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New Fund Empowers MIT and 7 Israeli Universities to Jointly Pursue Game-Changing STEM Research

BOSTON, MA – A newly launched fund is uniting faculty from one of America’s most prestigious universities and seven leading Israeli academic institutions in pursuit of the next generation of groundbreaking research in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

The MIT-Israel Zuckerman STEM Fund is now calling for proposals from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) faculty members and research scientists for its inaugural round of seed funding to support collaborations between teams at MIT and their counterparts in Israel.

The fund is granting awards of up to $30,000 for the collaborations, also supporting travel costs for exchanges between colleagues in the U.S. and Israel. MIT faculty from all disciplines are eligible to submit proposals for partnerships with Israeli faculty from Bar-Ilan University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, University of Haifa, and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

"It is an honor for our program to partner with MIT, an institution with a great historic and contemporary reputation," says 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."

The fund is accepting proposals until September 16th. Each proposal must include the participation of at least one Ph.D. student from MIT.

“Israel and its academic institutions are key partners for us in solving some of today’s biggest global challenges,” says 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.”

The launch of the MIT-Israel Zuckerman STEM Fund represents yet another expansion to the program of STEM-focused scholarships provided by the Zuckerman Institute to exchange research between Israel and the U.S., while making a significant impact on both countries’ academic research environments.

“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,” added Prof. Christine Ortiz, 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. “With the fund’s support, American and Israeli colleagues will have the capacity to make a real scientific impact.”

About The Zuckerman Institute
The Zuckerman STEM leadership Program is an initiative of the Zuckerman Institute, which was created for charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes. Mortimer B. Zuckerman, long a champion for both the US and Israel, and a strong proponent of higher education and the sciences, established the program in 2016 in order to enable the highest achieving American and Israeli researchers to collaborate and build strong academic bonds between the countries.

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