Rutgers has close ties with universities in Brazil through study abroad, joint research projects, and undergraduate and scholarly exchanges. The university has active partnerships with Brazilian universities like the University of Sao Paulo (USP) that have spanned for nearly 40 years. The Rutgers–Newark campus is located in close proximity to East Newark, NJ, which has the largest population of Brazilian Americans in the U.S. and the 4th largest population of residents born in Brazil.
The School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) at Rutgers University has been exchanging undergraduate students with the USP since the 1970s. Rutgers undergraduates present their research in biotechnology at the USP Research Symposium every November. The following April, Rutgers receives USP students to present at Rutgers research forums.
The success of the US - Brazil exchange laid the foundation for further educational opportunities between Rutgers and institutions in Brazil. The university currently has 11 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with Brazilian institutions, including recently signed MOUs with the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Educations (CAPES), and the Fulbright Commission in Brazil. The latter MOU will establish a Brazil visiting scholar position at Rutgers focused on global health research and teaching. The first scholar will arrive at the university in fall 2014 and the School of Public Health will be the first school to host a scholar.
Rutgers University is an active partner in the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (BSMP). During the 2012-2013 academic year, 16 new students came to Rutgers through the program, along with eight students who carried over from the 2011-2012 academic year and completed their program in December 2012. Rutgers will host several more students in the 2013-2014 academic year and is looking for further ways to expand its involvement in the BSMP, including through its recent MOU with CAPES. Altogether, Rutgers has hosted 34 BSMP students at the university.
Rutgers—Camden has created two international service learning courses in Brazil as part of its active cultivation of international study-tour options for students during winter intercession and spring break. The Rutgers School of Business-Camden (SBC) sponsors a ten-day study abroad in Rio de Janeiro with visits to nearby cities. Students study business while visiting government institutions and historical and cultural landmarks in order to learn more about practices in the region.
In addition, the School of Nursing at Rutgers—Camden has launched a service-learning study program in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador de Bahia, focused on health and healthcare. Students combine classroom lectures and field experiences to explore socioeconomic, cultural and environmental factors affecting Brazilians; the impact of tropical, infectious and chronic diseases; traditional Afro-Brazilian healing practices; and the delivery of universal healthcare.
Nutritional health in impoverished communities in Rio de Janeiro has been a longstanding interest in the Department of Nutritional Science. Daniel Hoffman studies the biological and environmental factors that contribute to obesity and chronic diseases. His research involves over 600 children’s records of pre- and post-natal health as well as socioeconomic background. Professor Hoffman regularly takes students to Brazil as part of his class. This information is possible because of the working relationship between Rutgers and USP.
Educational opportunities in Brazil are also available to graduate students in Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology. The Tripartite Graduate Program between the USP, Rutgers, and Ohio State University provides Ph.D. students the opportunity to conduct research between two institutions, which may qualify them for a Ph.D. degree from their host and home institutions. In addition to the Tripartite Graduate Program, SEBS also hosts the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT), funded by the National Science Foundation. This doctoral program focuses on producing the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, and government that will be comprehensively trained in Renewable and Sustainable fuel Solutions for the 21st Century.
In the Department of History, research is taking place on the economic history of Brazil, emphasizing finance, property rights, and the environment. Similarly, scientists from Rutgers Department of Chemistry, Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology, and New Jersey Center for Biomaterials have been collaborating with Brazilian colleagues in clean energy science and nanotechnology.