The Women’s Postdoctoral Career Development Award in Science is modeled on the highly successful Israel National Postdoctoral Award Program for Advancing Women in Science, which was established by the Weizmann Institute in 2007 to support Israeli women with much-needed funding for their first two years of postdoctoral work at top universities abroad. At the time, it was the only program of its kind. In the years since, nearly 65% of the Women in Science postdocs who have completed their training have gone on to attain faculty-track positions in Israel.
The program has not only grown in prestige and competitiveness, it has inspired other organizations to launch new prizes for Israeli women pursuing a career in science. As most of these awards are offered for the first and second years of research fellowships, the Weizmann Institute recognized a new need—to support women in the later stages of their postings abroad. The Women’s Postdoctoral Career Development Award in Science will not only offer a financial prize, it will also provide each recipient with career counseling, with an emphasis on helping the women scientists return to Israel to pursue a career in Israeli academia.