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STEM fund empowers MIT, seven Israeli universities to pursue joint research

MIT-Israel Zuckerman STEM Fund is awarding up to $30,000 for MIT faculty members to partner with colleagues at an Israeli institution.

James Gertler, trustee of the Zuckerman Institute, and Richard Lester, associate provost for international activities at MIT, join with representatives from the seven American affiliates of Israeli universities as part of a new STEM partnership. Credit: Credit: The Zuckerman Institute.
James Gertler, trustee of the Zuckerman Institute, and Richard Lester, associate provost for international activities at MIT, join with representatives from the seven American affiliates of Israeli universities as part of a new STEM partnership. Credit: Credit: The Zuckerman Institute.

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 calling for proposals from Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty members and research scientists for its inaugural round of seed funding to support collaborations between teams at MIT and their counterparts in Israel.

It will grant awards of up to $30,000 for the collaborations and support travel costs for exchanges between colleagues in the United States 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,” 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.”

The fund is accepting proposals until Sept. 16. 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,” said Richard Lester, associate provost for international activities and professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT. “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 ‘startup nation’ landscape, and its academic institutions and research.”

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