Mining Engineering student working with a microscope in one of the labs at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.
Photo by Mr. Pedro Antuña | Federal University of Minas Gerais.

CAPES/PrInt-UFMG comprises 28 projects in four thematic areas. They translate some of the contemporary challenges addressed in various fields.


Click on the thematic areas below for an overview of each project.


  • Sustainability, Risk Management, and Governance

    Development, inclusion, and exclusion

    Sustainable development has been increasingly debated worldwide. Inclusive and exclusive practices are key components in those debates. Reducing socioeconomic inequalities has been unanimously pointed out as a relevant avenue to promote development based on consensual decisions and sustainable solutions.
    UFMG conducts research on development and sustainability, focusing on inclusion and exclusion processes at the interface between applied social sciences, humanities, engineering and health sciences. This project adopts a cross-cutting and transdisciplinary perspective and has as a primary aim to address socioeconomic development, globalization, and local and regional sustainable development.

    Climate Change

    Over the past decades, climate-related events have become increasingly evident. These events pose a major threat to humanity, impacting health, water, food and energy safety. Several studies now indicate that global warming will have a significant impact on ecosystems and biodiversity.
    UFMG conducts research on climate change at the interface between the fields of demography, ecology and economics. This project is interdisciplinary in nature and addresses impacts, vulnerabilities, adaptation and public policy, as well as climate change effects on biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

    Borders and Migration

    Modernity has led to territorial expansion and subsequent border creation between countries - a complex process that resulted in people being included or excluded due to their affiliation to a nation. Closely connected to border creation, migration is also an issue that calls for a careful approach by researchers and world leaders. Whether for economic, security, religious or professional reasons, migration affects millions of individuals around the world, which makes them accountable for a growing flow of money and data.
    UFMG conducts research on borders and migrations at the interface of political science, demography, economics, geography, law and history. This project adopts a transdisciplinary perspective and targets discussions on the boundaries of work and technology, population space mobility, and the dynamics of the world economy.

    Sustainability of Cities and Territories

    Over half of the world population live in urban areas, which raises questions about their ecological impact on the territories they inhabit. This is the environment for large communities' daily life, affording them work prospects, economic flow, knowledge production, and leisure, sports and health opportunities.
    UFMG carries out research on the sustainability of cities and territories in the fields of architecture and urbanism, computer science, history, dentistry, sanitation, environment and water resources, and public health. This project is interdisciplinary in nature and aims to discuss sustainability, environmental preservation, territories and the circulation of knowledge from the modern to the contemporary world, in addition to geoinformatics and urban computing.

    Natural Resources research with emphasis on biodiversity and environment

    Natural resources comprise all the ecosystem resources, both renewable and non-renewable, which can be used as raw material for the production of any industrialized good or for the provision of services to humanity. Conservation and sustainable management of natural resources at all scales are of fundamental importance to the wealth and well-being of the world's population. However, to preserve biodiversity and the environment, a new paradigm of global socioeconomic development, focused on sustainable use and optimization of these resources, is needed.
    UFMG conducts research on natural resources in the fields of plant biology; microbiology; ecology; metallurgical, material and mining engineering; geography; sanitation; environment and water resources; and zoology. This project adopts a complementary perspective to the various fields of knowledge and has as one of its targets the environmentally sound exploration and use of natural resources.


    The depletion of non-renewable energy sources and the environmental impact of current energy production processes constitute an urgent issue for humanity. This issue must be addressed with regard to the systems of production, storage, supply and efficient use of energy, as well as the cultural aspect of sustainability-oriented thinking.
    UFMG is currently engaged in cutting edge research on energy at the interface between Computer Science, Engineering and Chemistry. This project comprises subprojects related to efficient technologies for processes and equipment with clean sources of energy production, as well as the development of new technologies for energy production, conversion and storage.

  • New Technologies and Knowledge Frontiers


    Biotechnology refers to all technological processes involving direct or indirect use of organisms for the production of goods and services pertaining to agriculture, industry, healthcare, and environmental care. The development of biotechnological products and services involves synergic use of technology and basic and applied research. Biotechnology is a cross-cutting, interdisciplinary area essential to the socioeconomic development of any country.
    UFMG scholars carry out cutting-edge research on biotechnology in the fields of biological and health sciences, exact sciences, and engineering. This project comprises subprojects related to biotechnology applied to human and animal health.

    Agri and Biobusiness

    There is potential for expansion and consolidation in the agri and biobusiness sector in Brazil, due to the country's vast territory, climate characteristics and availability of natural resources, in addition to a solid record of basic and applied scientific research hitherto developed in the country. The sector has an important role to play with regard to the world population's food safety. This requires addressing sustainability in the agri and biobusiness development agenda - together with issues such as environmental conservation and mitigation of climate change impacts.
    UFMG has an important role in agri and biobusiness improvement by furthering development of state-of-the-art technology in the area and technology transfer to companies. The university conducts research related to this sector in the fields of Animal Science, Food Science and Law. This project aims at innovation and knowledge expansion in animal science; food quality and safety; and regulation in agricultural defense (agrifood law).

    Basic sciences and applications.

    Basic sciences investigate properties of nature's phenomena. They allow us to understand the world in which we live and foster the development of new technologies to advance exploration and understanding of our universe. Such research is essential for developing theories, experiments and innovative methodologies to analyze complex systems operating at the most diverse temporal and spatial scales.
    UFMG carries out cutting-edge research in basic science areas such as Statistics, Physics, Mathematics and their interfaces. This project aims to discuss advanced methodologies for data analysis; star and planet formation and evolution, among other topics.

    Big Data and Artificial Intelligence -- New Techniques for Knowledge Extraction, Production, and Use

    Several technological advances have enabled the production of large data sets about various aspects of nature and society. Artificial intelligence and big data are investigating how to significantly exploit such data with results significantly impacting a number of daily processes. Systems have been developed to interact with human beings in different contexts and respond to events in unstructured environments.
    UFMG scholars carry out cutting-edge research in big data and artificial intelligence at the intersection of the fields of computer science, knowledge management and organization, applied linguistics, political science, and social communication. This project has a twofold aim: 1) to develop new techniques for big data and artificial intelligence with a view to improving usefulness and performance of existing techniques; and 2) to explore the application of big data and artificial intelligence in various human activities.

    Industry 4.0

    Industry 4.0 is a sustained trend towards developing industrial plants aiming to enhance the integration of components for building complex systems, in turn capable of responding to external demands and internal changes in a fast and flexible manner. While the third industrial revolution was concerned with automation and data acquisition, Industry 4.0 is concerned with connectivity, real time processes, and use of data for autonomous, optimized decision making.
    This project focuses on digitization, sensorization, and optimization. Its goal is to develop new technologies, reduce costs, improve quality, increase production efficiency and maximize the financial return and social benefit of modern production processes.

    Languages in Digital Contexts

    Language varieties and variation is a complex theme and a major contemporary challenge. In the 21st century, human language has evolved new forms and new uses, responding to changes in its production, consumption, and communication.
    This project aims to study how the various forms of language operate and evolve in an increasingly connected world by mapping the use of oral and written language in digital contexts as well as computer tools for human-machine interfaces for production and translation of technical and colloquial texts.

    Creative Educational Solutions

    Education has become a global concern due to constant and increasingly faster social changes, as well as new actors and processes. Educational and cultural policies have been included in the agenda of major debates since the beginning of the 20th century with a view to strengthening solidarity and peace, controlling the growing rise of radical ideologies, and eradicate violence.
    Education is an important issue in contemporary societies because of its potential to promote conflict avoidance and create alternative pathways to challenge the globalization of capital, the revolution of mass media and communication techniques, and the advent of new technologies and their massive impact on people as factors aggravating the existing social inequality both between individuals and between nations. This project approaches topics such as educating for sustainability; developing social and educational technology targeting children, young people, and institutions; and training healthcare educators and researchers for the 21st century.

    New Materials and Nanotechnology

    New technologies -- from the stone age to the age of molecular biology – have always drawn on the development of new materials, as energy production and storage, information processing, machinery and biomedical solutions, among others, are based properties of those materials. The limited supply of minerals and the threat of global warming call for the development of new materials for enhanced energy efficiency and lower environmental impact. Nanotechnology is the most advanced stage in materials science, dealing with matter at the molecular level to enable control of processes on a large scale or to develop large quantities of superior materials.
    UFMG scholars carry out cutting-edge research in new materials and nanotechnology at the intersection of computer science, pharmaceutical sciences, engineering, physics, dentistry, and chemistry. This project comprises subprojects targeting nanocomputing and computational nanotechnology, and development of materials with advanced properties for biomedical applications.

    Cities and Territories

    Every city, regardless of its size, has the potential to develop its own cultural activities and creative industries, sustainable standards, smart structures and connectivity networks, as well as well-being and principles of gender equality, social values and political traditions. Over half of the world population dwells in urban areas, who also account for approximately 60% of the world's GDP.
    UFMG scholars carry out benchmark research on cities and territories at the intersection of architecture and urbanism, computer science, law, economics, leisure studies, history, geography, dentistry, and public health. This project comprises subprojects targeting contemporary debates on urbanization, territory, nature and development; as well as sports and leisure policies.


  • Health and Wellbeing


    Brazil is undergoing a demographic transition characterized by accelerated population aging. The fastest growth has been found amongst people aged 60 and over, who are expected to be 41.5 million in Brazil by 2030. This requires research and innovative solutions to improve the health and well-being of this age group.
    UFMG scholars, especially in the fields of rehabilitation science, sports science and dentistry, carry out research related to various issues of aging, with a special focus on improving the quality of life of that particular age group. This project focuses on integrated care during aging, particularly regarding oral health and physical activities for sustained and integrated development of the human body throughout all cycles in life. International collaboration is expected to contribute to interpreting the complex interactions between population dynamics and aging from the perspective of the State, markets, and families.

    Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Applied to Health and Biology

    Artificial intelligence and big data are developing capabilities to significantly explore datasets on various aspects of nature and society. These can be leveraged to analyze and interpret databases in the health and biology domains. The use of a large volume of records can provide consistent information to compare clinical practices and care trajectories and, in turn, guide health service policy, planning, and management.
    UFMG scholars carry out relevant research using big data and artificial intelligence in the fields of bioinformatics, public health, and knowledge management and organization. This project aims at integrating data to interpret complex biological systems, with a focus on patient data, for the epidemiological, economic and trajectory evaluation of health care in the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS).

    Chronic Diseases

    Chronic non-transmissible diseases are a health problem responsible for 72% of all deaths in Brazil, most of which related to cardiovascular and respiratory problems, cancer, and diabetes. Such diseases are also aggravated by population aging. Epidemiological surveillance requires understanding chronic disease incidence, spreading and distribution and major risk factors in the country, as well as identifying economic, social and environmental determinants. This project focuses on discussing the natural history of chronic diseases and their social, behavioral, biological and genetic determinants throughout life, in addition to the prevention of such diseases through adequate nutrition.

    Emerging and Neglected Diseases

    Brazil has scored negatively on several indicators regarding emerging and neglected diseases. The country has one of the highest numbers of cases of tuberculosis, with approximately 69,000 new cases per year, and ca. 800,000 Brazilians are estimated to have HIV. Parasitic diseases, considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as neglected by governments and pharmaceutical companies, are aggravated by the large number of people living in poverty in cities, which leads to increased morbidity and mortality rates in the country’s population. Over one billion people worldwide suffer from such neglected diseases in 149 countries. UFMG has a long and outstanding research trajectory on this theme, especially in the fields of clinical and toxicological analysis, bioinformatics, food science, physiology and pharmacology, microbiology, computer science, infectiology and tropical medicine, parasitology, and pathology.

    Chronic, Emerging and Neglected Diseases: From Public Policies to New Drugs

    Public healthcare policies -- ranging from medical-pharmaceutical care to disease prevention -- have large global repercussions and are in the spotlight of the international press. The world has witnessed increased incidence of chronic and degenerative diseases, parallel to an increase in life expectancy. Outbreaks of formerly controlled viral diseases have taken place in several countries, especially in Brazil, causing concern and alert in the population.
    Given such instability and threats to the health systems of several countries, research is necessary to establish best practices to be adopted by policy makers in order to prevent epidemics that are not confined to territorial or cultural boundaries. This project aims at designing new drugs for treatment of chronic, emerging and neglected diseases. It also encompasses studies that have already been developed by UFMG scholars in collaboration with international partners.


  • Human Rights

    Big Data and Artificial Intelligence - Societal Implications

    The availability of all types of data about everything and everyone raises issues of security and privacy as well as questions about the legal and social aspects of using such data with artificial intelligence technologies. Debates have tackled those issues with regard to conflicts impacting fundamental rights, government policies, and corporate power on a transnational scale in an ultra-connected world, where data collection and analysis have become widely accessible to individuals, companies and governments.
    UFMG scholars in the fields of social communication and law carry out research on the social implications of big data and artificial intelligence. This project aims to discuss issues such as power and memory in contemporary digital platforms; law, labor and technologies; interfaces between privacy and globally transferred data; and information technology innovation in decision-making processes.

    Traditions, Cultures, and Arts

    The multiple voices that shape tradition, culture and art necessarily place us in front of a plural phenomenon. Tradition is everything the past brings to us and we pass onto the future. This is a continuous process mainly focused on the re-signification of meanings. In its multiple definitions, the word culture captures how societies construe the world and express themselves. One of the most common examples of this expression is art. This project takes an interdisciplinary approach to several issues, ranging from reflections on art, education and image policies, to debates on alternative forms of production or on socio-political and environmental crises.

    Violence, Conflict, and Regulation

    Violence can arise in various forms and contexts and be used against different subjects. Conflict encompasses a myriad of situations, including divergent ideas or interests, legal disputes, and armed confrontation. Regulation, seen as the establishment of standards or rules, can apply to any natural or legal person.
    This project takes a multidisciplinary approach to space, inequalities, social dynamics, economic violence, sociability in its multiple dimensions, multicultural coexistence in cities, and political tolerance.

    Public Policies and Political Regimes

    State and society are in constant interaction for public policy development, which in turn can be understood as a set of processes (design, decision making and implementation) implicated in projects related to health, education, security, social concerns, defense, external affairs, environment, energy, work, etc.
    This project approaches assessment of political regimes of fundamental importance to explain or predict social behavior. It addresses issues such as democracy, public policies, development, human rights and political legitimacy, and cultures. More specifically, it takes a comparative approach to political regimes in Latin America, the United States, and Europe.

    Languages, Genders and Identities -- Discourse, Language and Media Analysis of Vulnerable Groups

    Vulnerable social groups have experienced increased rates of violence, exclusion and invisibility. Identity and memory are central dimensions to understand processes implicated in rights violations as well as the recognition and inclusion of these groups. Such concerns have required analyses that take into account multiple language phenomena, such as the text/discourse genres and discourses unfolding in text produced in different social instances. This project takes an interdisciplinary approach to elucidate how invisibilities and disqualifications of vulnerable groups operate.

    Cities, Territories, and Human Rights

    Cities and territories are platforms to support public health and wellbeing, gender equality and fundamental rights, social values and political traditions. International agencies have been committed to promoting a number of specific cities, territories and sites as spaces for surveillance and preservation due to their representativeness as historical, cultural and architectural heritage. Such spaces are meant to be considered as a basis to posit the human right to a sustainable environment, acknowledged and enjoyed by both current and future generations.
    This project takes a multidisciplinary approach to issues such as time, space and law; urbanization, territory, nature and development; sports and leisure policies; accessibility and appropriation of public and private spaces in Brazil and Europe; culture, ecology and politics in Brazil and worldwide; territorialities and humanities.

    Education as a Human Right

    The globalization of education has brought the very serious and urgent issue of education as a commodity. The plurality of education systems can be threatened when education is not seen as a human right, but rather as a commodity to be showcased in the portfolio of foreign companies and countries.
    UFMG scholars carry out research on education as a human right in the fields of social communication, education, linguistics and applied linguistics, leisure studies, geography, history, and music. This project takes an interdisciplinary approach to topics such as education for sustainability, institutionalization of childhood, analysis of dialogical practices, reading acquisition, literacy and written culture.