As many as 66 Indian postdoctoral scholars will travel to Israel in the coming months to pursue research at top universities. The researchers will benefit from three-year scholarships granted by the government of Israel.
In the framework of the scholarship programme, fellows from IIT Delhi, Osmania University, universities in Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Mumbai and other leading academic institutions in India will conduct research in a wide variety of fields, including immunology, genetics, neurobiology, bio-informatics, computer sciences, law and economics. The research will be undertaken at leading universities in Israel, namely, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Open University of Israel.
“The annual amount per scholar is 100,000 shekel (NIS) that is equivalent to about R14.7 lakh a year, for three years. Of this sum, two thirds are given directly by the government and one third by the university (which is also government supported). The criteria for selection are academic excellence of the candidate, academic value of the research proposal and interest of the concerned university department in the subject matter,” officials from the Israeli Embassy said.
This postdoctoral scholarship initiative was conceived during the visit of Israel’s finance minister Yuval Steinitz to India in December 2011. Steinitz had met then HRD minister Kapil Sibal and the two pledged their support to bolster Indo-Israel academic cooperation.
A call for research proposals for yet another round of this postdoctoral scholarship programme has already been announced. Applications can be submitted through Israeli universities. “The second round means that in addition to those who have already received the scholarships, Indian researchers can apply for another round of scholarships (potentially up to 100 in number),” the officials said.