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The next mentor for women in science


Date: March 19, 2019
Weizmann Magazine Vol. 15

Prof. Lia Addadi from the Department of Structural Biology has replaced Prof. Daniella Goldfarb as the newest President’s Advisor for Advancing Women in Science. The President’s Advisor administers a broad range of programs to help promote female students and scientists at the Weizmann Institute. These include a mentorship program for women PhD students, and forums for graduate students and postdocs to assist them in achieving their academic and career goals.

The Institute’s flagship program in this arena is the Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science. It offers merit-based grants to outstanding women PhD graduates in the exact and natural sciences from all Israeli institutions of higher learning to pursue their postdoctoral research abroad. The grant supplements the typically low postdoctoral salaries of the host institutions, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of female Israeli researchers working in academia. 

The program, which provides 10 fellowships a year, is bearing fruit, which can perhaps best be measured by the percentage of recipients who have gone on to attain faculty-track positions in Israel: about 63%. More than a dozen awardees of the program have become faculty members at the Weizmann Institute.

Another important program launched by the Weizmann Institute is the Combined Weizmann-Abroad Postdoctoral Program for Advancing Women in Science. This program enables combining research in a Weizmann Institute laboratory with a leading laboratory in another country for female PhD graduates who are unable to relocate for a conventional postdoctoral fellowship abroad.