Israel’s premier scientific research center, the Weizmann Institute of Science, realized at the turn of the millennium that only 13% of its active faculty were women—despite the fact that women make up half of those to whom the Institute grants PhDs.
All too often, upon reaching the point in their careers at which women scientists are expected to go abroad for postdoctoral training—a requirement for a tenure-track research position in Israel today—many choose to abandon their academic careers. A prestigious postdoctoral fellowship award is often not enough to outweigh the challenges of relocating to a foreign country—interrupting a partner’s career and uprooting young children—for up to five years on what is often a single small salary.
In response, Weizmann developed the Postdoctoral Program for Advancing Women in Science, which offers awards of $20,000 a year for two years to Israeli women scientists who have already received merit-based postdoctoral fellowship offers from abroad, to supplement their fellowship salaries. Since 2009, Revson has supported awards for fifteen outstanding scientists.
With the Charles H. Revson Senior Fellows in Biomedical Science, Revson’s Weizmann Fellows attend an annual meeting and dinner during which they have the opportunity to meet and present their work to each other and to Revson staff and board members.