Prof. Ruth Arnon with prospective returning scientists_311.
(photo credit: Courtesy Israel Academy of Sciences)
During the last four years, some 200 Israeli scientists living abroad for over
five years returned from North America and Europe and found jobs in suitable
institutions, according to the Israel Academy of Sciences. By the end of last
year, only 82 had returned.
Academy president Prof. Ruth Arnon – who will
host an employment fair at the institution in Jerusalem – said she hopes more
and more Israeli researchers find a place here. In 2007 the academy established
a center that communicated with Israeli scientists living abroad in an effort to
help them return.
Senior representatives of all the universities and many
of the colleges will attend and meet potential and actual returnees.
2,600 of them have already registered from abroad. Of those, 1,500 have a PhD,
447 are doctoral students and 100 hold of master’s degrees. Most live in the US.
About half are in the social sciences and humanities, while 800 are in the life
sciences and 600 in the natural sciences, mathematics and
The academy developed a special computer program that
follows data on thousands of Israeli researchers living abroad and available
scientific positions at universities and colleges here. In addition, various
companies and government establishments turn to the academy to find researchers
to fill jobs they offer.
Until September 2012 a special campaign will
give returning scientists reimbursement for paying their National Health
Insurance during the time they were absent, extra help in the educational system
for their children and assistance in establishing a business and helping absorb
others into research and development. Those that employ them here and meet
criteria will receive grants of NIS 21,600 to NIS 78,000 during the returnees’
first year or two in Israel.
Under a five-year plan by the Council for
Higher Education’s planning and budgeting committee, the academy helped set up
30 “centers of excellence” for employing returning scientists at a total cost of
NIS 1.5 billion. This project is coordinated by Dr. Liat Maoz who herself
returned from Harvard University.
Four such centers will be established
in the coming year, with each center costing NIS 45 million.