because it is the space where there is an important part of the research work in Chile," he said.

He added that the study groups manage the review of the three competitions of Fondecyt: Initiation, Regular and Post-doc, in addition to analyzing the academic reports of ongoing projects. 

In addition, he stressed that this is a very interesting period because, in parallel, they are analyzing the project that creates the Government’s Department of Science and as a director he has been able to participate in the discussion. 

"The work until today has been hard, I am putting the best of my efforts and willingness to comply with the request of the Higher Council, so that the competitions can be resolved in time, and researchers can receive their resources in the stipulated period," said Herrera, and indicated that "to coordinate the common views of the twelve members of the group is not necessarily easy."

Juan Carlos Tapia, a specialist in Neuroscience from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, also belongs to the Biology 3 group and it is his first time in the new position, although he had served before as external evaluator of projects. "Although it is a lot of work, the review of projects is an important task to perform, and you can also learn a lot doing it," he said.



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