The Israel National Postdoctoral Program for Advancing Women in Science, a program of the Weizmann Institute of Science, offers support to outstanding women to help them get started on their career in science. This year, ten grants will be awarded. These will give the women up to $20,000 a year, on top of the postdoctoral grants they have already received from their institutions, to help them work abroad.
The grants are given to women completing PhDs in the natural and exact sciences in any academic institution in Israel; these must have been approved after Jan. 1, 2014. Applications will be accepted until May 1, 2015.
The Weizmann Institute established the Israel National Postdoctoral Program for Advancing Women in Science in 2007. The idea of the program is to get more women into careers in science by helping them through the critical period of postdoctoral research. At this point, even the most outstanding women may be stymied by the need to conduct this research outside of Israel, which often involves moving a whole family. The grantees have no obligation to return to an academic institution in Israel; of the 38 who have completed the program, seven have accepted faculty appointments abroad and 29 are now leading research groups in Israeli institutes and two are working in the Israeli high-tech industry. Another 37 are currently conducting postdoctoral research abroad.
“This is a prestigious, pioneering program with a vision that encompasses national priorities,” says Prof. Daniella Goldfarb, the Weizmann President’s Adviser for Advancing Women in Science. “The monetary prize, of course, gives financial security to these young women, so they can go abroad for their postdoctoral fellowships even if their spouses do not have a job lined up. But in addition to the money, the grantees get the encouragement they need to say to themselves and the world: ‘I am good at what I do; I’ve got an investment in me that says I can succeed.’”