Eight exceptional doctoral students in the natural and computer sciences at the country’s research universities are to receive the prestigious Adams Fellowships on Tuesday afternoon. The Adams Fellowships awarded by the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities are considered the most prestigious in Israel.
Each carries a stipend of over $100,000 ($30,000 per year) and a full exemption from tuition for four years of doctoral studies.
Funded by 94-year-old Holocaust survivor and longtime Zionist Marcel Adams, the recipients were chosen objectively by a panel. Adams, who comes here at least every year to spend his birthday and to present the $1 million in stipends to the young scholars, will attend the ceremony at the academy in Jerusalem.
The program will feature a guest lecture by Prof. Dan Shechtman, a member of the Academy, 2011 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and unsuccessful candidate for president of the State.
This year’s recipients include Einat Seidel Posner, who combines her medical studies with doctoral research on the immune system while maintaining black-belt proficiency in karate; Yannai Gonczarowski, a student of mathematics and computer science and avid opera singer; Jonathan Mosheiff, whose involvement in computer programming from age seven won him four silver medals in international competitions while still in high school; and five more outstanding doctoral students.
According to academy president Prof. Ruth Arnon, the grantees undergo a rigorous screening process by the universities and the fellowship fund’s professional committee, ensuring that they represent the top cadre of the next generation of Israel’s researchers in the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, life sciences and engineering.
The program’s alumni conduct their postdoctoral research at the world’s most prestigious universities and return to fill prominent positions in the country’s research universities and high-tech companies.
So far, 95 promising young Israel researchers have been granted these prestigious fellowships.
Posner, 29, a combined MD/PhD student who is researching the immune system and how viruses resist it, was born and educated in Jerusalem.
She lives in the capital with her husband and two pet chinchillas.
She was drawn to science and medicine from an early age via a youth science program. As she has a sister who was born blind, her mother established the Israel Association of Parents of Blind and Visually Impaired Children. Following her army service, Posner began her medical studies at the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine and then temporarily put them on hold to concentrate on her research on the immune system. She will soon represent Israel in its official delegation to an international karate competition.
Yannai Gonczarowski, 33, is a doctoral student at HU’s Institute of Mathematics, in the School of Computer Science and Center for the Study of Rationality. Born and bred in Jerusalem, he became fascinated with science, physics and programming as a young boy and came in fifth in the National Physics Olympiad in 1997, at the age of 16. During his army service he served as an algorithm researcher and project director in the Intelligence Corps. He completed his BSc summa cum laude in mathematics and computer science in the HU’s Amirim Science Program for Excellence. His doctoral studies focus on game theory, on which he has already published a number of articles. Last year Yannai won an award as the university’s outstanding lecturer in computer science.
Concurrently with his mathematical studies, he completed a classical music degree in vocal studies at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and performs regularly as an opera singer with choirs and opera ensembles throughout the country.
Jonathan Mosheiff, 28, a HU computer science student, focuses on the study of graphs. The son of Dr. Rami Mosheiff, an orthopedist at Hadassah University Medical Center and Hila Mosheiff, a HU lecturer in computer science, Jonathan was attracted early to the computer keyboard and was in elementary school a proficient programmer. He began his BSc studies in mathematics and computer science at HU at only the age of 15 while still in high school; he won four silver medals as a member of the Israeli team in international mathematics competitions. Today, Mosheiff coaches and is a member of the directorate of these competitions.
The other fellowship recipients are Rivka Bekenstein, who is doing her doctorate in physics at the Technion; Sharon Fleischer, a doctoral student of molecular microbiology and biotechnology at Tel Aviv University; Ouri Karni, who is doing his doctorate in electrical engineering at the Technion; Omri Ram, a doctoral student of mechanical engineering at Ben-Gurion University and Eliran Subag, a doctoral student of mathematics at the Weizmann Institute.