Grants and research opportunities in Chile for Columbia’s faculty, researchers and postdocs


Grants and research opportunities in Chile for Columbia’s faculty, researchers and postdocs

April 22, 2015

Chile’s National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) offers several grants and funds that are available to Columbia University’s faculty, researchers and/or MS, PhD, post doc students that wish to engage in joint collaborative programs with local universities and/or research institutions. We are enclosing a list of six programs and grants that are either currently available or that will publish the RFPs during the year 2015. It is important to note that all applicants must work with a Chilean partner as explained in the attached document.  For more information, please visit Conicyt’s website (in Spanish) or contact the Columbia Global Center’s office via mail at

Note: Conversions from Chilean Pesos (CLP) to USD are as of April’s 16th exchange rate.


1)  Postdoctoral Grants in Chile - National Fund for Scientific and Technological Research (FONDECYT)

Applications must be submitted from April 16 to May 26, 2015

This grant is open to Chilean or foreign researchers in the field of Science and Technology who hold a Doctoral degree, in particular to young researchers who wish to boost their careers and do field work in Chile. 

FONDECYT funds scientific and technological research initiatives in all fields of knowledge. Projects must be executed in Chile by researchers who commit themselves to remain in the country during the duration of the project, a maximum of 2-3 years. Proposals need to be sponsored by a local researcher AND a Chilean Sponsoring institution, which may be a Chilean university or some other type of institution. Research duties are compatible with other paid academic work in the Sponsoring Institution for up to 6 hours/week.

Beneficiaries receive

- Yearly salary of $19,764,000 CLP or approximately US$32,412. Salaries can be paid directly to the researcher having filed an invoice for professional fees (‘’Boleta de Honorarios’’) and registered the start of activities with Chile’s Internal Revenue Service, provided they have a Chilean National ID number (RUT), which foreigners residing in Chile can obtain with a temporary visa.

-  Annual sum of $4,500,000 CLP or US$7,380 for operational costs: travel expenses (which does not include initial ticket to Chile), purchase of equipment, supplies, and services etc., used to conduct the research.

- Health benefits: FONDECYT will provide researchers with the annual sum of $434,000 CLP or US$711 to purchase health coverage through Chilean private insurance providers (ISAPRE) or purchase an independent health insurance policy.

- Initial expenses: Up to $3,000,000 CLP or US$4,920 available to researchers who reside abroad and to be used to cover for costs associated with settling down in Chile, including accommodation and transportation, the fee for the temporary, or other authorized visa and reciprocity tax in order to start the project. Economy class fares to Chile may also be included.

Note: All funding can be transferred to the researcher directly OR to the Sponsoring Institution, subject to agreeement between all parties.

Visas: Researchers who are awarded the grant must present either a permanent resident visa or a temporary visa. Costs associated with visa applications can be covered by funds provided for initial expenses.

Projects begin on November 1st, 2015.

More information on:

Guidelines in Spanish:


2)      Calls for proposals supporting the development of international research projects – Program of International Cooperation (PCI)

Application opens in May 2015

The following program funds joint research projects in all areas of Science between researchers from local and foreign universities.  Researchers from both the Chilean university and Columbia are not required to be Chilean or U.S. citizens, respectively.

Calls are submitted by the researcher affiliated to a Chilean university in conjunction the Columbia counterpart.  Researchers receive the sum of $35,000,000 CLP or US$57,400 per year to cover for investigation costs in Chile for a maximum of 3 years. Airfares for researchers to travel and collaborate in person with their counterparts can be covered by these funds. Columbia must also commit resources to the investigation in the form of travel expenses, salaries and fringe, equipment and/or incidentals.  


3)       Abate Molina Prize for foreign researchers – Research opportunity in Chile

Application opens in May 2015

This is an award of US$46,500 to cover for scientific and technological research activities in Chile. Nominations must be made by a Chilean university, institute or a public or private research center.

The award is open to outstanding senior foreign researchers with a prestigious international career in science and/or technology. Can they be hilean with dual nationality? Nominates must be affiliated to Columbia (full-time or part-time), have at least 5 years of proven robust research experience and must not have been residing in Chile during at least the last two years prior to the closing date of the call.

The awarded scientist will be given the opportunity to travel to Chile for at least 4 months to conduct research in cooperation with the Chilean institution who nominated him/her for the prize.

Funding includes a single amount of US$46,500 and up to US$2,200 to cover for economy class airfares to Chile for the awardee.

Applications must be submitted in Spanish via CONICYT’s website.


4) Graduate Research Opportunity Worldwide (GROW-Chile)

Application opens in September 2015

The following program is exclusively open to U.S. (including Columbia) awardees of the NSF´s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) in the STEM fields who wish to collaborate with Chilean research institutions and universities. Applicants must be MS or PhD-seeking fellows enrolled at a U.S. institution like Columbia and have completed at least the first year of their graduate program.

GROW fellows receive an international travel allowance of US$5,000 through Columbia (but covered by the NSF) and a monthly per diem allowance of US$1.212 for living expense for a duration of up to 10 months (covered by CONICYT). Visa applications and health insurance can be included in the NSF’s travel allowance but fellows are responsible for obtaining them.

Those wishing to apply will need the support of a host researcher with an active FONDECYT (National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development) and/or FONDAP (Fund for Research Centers in Priority Areas) award in Chile. A list of FONDECYT and FONDAP award holders will be published during the submission period as well as a search engine to identify ongoing projects in your field of research. We also encourage interested participants to contact The Columbia Global Center Latin America (Santiago) so we can help you establish contact with Chilean awardees of FONDECYT and FONDAP.

Please note that for administrative purposes, the monthly allowance will be transferred to the Chilean host researcher upon the signing of a funding contract between the host and CONICYT stating the use of the funds is to cover the expenses of the GROW fellow during the stay in Chile.

Applications to be submitted through the NSF’s GRFP FastLane module.


5)       Attraction of Foreign Scientists to Chile’s regional universities

Opens in January 2016

The following program requires the researchers working on scientific topics to be sponsored by a regional Chilean university (located outside of Chile’s Metropolitan Region), which on its own behalf must submit a proposal to CONICYT in order to invite their desired scientist to the institution for research purposes. We encourage interested participants to contact The Columbia Global Center Latin America (Santiago) well ahead of time so we can help you establish contact with local regional universities that may be willing to host you based on your expertise.

The researcher´s stay in the host university must be of a minimum of 2 months and a maximum of 10 months. 

Beneficiaries receive:

-          Monthly gross salary of up to $2,800,000 CLP or US$4,592 for a working week of 44 hours.

-          Economy class airfare to Chile and return valued at a maximum of $1,500,000 CLP or US$2,460.

-          Travel expenses: a maximum of $500,000 CLP or US$820 will be assigned to cover for the researcher’s travel expenses within Chile.

-          Health insurance is not included in the benefits but may be covered by the sponsoring university.


6)       Grant for the return of Chilean researchers from abroad

The following grant is open exclusively to Chilean researchers working in all fields of science who obtained a Doctoral degree abroad and who now wishes to return to Chile. The program is designed to facilitate the reintegration of Chilean researchers into Academia but lack the local contacts. Applicants must be residing abroad at the time of submission.

Beneficiaries of the grant are sponsored by accredited Chilean universities or investigative centers and receive funding for a maximum of 2 years. The grant is not renewable.  

Funding includes:

-          Monthly salary of $1,600,000 CLP or US$2,624 for each month the researcher conducts his/her investigation within the sponsoring institution.

-          Up to $20,000,000 CLP or US$32,800 per year for operational costs.

-          Complementary fund of $300,000 CLP or US$492 per month in salaries for researchers relocating in an institution outside the Metropolitan Region.

-          Health benefits: CONICYT will provide the sum of $396,000 CLP or US$649 per year to cover for the researcher’s health expenses.

-          Administrative expenses: CONICYT shall assign the Sponsoring Institution up to 17% of the total value of the investigation’s funding to cover for costs deriving from the project’s execution.