Photo Credit: The Zuckerman Institute
James Gertler, trustee of The Zuckerman Institute and Richard Lester, Associate Provost for International Activities at MIT launch of the MIT-Israel Zuckerman STEM Fund

A newly launched fund is uniting faculty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 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 granting awards of up to $30,000 for the collaborations, as well as supporting travel costs for exchanges between colleagues in the US 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, the Technion, 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,” said James Gertler, a 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 16, 2019. Each proposal must include the participation of at least one PhD student from MIT.

“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.”

The launch of the MIT-Israel Zuckerman STEM Fund represents yet another expansion of 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.”

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