Frequently Asked Questions by Staff Scientists

Staff Scientists should be knowledgeable about the following topics that affect them. Many of the answers to the questions below link to documents in the Academic Secretary web site. Access to these documents may be accessible only within the institute network (Your login account and password is required).
To ask more questions whose answers would be of interest here, or to notify errors, please send mail to: Lorne.Levinson@weizmann.ac.il.

Professional

What is the governing structure of the Institute and how are Staff Scientists represented?

The Scientific Council of the Institute consists of all of the full professors and associate professors of the Institute as well as such number of representatives of other academic ranks and representatives of the student body, as determined by the Scientific Council.
The representatives of the Staff Scientists in the Scientific Council are the three executive members of the Staff Scientists Council (ועדת השלושה).

The Scientific Council has committees on specific topics. For example:

  • הוועדה המכוונת, ועדת ההעלאות והמנויים (chaired by the chair of the Scientific Council),
  • ועדה לדרוג עמיתים (chaired by the vice chair of the Scientific Council),
  • יו"ר תוכנית המלגאים, ועדה לדיון בעבודות דוקטור, הוועדה לשרותי מחקר ומנהל, ועדת ספריה

Recommendations for promotion of Staff Scientists (excluding Senior Research Fellows) are made by the ועדה לדרוג עמיתים.

The Council of Professors of the Institute comprises all the full professors of the Institute. It makes recommendations to the President and the Executive Board on all promotions to professorial grades and permanent appointments to the ranks of Senior Scientist and the rank of Senior Research Fellow.
Recommendations for permanent appointments to the ranks of Senior Scientist, and for promotions to Associate Professor (פרופסור חבר) and Professor (פרופסור מן המניין) are made by the V12 (ועדת השתיים עשרה) committee of the Council Professors.
Recommendations for promotion to the rank of Senior Research Fellow are made by the V5 sub-committee (including the chairman of the ועדת עמיתים  Vaadat Amitim).

Staff Scientists Council: For academic matters, Staff Scientists are represented by the Staff Scientists Council. See Staff Scientists Council Regulations.
The ועד המדענים represents Professors and Staff Scientists regarding wage agreements, benefits, etc. The Staff Scientists have an official member of this committee.

What are my rights and obligations regarding intellectual property or patents resulting from my work or from collaboration with other Weizmann scientists?

Staff scientists, as other researchers in the Weizmann, are bound by the same rules of intellectual property. A Staff Scientist working as part of a research group is not considered to be the “Chief Investigator”, thus he may only obtain the role of “inventor” or “contributor” to a patent invention and his share (%) in the patent royalties will be determined by the “Chief Investigator/s”.

What are my rights to authorship of scientific journal articles?

There is no limitation on the authorship of articles for Staff Scientists; however, Staff Scientists that are part of a research group (i.e. not a service unit) should obtain the consent of their head of group prior to submission of independent publications. A Staff Scientist’s right to authorship is not limited by being in a service unit; the criterion is based solely on scientific contribution.

In which Institute committees do Staff Scientists participate?

Currently (2014), a Staff Scientist serves as an observer in the Services Committee of the Scientific Council and another as a member of the Safety Committee.

Can a Staff Scientist officially supervise a student?

Staff Scientists on their own are not allowed to supervise masters (M.Sc.) or doctoral (Ph.D.) graduate students. However, Senior Staff Scientists and Senior Research Fellows are allowed to co-supervise students, together with a Professor. Each case must be approved by the Dean of the Feinberg Graduate School.

Can a Staff Scientist submit a grant proposal?

A Staff Scientist may apply for external grants with his/her group leader or head of service unit.  If the application does not include his/her group leader or head of service unit, i.e. it is with another professor, then his/her group leader or head of service unit must agree in writing ahead of time.

A Staff Scientist may exceptionally apply for a grant by himself or with other Staff Scientists or with a Faculty member from another institution. In this case, written approval must be given ahead of time by his/her group leader or head of service unit and the Academic Vice-President. Permission in such a case will be given only in the most exceptional circumstances.

More information

What are the special project grants for Staff Scientists in service units?

This internal grant program is aimed at enabling Staff Scientists in scientific resources units (service units) to carry out independent research projects that will improve research tools in the unit for which they are responsible. The head of the service unit must agree that the Staff Scientist will be given the time needed to devote to the project. Applications are due in mid-April and are judged by a committee headed by the Academic Vice-president. For details, see: Weizmann - Staff Scientists Internal Grant Program. The grant can be used to pay for equipment, consumables and manpower (usually postdoc fellowship).

Can a Staff Scientist teach a course in the Graduate School?

Staff Scientists may teach courses in the Graduate School. If you would like to teach a course, consult with the Director and Board of Studies of the corresponding Research School who decide which courses are offered by their Faculty and who teaches them. The payment for a course depends on the rank of the lecturer (e.g.  for Senior Staff Scientist and Associate Professors the rate in 2011 was 356 NIS per class hour).

For which prizes are Staff Scientists eligible?

Staff Scientists are eligible for the “Maxine Singer Prizes to Outstanding Staff Scientists”. In the past, two prizes were awarded each year; from 2013, four prizes will be awarded. See list of recent recipients of the prize. Any professor may nominate a Staff Scientist to stand for this prize.

How do I have official Weizmann visiting cards (כרטיסי ביקור) prepared?

Your department secretary can order them for you from the Publishing Department.

Rank

What do I need to do in order to get tenure?

See sections 5 and 6 of the documents:

Salary, pension, etc

What are תוספת מחקר "א" ו-"ב" and how can I get these salary additions?

In order to obtain either salary addition, the Staff Scientist must be a Co-PI of the grant proposal. The תוספת מחקר "א" is for research grants from external entities that allow the principal investigators to obtain an extra salary for managing the research. The group leader will be paid additional salary for management, up to 50%, depending on the rules and the amount of the research grant. The salary is paid from the research grant itself.

For תוספת מחקר-"ב", a Staff Scientist that appears as a principal investigator in an external grant that does not contain any provision for providing salary to the principal investigators, is entitled to receive up to a 25% salary addition depending on the amount of the research grant and the number of principal investigators. If the Staff Scientist has more than one grant belonging to this category he/she could get an additional 5% salary addition. Note that the additional salary is computed from the value of the grant divided by the number of investigators receiving the salary addition. The salary addition is not paid from the research grant and so does not reduce the funds available for research. The exact rules are complex; please consult the Projects Section of the Finance Division.

The sum of  תוספת מחקר "א" ו-"ב" may not exceed a maximum salary addition of 55%.

Where do I obtain information about my salary, pension, income tax, קרן השתלמות, sick days, vacation days, etc.?

What are the rules for תוספת זמן מלא?

Twice a year Staff Scientists receive a declaration form to be signed declaring which months the researcher did not receive income, other than WIS salary, which exceeded a specific value (i.e. “devoted full-time to the Institute”) according to the regulations set by the  Council for Higher Education. The extra salary is paid four times per year and depends on rank only (not on ותק or other salary additions).

The exact regulations

What are the rules for absence with and without pay?

Absence with pay

  • Staff Scientists, as members of the Academic Staff, are entitled to Keren Kishrei Mada and Leave of Absence with pay. However they are not independent and any travel request they make requires the consideration and approval of their group head in addition to all other endorsements which are required from any Academic Staff member.
  • Vacation is vacation and must be declared as such monthly by every Academic Staff member on the form received from HR Division in this regard. A declaration of Vacation is different from a declaration of On Duty.
  • Academic Staff receive a monthly gross calendar days allocation (i.e. not work days) of 90 days total (i.e. max allowed) of Leave with pay (which is comprised of a max of 30 days’ Vacation + a max of 60 days On Duty). The allocation is made for every Academic Year (i.e. 1 Oct – 30 Sept) and is non- accumulable.

Absence without pay

The Academic Secretary must approve any absence without pay.

Benefits

Who is eligible to buy a house in the Institute housing areas?

  • Senior Staff Scientists and Senior Research Fellows are entitled, upon availability, to buy an on-campus dwelling unit. The unit will be priced according to the market value of an equivalent dwelling and will be determined by a professional assessor. It is also possible to buy an on-campus dwelling unit from someone who already owns one; the price is negotiable. (Actually the land is not purchased, but leased for a long time.)
  • See “Housing Assistance for Academic Staff”.
  • Tenured Staff Scientists are eligible for housing loans, see the question below.

How can I get a low interest loan guaranteed by the Institute?

Mortgages: Tenured Associate Staff Scientist, Senior Staff Scientist, and Senior Research Fellows may request a recommendation from the Institute to the bank for a mortgage to purchase a dwelling up to the sum of $90,000. The loan is linked to the cost of living index bearing 4% interest. If the interest becomes considered a benefit, it will be taxable. The grant of the loan is conditional on the bank's approval. The above is applicable as long as the Staff Scientist has not received a housing loan while at the Weizmann Institute, in any previous position.

Short term loans: The Institute guarantees short term loans with very low interest from Bank Leumi to Institute employees.

How much is my annual travel grant (קק"מ) and what are the rules for using it?

  • The annual allowances of the Kakam (termed in the Institute official letters as “International Scientific Ties Fund”) for 2012 are as follows:
    1. Assistant Staff Scientist - $4,137
    2. Associate Staff Scientist - $5,254
    3. Senior Staff Scientist - $6,846
    4. Senior Research Fellow - $10,255
  • The annual allowance is updated, and becomes available at the start of the academic year.
  • The Kakam can be used for the purpose of attending conferences or for work related visits to Institutions abroad, and can be used with the approval of the direct PI, the head of Department, and Dean of the faculty. Also included are professional courses, books and journal subscriptions and membership in professional organizations. 
  • The Kakam funds can be also used to buy a computer (once every four years) for the work related use of the Staff Scientist. (After four years the computer can be purchased for 10% of its original cost.
  • Mobile phones and their monthly charges can also be paid from Kakam.

How can my family members have their university or college tuition paid by the Institute?

Institute workers are entitled to funding of tuition of an academic degree for his family members (spouse and children) at universities and colleges in Israel, provided that the degree is recognized by the Council for Higher Education. The amount of funding is up to the value of the tuition fees (less, if the position is less than full time). The amount of these fees is considered as income and is subject to income tax.

Health and Safety

Will the Institute pay for a periodic general health check?

For workers over the age of 45, yes. (See more information about Periodic Medical Examinations).
The worker pays 7%. Spouses may benefit from the special price.