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Portuguese researchers win American Club scholarships

Research into the first group of Jews to emigrate and settle in America and algae as energy sources were the winning projects of two Portuguese researchers awarded American Club scholarships in the United States last week.  

Journalist Patrícia Fonseca researched Portuguese Jews who settled in New Amsterdam, now New York, in the 17th century and founded the first synagogue in the New World.

The other scholarship winner was Engineer Maria Ester Pereira Ferreira who researched a “notable and highly thought of project” in Arizona on the use of micro algae for the production of energy for residential needs.

It was a subject of great importance currently with regards to alternative energy sources, and an area which was likely to continue to generate scholarship winners in the future.    

Head of the American Awards Programme, José Vasconcelos-Sousa, who presented and explained about the American Club scholarships and the Luso-American Foundation programme called the project “a subject of great national and international interest”.

The scholarships are awarded to young Portuguese scholars between 20 and 25 years of age, giving them the opportunity to visit the United States of America and research and develop specific projects which are defined on an annual basis.

Last year, the areas which won the award were in journalism and alternative energy. Normally, 60 to 70 students compete for the scholarships but only two are awarded.

This year’s sponsors included Continental Airlines, Portugal Telecom Foundation and FLAD. C.G.