Portuguese universities, research centers affected by delays in funding: researcher

Elvira Fortunato, vice dean of the New Lisbon University, warned on Wednesday that the delay in the repayment of research funds has been affecting all Portuguese universities and research centers, Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported.

All the institutions with scientific projects funded by the State Budget and European Funds have to come up with their own funds to start the projects and, only later, are reimbursed by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Fortunato said.

According to the daily newspaper Jornal de Noticias, several institutions have complained of delays in repaying millions of euros.

According to Lusa, Elvira Fortunato said that she was invited by the government — together with the University of Minho and University of Porto deans — to write a document simplifying the procedures of the research and development (R&D) applications.

“The first part of this document was delivered this week to the government,” she said, noting that “many of the problems are related with the bureaucratic burden” of the institutions.

She said that she does not know of any project interrupted due to the processes bureaucracy, but stressed that it delays the investigators work. “They don’t stop completely, but it brings a lot of damage and the objectives instead of being achieved faster are achieved later,” she told reporters.