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Policy and funding

Policy and funding

Brazil becomes first Latin American country to join CERN

26 Mar 2024 Michael Banks
Brazil science minister visits CERN
Joining the club In June 2023 Brazil’s science minister Luciana Barbosa de Oliveira Santos (centre) visited CERN. (Courtesy: CERN)

Brazil has become the first country from the Americas to join the CERN particle-physics lab near Geneva. It is now an associate member of the lab after an earlier agreement in March 2022 was ratified by the country’s legislature with the country officially joining on 13 March. Brazil first started co-operating with CERN more than 30 years ago.

As an associate member, Brazilian nationals can now apply for staff positions and graduate programmes, while firms in Brazil can bid for CERN contracts. But unlike CERN’s 23 full member states, the country will not be represented on CERN Council or contribute to lab funding. Brazil is now the eighth associate member of CERN, with Chile and Ireland in the early stages of applying too.

Close collaboration

Formal co-operation between CERN and Brazil began in 1990 when scientists from the country starting taking part in the DELPHI experiment at CERN’s Large Electron–Positron Collider (LEP) – the predecessor to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Since then Brazil’s experimental particle-physics community has doubled in size to some 200 scientists.

Researchers, engineers and students from Brazil now collaborate in CERN experiments such as the four main LHC detectors – ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb – as well as in ALPHA antimatter experiment and the Isotope mass Separator On-Line facility, which produces and studies radioactive nuclei.

As well as particle-physics research, since December 2020 CERN and Brazil’s National Centre for Research in Energy and Materials have been formally cooperating on accelerator technology R&D.

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