The inter-institutional collaboration supported by the Pioneer Science Initiative will offer 15 postdoctoral fellowships at the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS), ranked by the Nature Index among the best research centers in the world.
Promoting advanced training of young Brazilian scientists abroad, and with the aim of bringing them back to Brazil to accelerate the development of scientific innovation in the country, the Pioneer Science Initiative, supported by the Moll family, and the D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR) launch, in partnership with the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Israel, the “Weizmann / IDOR Pioneer Science Fellows” scholarship program.
Representatives of the institutions met at IDOR’s headquarters, in São Paulo, on the 7th of April, to formalize the partnership, planned for an initial period of ten years (2022 to 2031), with the offer of 15 postdoctoral fellowships for Brazilian researchers. Were present in the event the IDOR co-founders, Dr. Fernanda Tovar-Moll, President of IDOR, and Dr. Jorge Moll Neto, Chairman of the Board of Directors of IDOR and one of the creators of the Pioneer Science Initiative; Prof. Roee Ozeri, Vice President of the Weizmann Institute of Science; Mario Fleck, President of the Amigos do Weizmann do Brasil Association, and Prof. Regina P. Markus, professor at USP and Vice-President of the Amigos do Weizmann do Brasil Association.
“With this initiative, we hope to bring our institutions, researchers, and our nations closer together, in order to promote new talents in Brazilian science at an international level. The supported researchers will have the opportunity to develop their advanced studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science, contributing, during and after their return to Brazil, to the Brazilian and Israeli Science systems. We strongly believe in the crucial role of fundamental science and international partnerships for the human, technological and social development of a country”, highlights Dr. Jorge Moll Neto.
“At Weizmann, we believe in people and one of our priorities is to attract talent to receive training and the best scientific education. I was really impressed with what IDOR has accomplished in just 12 years. Science is increasingly global and we need to build bridges. I am sure that we are starting a partnership that will bring gains for both sides and for the benefit of humanity”, emphasizes Prof. Roee Ozeri.
Scholarship recipients will go through selection processes and scholarships will be directed to qualified researchers who meet the academic requirements of the Weizmann Institute of Science, and whose research proposal interfaces the areas of life sciences, exact sciences and health. Those selected will have the opportunity to acquire advanced training over 3 years at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and will participate in joint scientific activities between the Weizmann Institute of Science and IDOR, aiming to stimulate synergies and collaborations whenever possible.
Upon the end of the program, fellows will be especially able to return to Brazil and develop their scientific careers at IDOR or other institutions, strengthening high-quality science in the country. IDOR plans to offer the homecoming researchers financial and logistical support to structure their research groups in its facilities, as well as support international travel and organize symposia to cultivate the scientific relationships built abroad. IDOR already has advanced research infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Salvador, in addition to a strong presence in other regions of Brazil. And a significant expansion of this infrastructure is planned over the next few years, within the action program of the Pioneer Science Initiative.
“There are two things that make me really happy. One is when the Institute’s scientists make an important discovery that will have an impact on health, and the other is when we see people like Jorge Moll and Fernanda Tovar-Moll helping us to tie a partnership like the one we are announcing. I feel really excited about the possibility of Brazilians benefiting from the quality science that is done in Israel and especially at Weizmann. We are taking a big step and I can only thank you”, celebrates Mario Fleck.
The “Weizmann / IDOR Pioneer Science Fellows” program is part of the Pioneer Science Initiative, launched in 2021 with philanthropic support from the Moll family, and which aims to internationalize Brazilian science through the creation and strengthening of partnerships with leading international institutions, creating new opportunities to send Brazilian researchers abroad and to receive foreign scientists. The investment in researchers who seek to work in frontier areas of science, as well as the appreciation of the work of the scientist in Brazil, are the great differential of the project. The partnership with the Weizmann Institute of Science is the second announced within the program, which already has an agreement with the University of California, Los Angeles, to encourage the development of quantum biology science in Brazil.
About the Weizmann Institute of Science
The Weizmann Institute of Science is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary institutes, with more than 3,000 scientists, laboratory technicians and students. The campus in Rehovot covers an area of 1.1 km2, contains more than 100 buildings, 60 multidisciplinary centers, 250 research groups with more than 3,000 scientists, 380 postdoctoral fellows and 1,076 students. For more than 70 years, it has gathered efforts that include the search for new ways to fight diseases and protect the environment.
Weizmann scientists invented successful drugs for multiple sclerosis and cancer, developed nanomaterials and advanced computing technology, and created revolutionary data storage options. It was there where sophisticated methods for creating intelligent roads equipped with sensors for the prevention of traffic accidents emerged, and its scientists ushered in a promising new era of tailored diet and nutrition.
About the Pioneer Science Initiative
The Pioneer Science Initiative was conceived with the purpose of supporting the training, development and retention of science talent in Brazil, in addition to funding frontier research through partnerships with leading institutions in the country and abroad. The broader objective is to explore promising lines of study that are still little explored by Science, and which can translate into important advances in the interfaces between the biomedical sciences and the exact sciences, including physics, mathematics and engineering. The initiative’s motivation is to support proposals that may impact the country’s development. The Pioneer Science Initiative is a philanthropic project of the Moll family – which foresees an investment of BRL 500 million over the next 10 years – and which will be open to investments from other partners or supporters to leverage its reach and impact.
The pillar of internationalization of the Pioneer Science Initiative will strengthen Brazil’s partnerships with foreign institutions and create new opportunities for exchange between Brazilian and foreign researchers. The Initiative will not receive proposals or projects directly, but will be proactive in creating public notices and other opportunities, either independently or in partnership with other institutions.