The School of Sciences (EC from Escola de Ciências in Portuguese) was founded in 1975 as a fundamental pillar of the University of Minho (UMinho). It currently includes 174 PhD teaching staff, 43 technical, administration and management staff members, more than 130 researchers and nearly 2,800 undergraduate, graduate and students in brief courses.
EC has five fundamental scientific areas for the production of knowledge. Physics explains the laws that govern what we know, Chemistry as everything combines to form what we know, Geology the constitution of the ground we step on and which is the source of life; Biology explains life, a central part of our world, and how it evolves and transforms. On the other hand, “the universe cannot be understood unless we first learn its language”: Mathematics.
The training offer of EC includes 11 undergraduate courses, 13 Masters courses, 11 PhD courses and 11 short courses. The EC also hosts more than 120 research projects, funded through competitive calls, and coordinates or participates in some of the most significant initiatives of interaction with society, such as the European Researchers Night, the International Masterclasses in Particle Physics and the Project Bosch-UMinho. Its professors and researchers lead or participate in leading scientific institutions, such as the International Instrumentation and Particles Laboratory (LIP), the Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), the International Barcode of Life consortium and, at the national level, Collaborative Laboratories in close cooperation with innovative companies. Thus, EC plays a central role in a Complete University, such as UMinho, which invests in the generation, dissemination and application of knowledge, contributing to the socio-economic development of the region and the country. It is therefore with great pride and commitment that I embrace the project of leading the EC Presidency to reinforce its essential role in the UMinho mission.
To strength the EC at UMinho, at the regional, national and international level, the Presidency team proposes: Motivate the EC community for a concerted effort that takes the School to a new level of impact and notoriety; Innovate in organizational processes, educational programs and scientific and technological projects, in close cooperation with other UMinho Schools, with other Portuguese and foreign Universities and companies, as well as with national and international networks and consortia; Strengthen the teaching staff, technicians and researchers, their skills and their quality of life; Renew laboratory spaces and equipment that support a high level scientific activity, as well as pedagogical laboratories, in order to transform the experimental teaching of sciences in an innovative way; and Build strategic multisectoral partnerships within and outside the UMinho network, seeking to reinforce the excellence of undergraduate and graduate education projects and the scientific and technological dimension that has projected EC at national and international level.
In a School open to the world, all scientific and technological, educational, business and social individuals and institutions are welcome in our endeavor to build scientific citizenship that contributes to a more informed and active society in promoting sustainable development. All contributions are welcome!
Braga, May 2021
José Manuel González-Méijome