24 Israelis win EU young researcher grants

With eight recipients, Tel Aviv University ranks third in largest number of grant winners from an academic institution.

Cynthia Blank ,

University Students
University Students
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Twenty-four Israelis were awarded last week the European Research Council's prestigious Starting Grants for young researchers. 

Tel Aviv had the most recipients of any academic institutions in Israel with eight researchers taking home grants, and for the second year running, the third largest number of recipients of any institution eligible to receive the grant. 

It lagged slightly behind the 12 grants awarded to the French National Center for Scientific Research, and the 10 receiving by the Max Planck network of institutes in Germany. 

Hebrew University of Jerusalem trailed Tel Aviv University with five grant winners and both the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa had four. 

Rounding out the list were researchers from three other Israeli universities: the University of Haifa, Bar-Ilan University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. 

Taking into account Israel relatively small population, Haaretz calculated, the Jewish state places first among countries earning the grants. 

Overall, it placed sixth with Britain topping the list at 48 recipients followed closely be Germany with 47. 

"Israel is again proving its major contribution to research, the capacity for innovation and thought of [its] young researchers and thinking out of the box," Science, Technology and Space Minister Ophir Akunis (Likud) said last week when the grants were announced.

A total of 291 Starting Grants were awarded by the European Research Council in 2015.