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The National Academy of Sciences will hold a "Job Fair" for Israeli researchers abroad

The Israeli National Academy of Sciences will hold on Wednesday this week (27/12) the annual gathering for the reception of scientists and researchers with a PhD or higher. About 3,430 scientists and researchers from all fields are registered in the database of the National Academy of Sciences as those who apply for jobs in academia and research institutes in Israel, of which about 2700 live abroad and 700 scientists in Israel.

National Academy of Sciences - Photo by Od Katzman.
National Academy of Sciences. Photo: Od Katzman.

The eighth annual meeting of the 'Contact Center' operating at the Israel National Academy of Sciences will be held this week (Wednesday, 27/12). As part of the convention, there will be a job fair designed to help scientists, researchers and doctoral students who stay abroad for extended periods to return to Israel and be absorbed in work at universities, academic colleges, research institutes, industry and government offices.

The "Contact Center" began its activity about a decade ago, and since then about 850 Israelis have been successfully accepted into universities in Israel with its assistance. Many more were absorbed into the academic colleges and national research institutes. The researchers were absorbed in the fields of engineering, medicine, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, most of them as faculty members and some in post-doctoral training, in the hope that down the road they will be absorbed as faculty members.

About 3,430 researchers from all fields are registered in the contact center database, one third from the natural sciences and engineering, one third from the medical and life sciences, and one third from the humanities and social sciences. 2,577 of them have MD and/or PhD degrees and 671 are doctoral students. This is the reserve of the academic staff in the research system in Israel.

According to the CBS data, although many of the researchers who stay abroad for extended periods do so as part of their post-doctoral studies - there is a negative immigration balance. On average, about two thousand recipients of advanced academic degrees go abroad every year, but less than half of them return. Every year the difference between the immigrants and the returnees is over 1,200 Israelis who continue to live abroad - and do not return to Israel after completing their studies.

The CBS data indicates that about a quarter (24.1%) of those with a third degree in mathematics and 20% of those with a third degree in computer science stay abroad for more than three years. In absolute numbers, over 4,200 PhD holders in the fields of mathematics, computer science, physics, genetics, biochemistry and other science subjects, stayed abroad last year (2016) for an extended period of over three years (meaning - after completing the post-doctorate).

The contact center at the Academy of Sciences is designed to help Israeli researchers from all fields of knowledge working or studying abroad to make connections and find a job in Israel so that they can return to Israel and integrate into the scientific community. For this purpose, the academy holds an annual convention and job fair. Another means of making connections is bringing outstanding young researchers to present their work at scientific conferences in Israel. In this way, they are given the opportunity to be exposed professionally, make personal connections and be interviewed for jobs. Sometimes these connections are created through the mediation of members of the Academy, who are senior researchers in Israel. In addition, the contact center regularly updates researchers with information about jobs in research fields in Israel.

The job fair will be attended by representatives of universities and academic colleges, as well as leading companies in the fields of high-tech, medicine and bio-technology, ecology, and more, all with the aim of offering researchers and scientists jobs that match their education and skills.

At this year's annual meeting, Academy member Prof. Moti Segev will speak about "Being a scientist in Israel", Dr. Yossi Vardi will speak about "The Academy's contribution to industry in Israel", and Young Academy member, Prof. Roy Kishoni, will speak about "From Harvard professorship to Technion professorship". At the end of the meeting, there will be a panel of researchers who have returned, who will tell about their absorption in Israel in different research frameworks.

According to the president of the academy, Prof. Neely Cohen, the academy invests a lot of effort and resources in returning the researchers to Israel. "For the academy, this is an extremely important national challenge - to connect and connect researchers who wish to return and find employment in research in Israel and between higher education institutions and research institutes."

As mentioned, the annual convention and the job fair will be held at the Academy House on Wednesday 27/12. They are intended for graduates of a PhD or higher in the fields of humanities and social sciences, nature and engineering as well as in the fields of high-tech and bio-technology. Hundreds of scientists are expected to come to this year's fair, most of them scientists who live abroad and wish to return to Israel.

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