LUSO 2016 is the 9th Annual Meeting of the Portuguese Association of Researchers and Students in the UK (PARSUK), which will take place on the 18th of June 2016 in Manchester.

This event will be part of the Manchester European City of Science program.

Portugal has just emerged from a tough process of economic and financial readjustment, with a tremendous impact on society in general, and in sensitive areas dependent on public investment and the economy’s performance in particular, namely in higher education (HE) and the national scientific research system (RDI). In addition to the fact that structural problems were not really tackled, the country now embraces a path with possible political instability as well as uncertain medium-term public policies, framed in anaemic growth and exposed to exogenous factors that illustrate the socio-economic weaknesses that Portugal is facing.

Structural issues such as demographics, the social value of education and training, economic mentality, competitiveness and innovativeness are some of the central themes of a debate that has to be made in the country.

The present moment is critical and deserves to be the centre of an in-depth debate within the PARSUK community. The critical mass of this community consists of people who are professionally and personally dedicated to scientific research in the United Kingdom (UK) through a combination of backgrounds developed in the UK, Portugal, as well as other geographies. The immersion of the members of the PARSUK community in the British HE and RDI systems, globally acknowledged as excellent, is a key (individual and collective) asset that should be explored as a possible catalyst for change in Portugal.

This community has therefore a key role as a stakeholder in the HE and RDI sectors in Portugal, both for what it can bring to the debate of their policies, using the British experience, but also because it is composed by a number of people that interested in returning to Portugal.

Thus, the objectives of LUSO 2016 in Manchester are:

  • to provide a meeting that promotes networking among the members of the PARSUK community, considering their role as researchers of Portuguese origin in the UK,  as well as their role as potential members of the Portuguese HE and RDI systems, fulfilling the Association’s mission as a privileged gateway for Portuguese researchers in the UK;
  • to consolidate a space for a honest debate, focusing the meeting on the PARSUK community;
  • to promote an open debate for the PARSUK community, in a bottom-up approach, about the state and the future of the public policy for HE and RDI in Portugal;
  • to discuss the impact that structural aspects such as demographics, economy, transparency and governance have in the HE and RDI systems in Portugal;
  • to establish PARSUK as a stakeholder in the processes of public policy for HE and RDI in Portugal;
  • to promote a greater and more fruitful integration of Portuguese researchers that are already established with the young Portuguese researchers in the UK.

Organising Committee

Nuno Pinto (coordinator), Lecturer in Urban Planning and Urban Design, School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester

Monica Alberto, PhD student at the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester

Luis Neto, PhD Student at the School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester

Carla Santos, Research Assistant at the Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester

João Silva, Postdoctoral Scientist at the Cancer Research RU Manchester Institute, The University of Manchester

Bruno Simões, Research Associate at the Institute of Cancer Sciences, The University of Manchester

Sílvia Feiteirinha, Designer