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A record number of 3270 Israeli researchers and scientists registered at the Contact Center of the Academy of Sciences in order to be absorbed in working in Israel

A unique meeting and job fair for hundreds of scientists will be held on Thursday, December 22.12, at the Academy House in Jerusalem

One of the job fairs for scientists who want to return to Israel at the Academy of Sciences. PR photo

The seventh annual meeting of the "Contact Center", an initiative of the Israel National Academy of Sciences, will be held on Thursday, December 22, 2016, at the Academy House, in collaboration with the National Program for the Repatriation of Academics. The convention will include a job fair where hundreds of Israeli researchers from around the world who wish to return to Israel will meet representatives of Israeli universities and colleges and leading industrial companies in Israel to find a job in Israel. The convention and the job fair will be hosted by the President of the Academy of Sciences, Prof. Neely Cohen.

The Contact Center was established by the Academy in 2007, and since then, with its assistance, over 700 returning scientists have been absorbed into universities, most of them from the USA, Canada and European countries. 505 of them were accepted as faculty members, 76 of them in the last year. Others were absorbed into postdoctoral positions and as laboratory managers. Many more researchers were recruited with the help of the contact center at academic colleges and government research institutes. The purpose of the contact center is to help Israeli researchers, mainly abroad, to find suitable work within the scientific community in Israel and to raise the issues that bother them before the decision makers. At the time of preparation of the announcement, over 3,270 Israeli researchers are registered in the contact center, most of whom are employed abroad and wish to return to Israel, of which approximately 2,380 have a doctoral degree and approximately 680 are students for a doctoral degree. The contact center's data analysis shows that of the registered researchers, 1,783 are from the USA, 228 from England, 692 returning scientists who live in Israel and are still looking for jobs, 119 from Canada, 104 from Germany, 48 from Australia and 41 from France. In recent times, new entrants to the database have been registered every day.

The contact center stated that the main barriers and factors hindering a return to Israel are the different style of conduct in Israel, the fear of the bureaucracy and the lack of transparency in the country, as well as the concern that a permanent job will not be found. The lack of security increases as the time spent abroad increases. Keeping in touch is one of the central activities of the contact center, because it helps prevent disconnection and provides a sense of security when the time comes to return.

It was also reported that of the registered researchers who wish to return to Israel, one third are from the fields of life sciences and medicine, one third from the fields of exact sciences and engineering sciences, and one third from the fields of humanities and social sciences. Some return for a part-time or temporary position or for a second or third post-doctorate, but even for those who manage to get a position on the standard track, the contact center is a safety net, and many researchers rely on it until they receive tenure.

This year, the Contact Center gathering offers a great variety of possibilities for absorption in research in Israel - in universities, academic colleges, research institutes and research centers, industry, the private sector and government offices.

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