Cablegate: Portugal: Request for Embassy Science Fellows In

DE RUEHLI #0941/01 1081553
R 171553Z APR 08





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 28712

1. Embassy Lisbon requests Science Fellows for 2008/2009 to
expand the Embassy's contacts with Portuguese counterparts
and to develop direct relationships with research
institutions. The Science Fellow Program also plays a
valuable role in our ongoing S&T cooperation with Portugal as
required by our Bilateral Agreement on Cooperation and
Defense (ACD). While all applications are welcome, Post is
actively seeking specialists in renewable energy sources
(including bioenergy), climate change, oceans issues, and
environmental protection. Point of contact in Portugal for
the Embassy Science Fellow Program is Gary Applegarth at
351-21-770-2575; fax: 351-21-726-6559; email: Backup is Cari Enav at
351-21-770-2242, email End Summary.

2. Embassy Lisbon welcomes applications from all agencies
for the Embassy Science Fellows Program for periods ranging
from six to eight weeks. Fellows will enable this Mission to
fulfill requirements for S&T cooperation under the Bilateral
Agreement on Cooperation and Defense and build on the success
of previous Science Fellows from NSF, NASA, NOAA, NIH, USDA,
and EPA. We will work directly with interested candidates to
define an appropriate schedule that combines the Fellow's own
research specialty with broader Embassy goals for S&T
cooperation. Past Science Fellows in Portugal have conducted
their work in a variety of ways and we will remain flexible
to take best advantage of each Fellow's background and
qualifications. Fellows can expect to include travel within
Portugal as part of their assignment. All Fellows will be
expected to participate in public outreach efforts. Although
we welcome Fellows from all agencies, we have outlined below
some of our interest areas.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
3. NSF Fellows would be called upon to support the Embassy's
efforts to build partnerships between U.S. and Portuguese
universities that could lead to joint research projects.
Past NSF Fellows in Lisbon have conducted science roundtable
meetings with Portuguese research institutes and high-tech
companies, organized seminars to promote university-industry
partnerships, and given lectures on their work to Portuguese
audiences. Outlined below are areas of interest for both
Embassy Lisbon and the Portuguese government.

Environment/Geosciences: Embassy Lisbon strongly encourages
applications from individuals specializing in renewable or
alternative energy sources, in particular bioenergy. Other
areas of interest include forest fire prevention and fire
protection, geological surveying, and geo-spatial imaging.

Science and Technology in Education: Improving the
qualifications of the Portuguese workforce comprises one of
the central elements of Portugal's Technology Plan, the
government's initiative to increase global competitiveness.
The Fellow would work with government ministries, non-profit
groups, and universities to develop projects to increase
student participation in the sciences.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
4. Embassy Lisbon also welcomes applications from NOAA. The
Government of Portugal has sought U.S. expertise in oceans
policies and coastal management, so applicants with knowledge
of ongoing work by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and
the President's Ocean Action Plan would be ideal. Other
areas of interest include marine robotics, marine biology and
the tracking of fish stocks, coastal zone/estuary management,
and modeling. NOAA Fellows would visit several top-level
Portuguese ocean science research institutes and the
Institute of Meteorology to assess ongoing research programs
for possible cooperative research programs with U.S.
universities or federal agencies. A significant portion of
the Fellow's stay would be spent in the Azores.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
5. Embassy Lisbon has had great success with recent EPA
Fellows with climate change and marine environment expertise
and seeks additional EPA Fellows with experience in
environmental protection and conservation, particularly as
they relate to renewable energies and impacts on climate
change. These areas continue to be high priorities for the
Portuguese government, which has publicly pledged to
dramatically increase investment in the renewable energy
sector. Areas of interest include incorporation of bioenergy

LISBON 00000941 002 OF 002

into national and regional environmental and energy plans,
water resources management, forest management and
conservation, and soil erosion.

Department of Energy (DoE)
6. Although Embassy Lisbon recognizes that the Department of
Energy is not currently a participant in the Program, we are
interested in the possibility of an exception, should we
obtain approval of the Departments of Energy and State and be
able to identify a willing participant from the Department of
Energy. Long-term sustainable collaboration involving
renewable energy is identified in our 2010 Mission Strategic
Plan as the number one priority. Embassy Lisbon has reached
out to numerous Portuguese experts in renewable energy,
including wind, solar, wave, and microgeneration, and has
identified significant ongoing research. We are also
currently negotiating a bilateral agreement on renewable
energy cooperation to be signed during Energy Secretary
Bodman's May 2008 visit. An ESF from the Department of
Energy could help launch our cooperation under this agreement.

Administrative Issues
7. Embassy Fellows are expected to obtain a secret security
clearance before arrival in Portugal. Also, USG employees
working temporarily at a USG overseas location must complete
appropriate overseas personal security training prior to
travel. The Embassy Science Fellows Program has strong
Embassy support, and Embassy Lisbon will provide housing,
office support, in-country travel arrangements, and other
logistical support to Science Fellows. Embassy Fellows
should expect to participate actively as a part of the
Embassy team during their tenure in country. We will
encourage all Fellows to consider travel to the Azores if
relevant to their official agenda.

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