Israeli Council for Higher Education Partnership 2018-2021

Partnering for STEM Excellence

“Without more students arriving here, we will not have a proper system of higher education in Israel. The Zuckerman Institute program is central to our multi-year program.

– Professor Yaffa Zilbershats, Chair of the Planning and Budget Committee of the Council for Higher Education

The State of Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE) determines higher education policy for all Israeli universities and supports Zuckerman Institute initiatives to promote and encourage globalization and collaboration, including joint programs such as the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program.

The CHE and the PBC work to develop research and instruction, promote quality and excellence, and make higher education accessible to the entire population.

Postdoctoral Program from the US and Canada

In 2018, the Council for Higher Education recognized the Zuckerman Postdoctoral Program as an essential initiative to strengthen Israeli institutions by advancing collaboration with US and Canadian institutions. The CHE joined in funding scholarships to US and Canadian postdoc scholars who wish to do STEM research in Israeli institutions.

Thanks to this collaboration, 60 additional postdoctoral STEM scholars will conduct their research in Israeli institutions in the coming years.

Each postdoctoral researcher receives a total of $100,000 over a two year period.

The total program budget is $11 million, which is shared equally between the Council for Higher Education and the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program.

In 2020, the CHE is extending its support for the 2021 academic year with an additional $1.75 million in joint funding.

“Our goal is to provide infrastructure for research and encourage scientific-academic excellence in order to make Israel a knowledge powerhouse,” said Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, Chair of the CHE’s Planning and Budgeting Committee, responsible for the funding initiative.  “The Committee is striving to transform the State of Israel into a magnet for outstanding scholars from various countries in the world. Cooperation with the Zuckerman Institute and the increased scholarships for outstanding postdoctoral researchers from the United States and Canada will allow Israeli institutions to enrich research in the STEM professions, empower Israeli researchers, and promote the international reputation of Israel’s higher education system.”


Faculty Program

Thanks to the Council for Higher Education’s support and matching funds, the Faculty Scholars Program  – a significant part of the Zuckerman STEM Leadership Program – is expanding from four to seven Israeli universities.

The Faculty Scholars Program provides vital resources to Israeli universities, allowing them to compete with top North American institutions for the most promising candidates. Since the program began in 2016, 20 Zuckerman labs have been established at four Israeli universities, supported by more than $20 million in joint funding from the Zuckerman Institute and the four participating universities.

The new initiative will jointly support an additional 14 faculty scholars at seven Israeli universities, over a two-year period, with a joint budget of more than $14 million.

“The Zuckerman Institute is proud to be recognized by the Israeli Government as one of the leading, important philanthropic initiatives that encourages and supports the return of talented Israeli scientists to Israel,” said Eric Gertler, Zuckerman Institute Trustee.


Advancing Women in STEM

The Zuckerman Institute is honored to join the Council for Higher Education in promoting and supporting gender equality in institutions of higher education with matching funds for a scholarship program that recognizes outstanding Israeli female scholars accepted to postdoctoral programs in the United States or Canada.

The program is open to candidates who intend to conduct postdoctoral research abroad for at least two years. Preference will be given to those in STEM fields, including computer science, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, and medicine.

With matching support from the Zuckerman Institute, the program will provide 30 new scholarships (instead of 15), and will be awarded annually for two cycles. The $5.1 million program budget will be shared equally, with 50% funded by the CHE and 50% by the Zuckerman Institute.

“As the programs continues to grow, we continue our commitment to basic scientific research, supporting great scientists, and strengthening the vision of our uncle, Mort Zuckerman.  Our US -Israel partnerships are showing signs of success and having a meaningful impact on collaborations in many areas of science.” – Zuckerman Trustee James Gertler

Israel has a long tradition of academic excellence, boasting world class universities, colleges and research institutions. Israeli higher education institutions provide a diversity of academic programs in English for international students at the Bachelor and Master’s degree level ranging from short-term courses to full degree programs. Israeli Institutions also welcome international students and researchers for PhD and Post-Doctoral research and assign them with leading researchers in the field.