A newly launched fund by the Zuckerman STEM leadership Program is aiming to promote partnerships between faculty members and academic researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and seven leading Israeli academic institutions for new research in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.
The seven Israeli universities are Bar-Ilan University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa, and the Weizmann Institute of Science.
The MIT-Israel Zuckerman STEM Fund will grant awards of up to $30,000 for the collaborations, and support travel costs for exchanges between colleagues in the US and Israel.
Faculty from all disciplines are eligible to submit proposals, the Zuckerman Institute said in a statement. Each proposal must include the participation of at least one PhD student from MIT.
“It is an honor for our program to partner with MIT, an institution with a great historic and contemporary reputation,” said James Gertler, Trustee of the Zuckerman Institute. “The Israeli universities we work with have a shorter history, but they are building on a centuries-old Jewish intellectual heritage. Mort Zuckerman, my uncle and the founder of the Institute, has always been committed to fostering better understanding between Israel and America, as a part of his commitment to philanthropy that betters society.”
“Israel and its academic institutions are key partners for us in solving some of today’s biggest global challenges,” said Prof. Richard Lester, Associate Provost for International Activities and Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT. “We are happy to take this first concrete step in MIT-Zuckerman Institute collaborations. The launch of the MIT-Israel Zuckerman STEM Fund will help us strengthen our collaborations with Israel; enable our faculty to work with Israeli faculty, and offer our students, especially graduate students, the opportunity to learn firsthand about Israel’s ‘start-up nation’ landscape and its academic institutions and research.”
Professor Christine Ortiz, the founding faculty director of the MIT-Israel program within MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) and the Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT said: “As a STEM researcher, I have witnessed over the past two decades the high level of Israeli science and research, and I am very excited about the launch of this new fund for both my colleagues at MIT and our Israeli peers.”