The Contact Center Meeting on Reintegration into Israel´s Academia
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The Contact Center Meeting on Reintegration into Israel´s Academia

430 Israeli scientists who lived abroad have so far been reintegrated in Israel’s Academia with the help of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities’ “Contact Center”; a special meeting and job- fair will take place on December 30th 2013, in Jerusalem.
430 Israeli scientists who lived abroad have so far been reintegrated in Israel’s Academia with the help of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities’ “Contact Center”; a special meeting and job- fair will take place on December 30th 2013, in Jerusalem.
A special meeting of the Israeli National Academy of Science and Humanities’ “Contact Center”, along with a job-fair which will introduce returning Israeli scientists to university representatives, will take place on Monday, December 30th 2013 in Jerusalem. The event, which has been initiated by Academy, will be chaired by its Executive Director - Dr. Meir Zadok.
In recent years, more than 430 Israeli scientists who were living abroad found academic work in Israel with the help of the Contact Center, which was established by the Academy in July 2007. The majority of them returned from the US, Canada and Europe.
During the last four years (2010-2013), 205 returning scientists found work through the Center, which aims to help Israeli academics find a relevant academic position in Israel.
As of today, over 2,600 Israeli researchers are listed in the Contact Center’s database. The overall majority of them wish to come back to Israel, should a relevant position be available. 1,872 of those listed have a Ph.D; 594 are in the process of obtaining their Ph.D; 128 have a Master’s Degree and 3 - a BA. The list is updated almost on a daily basis. 1,583 of those listed are now in the US, 204 in the UK, 92 in Canada, 75 in Germany, 42 in Australia, 36 in France; 26 in Switzerland, 18 in Sweden and 412 others returned to Israel already, and are looking for tenure-track positions.
According the new data published by the Contact Center, there are 2,322 researchers actively looking for academic work. 901 are from the field of Medicine and Life Sciences, 911 from Engineering and Exact Sciences, 675 from Social Sciences and 261 from the Humanities.
With respect to Academic establishments in Israel, in the last three years Tel Aviv University received 42 returning scientists, The Technion - 34, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem - 32, Ben Gurion University - 32, The Weizmann institute - 22, Haifa University - 22, Bar-Ilan University - 16, the Open University - 5; other researchers have found positions in Israel’s academic colleges.
The Networking/Job Fair will start on Monday, December 30th 2013, at 10:00 AM in the Academy building on 43 Jabotinsky Street in Jerusalem. The Fair will continue until 13:30, and then from 17:30 to 19:30; from 14:00 onwards, several lectures and a panel will take place, with the participation of Deans from all major Israeli Universities. During the fair, participants will have the chance to meet personally with the representatives of the participating institutions.
Researchers wishing to participate in the job fair are invited to come and register on the spot.
The Contact Center recently published a tender for designing and building a new website, which will serve the growing needs of its connection between Israeli researchers abroad and academic institutions in Israel. The website will include a data base of all available positions in Israeli universities, colleges and the government sector. This will be the first time such a database will be available.
The Contact Center is helping the Council for Higher Education carry out its long-term plan to enlist a total of 2,000 new senior staff members in the Israeli Academia. Since the program began, three years ago, 1,000 positions have already been filled. The main steps taken by the Council for Higher Education in order to achieve the goal are: A substantial increase in the academic institutions’ budgets, building and upgrading current scientific infrastructures, increasing research budgets and partnering with international organizations, as well as establishing 16 Centers of Excellence (I-CORE) in various fields.
The Contact Center is also cooperating with other relevant national institutions, in an attempt to assist Israeli academics return to Israel’s Academia. The Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, which assists Israelis in moving back to the country, issues special status cards (“Toshav Hozer”) which help with customs and social security issues. Scientists who have been abroad for five years or longer are also eligible for the assistance of its “Center for Absorption in Science”, which includes personal tutoring as well as subsidizing part of the hiring costs within the initial period of return. The Center will be present in the Job-Fair, with a special booth for interested participants.
In addition, a national program to help reintegrate Academic researchers in Israel has been launched recently. This program specializes in finding suitable work for returning scientists in the Israeli High-Tech and Bio-Tech industries. The program was officially launched in June 2013, and is focusing on consulting and assisting those who wish to find a job immediately, as well as providing information to those who consider moving back in the future.
The program is also meant to assist the government in establishing a long-term policy about combating the brain drain phenomenon. Regarding employment, the program serves as a bridge between Israeli academics abroad and employers in Israel. One of the main obstacles the Program is trying to tackle, as the Contact Center does, is the process of finding work from a distance. The Program matches a personal tutor for each researcher, which helps with submitting resumes and assists the recruitment process. A representative of the program will also have a booth in the job fair.
Dr. Nurit Eyal, who heads the National Program, will be among the speakers in the event. Dr. Ami Ben-Yehuda will share his personal experience of returning to Israel; further lectures will be presented by Ms. Smadar Hirsh, from ISERD, who will expand on reintegrating academic researchers in the HORIZON 2020 program led by the EU; Omri Ingber, who will present the government benefits given to returning researchers and Dr. Liat Maoz, from the Council of Higher Education, who will provide a general overview of the reintegration efforts for Israeli researchers.