Yair Rotstein, Executive Director of the U.S.-Israel
Binational Science Foundation
Welcome to our second edition of Vision, the on-line newsletter of the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF).
I am honored to report that based on a recent survey conducted by the Cohen Institute, a well regarded non-profit affiliated with Tel-Aviv University,
the results indicate a high level of satisfaction with the BSF, even among unsuccessful applicants.
The survey examined several issues related to our work, such as the attitude towards reducing the success rate,
increasing the grant size, and the minimum grant size that is acceptable to our applicants. View the survey results here.
Work is underway to choose our next Transformative Science awardees. This program solicits applications from scientific teams who dream big, who have unconventional ideas and whose research has the possibility of making a large and significant impact. These are risky proposals that do not have a high chance at success. Because of this, they often do not have many funding options. We have adopted this definition for our panelists, Research driven by ideas that have potential to radically change our understanding of an important scientific concept, or lead to the creation of a new paradigm, or a new field of science. Such research is characterized by its challenge to current understanding or by its pathways to new frontiers.
Our Transformative Science panel met in New York City this month. We recruit panelists who are leading scientists with interdisciplinary research interests who come from both the United States and Israel. They reviewed 65 pre-proposals and narrowed their selection down to eleven teams. These finalists will submit their full proposals for the panel to consider when they have their January meeting in Israel. From there, the panel will recommend one to two projects for funding and the BSF Board of Governors will make the final decision during their board meeting in winter of 2016.
I continue to spend the bulk of my time with our National Science Foundation (NSF) collaboration. This program is growing substantially and with further support from the Israeli Finance Ministry, in the coming years I believe its funding levels will equal or surpass the traditional BSF grants program that has been operating successfully for decades. You can read more about the NSF program
Thank you for your interest and support,