Professor and researcher Vera Lúcia Imperatriz-Fonseca, head of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services group at the Vale Sustainable Development Technological Institute in Belém (PA), won the Scientific Merit Award at the 29th edition of CNPq’s Young Scientist Award. The awards were presented on Wednesday (12/5), during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace, in Brasília. The honor was delivered by President Michel Temer. The Scientific Merit Award acknowledges professionals with outstanding performance in areas related to the award’s theme.

Professor and researcher Vera Fonseca is a reference in research with native bees, and co-author of the São Paulo Declaration for Pollinators, which originated the International Initiative for the Sustainable Use and Conservation of Pollinators, in addition to having taken part in NGOs, associations, and state and federal commissions for the conservation and defense of the environment. “The award emphasizes the importance of a theme that is present in our daily lives, as it deals with biodiversity and innovation. I have dedicated years of study to science and, therefore, winning this award is a unique experience”, Vera celebrates.

The Young Scientist Award is an initiative of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) / Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications, in partnership with the Roberto Marinho Foundation, Boticário Group Foundation for Nature Protection, and Banco do Brasil.

Four categories are awarded: Master and Doctorate, Higher Education Student, High School Student, and Institutional Merit. There is also a Scientific Merit award for a doctoral researcher who, in his/her career, has stood out in the area related to the theme of the edition. In the Institutional Merit category, awards are given to two institutions – one high school and one university – that have the highest number of qualified papers.

Established in 1981, the Young Scientist Award has recognized more than 194 students and researchers; 23 institutions of higher and secondary education with Institutional Merit, and seven Ph.D. researchers with Scientific Merit. Among the subjects covered in previous editions are “Oceans: source of food”; “Blood: fluid of life”; “Energy and the Environment”; “Sustainable Cities”; “Technological Innovation in Sports”; “Water: society’s challenges”, and “Food and Nutrition Security”.