Scientists return to Argentina: what is their return programme?

CONICET has included 820 new jobs in the profession of scientific researcher, 30 of these vacancies are to return Argentine researchers who have been abroad (EFE)

Scientific development has been built by the daily work of a huge group of academics and professionals who have been researching for years in various disciplines. In search of the expansion of this cognitive universe, CONICET (National Council for Scientific and Technical Research) added 820 new jobs in the career of scientific and technological researcher.

Among the declared positions there are 30 positions to be filled by Argentine scientists who have lived abroad for years. 30 researchers residing abroad are applying for these positions during the second semester of 2020 and the first semester of 2021.

From now on, they will join the Argentine scientific and technological system upon their arrival in the country. This establishment is done through Roots Program (Network of Argentine Researchers and Scientists Abroad) of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The aim is to accompany and finance a large part of the relocation expenses and restore the situation to its former glory.

Roots ProgramIt operates under four axes: First of all, recognition, This means encouraging the return of Argentine researchers living abroad, as they present it Scholarships for inclusion in CONICET and subsidies to fund the return, with passages covered and removal of personal items and scientific materials, whether equipment or bibliography.

Second, the reinforcement, Which consists in strengthening networks between the scientific work that is being produced in the country and linking it with Argentine academics working in the rest of the world. At present they are working Networks in 17 countries Where Argentine researchers reside.

The Raíces program seeks to accompany and fund a significant portion of the transportation and repatriation expenses for the repatriated Argentine scientists
The Raíces program seeks to accompany and fund a significant portion of the transportation and repatriation expenses for the repatriated Argentine scientists

Third , MergePromote the participation of Argentine scientists abroad in building science, technology and innovation public policies. the fourth , Definition of, by favoring international training and development opportunities for Argentine researchers.

The Roots Program Rate Researchers and highly trained professionals who wish to return to the country and continue their professional activity in their field of competence in a public or private institution, and who have been abroad for at least 3 years. Roots were recognized as state policy by Law 26421, which the National Congress passed in 2008 without votes against.

Infobae spoke with Two scholars who have returned to Argentina in recent months: Alejandro Borin, 42, lived in Canada for 17 years and joined the Argentine Antarctic Institute; And Estefania Gonzalez Solvera, 38 years old, lived 7 years in Chicago, USA, and decided to continue her career at UNSAM’s Institute of Nanosystems, as a CONICET researcher.

“I lived in Canada for 17 years, went on to get my masters, pursued my Ph.D. and then stayed in the business. I gave lessons in Memorial University of Newfoundland In Newfoundland I first taught as a teacher and then applied as a researcher and there is a lot of group and interdisciplinary research thereAlejandro Borin, who is dedicated to research in marine biology, told Infobae.

In Canada, Buren developed a portion of his scholarly career applied to government policies: As a biologist, I worked for the Canadian Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans, which is responsible for managing fisheries resources. My job was to provide scientific advice so that general policies are implemented by the government towards fishing activity.”

In his case, the desire to return to Argentina was always present, “to contribute to the development of science here, it is part of being a product of the public school and helps to build sovereignty. I arrived in September to work at the Argentine Antarctic Institute (IAA). We are back with my wife and three daughters‘,” Boren pointed out to this medium.

Alejandro Borin, an Argentine Marian biologist, during a harp seal census in the North Atlantic
Alejandro Borin, an Argentine Marian biologist, during a harp seal census in the North Atlantic

The pandemic has posed a set of challenges that did not exist before, such as border closures and other bureaucratic measures.And Roots was necessary to make a comeback. I had the rating in IAA by the end of 2019, but times were stretched and I ended up returning in September of this year,” explained the Argentine researcher.

When a scientist decides to return after many years, it is not only a professional decision, in Buren’s case, the process involved moving the family: “Once the appointment was set, in 2019 I called Raíces and they accompanied me throughout the process, from Work side of family and school group tickets for my daughters. We booked to attend school, in March it was there but when we arrived in September it was complicated, so they helped me Getting vacancies for Banati Primary School, networking at the corporate level and explaining that it is about returning seekers.“.

Another of the scholars who decided to return to Argentina is Estefania Gonzalez Solvera, who studied chemistry at the Faculty of Exact Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. to make Post-doctoral in Nanomaterials in Northwestern University in Illinois, United States, where he resided for nearly 7 years. He left the country in 2014 and returned in October 2020. Since her return, she has worked as a CONICET researcher at Institute for Nanosystems at UNSAM (National University of San Martin).

Scientist Estefanía González Solveyra returned to Argentina after 7 years in Chicago.  She works at the Nanosystems Institute of UNSAM
Scientist Estefanía González Solveyra returned to Argentina after 7 years in Chicago. She works at the Nanosystems Institute of UNSAM

In an interview with Infobae, Gonzalez Solvera He explained, “I did my PhD in Nanomaterials from Exactas from UBA University, I always had an expectation of living abroad, before he spent a few months at the University of Utah in the United States, It attracted me as the possibility of knowing other techniques and other ways of working en nanosistemas”.

The possibility of developing his scientific career abroad came in 2014: “My partner was a physicist and was about to get a postdoc in Chicago, and we took this opportunity and We went to live in Chicago in 2014. I traveled a week after defending my PhD thesis in Buenos Aires. There I learned with my teacher Igal Szleifer a technique for studying nanomaterials with soft materials (such as polymers, antibodies and proteins) especially at interfaces with nanomaterials in biological systems.”

The process for returning to Argentina has also been extended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic: “I applied for a research position at CONICET in 2018, and was selected in 2019. The experience of living abroad was something I sought, but I was sure to practice science again in Argentina at some point in my career. Then the pandemic arrived, I arrived in 2020 and started working three weeks later.”

The aim of the Raíces Program is to integrate Argentine researchers living abroad into the national scientific and technological system
The aim of the Raíces Program is to integrate Argentine researchers living abroad into the national scientific and technological system

Roots made it easier for me The repatriation allowance you applied to cover your airfare and part of your transportation expenses. It is worth explaining The Roots Program is not only economic aid but recognition and investment to do science in the country, is a tool for scientists who want to returnThis was stated by Gonzalez Solvera.

IMPLICATIONS IN CONICET, which records a historical record of researchers, occurs within the The $287 million investment in science, technology and innovation that we announced for the entire country between 2021 and 2026 from a loan from the Islamic Development Bank. and national government resources. Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Daniel Filmus.

Buren and González Solveyra are two examples of the 30 scientists that CONICET will seek to repatriate in the coming months. “This is an integration of scientists who have been abroad and joining the national scientific and technological system. Our mission is to make people live a better life with the help of science and technology,” he described CONICET President, Anna Franchi.

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