The Order of Rio Branco, Officer Class was given to the professor for his outstanding contribution to “championing academic cooperation” between the UK and Brazil.
“I am both honoured and humbled to receive the Order of Rio Branco, Officer Class,” Mason said upon the receipt of the award.
“This award rests upon the tireless work and support of academic and professional colleagues at the University of Birmingham and beyond,” he continued.
The university has designated Brazil as a “strategic region of importance” for the institution. Through its Birmingham Brazil Forum, partnerships have been forged and developed leading to “collaborative research” with institutions across Brazil.
The research is carried out at universities, institutions and private organisations alike.
“Robin Mason has been a key figure in strengthening the cooperation in education and research between Brazil and the UK,” said Fred Arruda, Brazilian ambassador to the UK.
“In 2020, he was instrumental for ensuring the continuity of the Brazilian Lectureship program in the UK,” he added.
Birmingham currently has 70 ongoing projects with Brazilian institutions, and 100 Brazilian researchers and students are received at the institution every year as a result of Mason’s endeavours.
“In 2020, [Mason] was instrumental for ensuring the continuity of the Brazilian Lectureship program in the UK”
The partnerships in Brazil look into some of the most “challenging questions” of the century, such as immunology, cancer studies, social sciences and sustainability.
One highlighted project is the Brazil Visiting Fellows Scheme provides Brazil-based university lecturers in the early period of their career, or post-doctoral researchers, a stint of up to three months to carry out research projects at Birmingham.
The Order of Rio Branco, Officer Class was named after José Maria da Silva Paranhos Júnior, the Baron of Rio Branco – a municipality in the state of Acre, in the north west of the country bordering Peru.
“Birmingham is a global university with a civic outlook. In recent years, Brazil has become one of the UK’s most important collaborators in education and research, and the University is committed to extending and deepening academic links between our two countries,” Mason added.