Scientific Collaboration

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Weizmann UK Making Connections

"The grant gave us something not related to science…when one UK student spent 6 weeks enjoying the wonderful Weizmann Institute, she got to know Israeli culture, and spent weekends travelling around the country learning about its history and its wonders. As people often do when they get to know Israel, she fell in love with it. So the Making Connections and BIRAX grants give us the best gift of all…that of friendship."
Prof.Maya Schuldiner, Department of Molecular Genetics.

Making Connections is our dynamic programme which brings together scientists from the UK and Israel. Its purpose is to establish scientific cooperation between the Weizmann Institute of Science and UK scientists by providing funding to initiate research collaborations. For the past ten years the Making Connections programme has been working across borders and beyond politics supporting scientists, stimulating discoveries, sharing resources and facilitating long-lasting connections.

Why support scientific collaboration between the UK and Israel?

Science is becoming increasingly global and in recent years there has been a significant increase in the percentage of publications with authors from multiple countries. The UK and Israel have impressive academic track-records, both in terms of the number of Nobel Laureates per capita and in their respective success in attracting funding from the European Research Council. The benefit of bringing different scientific perspectives together cannot be underestimated.

How did the programme come about?

The Making Connections programme began in 2008, against an increase of academic boycotts of Israel. The programme was created as a positive response to that backdrop. It was initiated during Lord Mitchell’s Chairmanship of Weizmann UK.

How is it funded?

Making Connections is a donor funded programme that has built important partnerships between Weizmann UK’s family of supporters and the scientists who are the recipients of their wonderful generosity. Grants of $100,000 are awarded for joint research projects over two years. Calls for proposals are issued annually by the Weizmann Institute of Science and applicants must include at least one Principal Investigator from the Weizmann Institute and one from a UK university or research institut

A decade of Making Connections in numbers:

Grants Awarded: $4.2m

Collaborative Research Projects: 53

Researchers from the UK and Israel working together: 116

UK Academic Intuitions paired with the Weizmann Institute: 21

Scientific Meetings hosted in the UK and Israel: 8

See the full Making Connections 10th anniversary gala photo gallery

See the Systems Biology symposium photo gallery

Watch the Making Connections 10th anniversary Video

Applications for Making Connections grants must be made via Weizmann scientists and a call for proposals for these is made annually. If you are a UK scientist wishing to collaborate please contact your potential Weizmann partner.

For details on current and previous grants please click here.

If you require any more information or have any questions please contact post@weizmann.org.uk


Get Connected

Prof Steffen Jung Lord Alliance Prof Werner Muller With Logos

The Get Connected grant programme, generously funded by Lord Alliance, has been forging collaborations between life scientists from the Weizmann Institute and the University of Manchester (UoM) since 2010.

In March 2015 the Weizmann Institute of Science hosted a two day ‘Get Connected’ life science conference and celebrated the inauguration of the ‘Get Connected’ Prize which was awarded to Profs. Steffan Jung (WIS) and Werner Muller (UoM).

Most recently, these collaborative grants have led to two joint PhD programmes between the Weizmann Institute and University of Manchester. In 2016 two students from the University of Manchester will spend two years of their PhD programme at the Weizmann Institute before returning to the UK to complete their final year.

The Weizmann Institute and the University of Manchester share a unique connection due to the fact that Dr Chaim Weizmann, the founder of the Weizmann Institute spent many years at the University of Manchester where, in 1915, he developed his method of acetone fermentation which would have significant implications in years to come.

See examples of Get Connected projects

Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership

BIRAX is a £10 million initiative of the British Council and British Embassy in Israel in collaboration with the Pears Foundation and the UJIA.

BIRAX funds cutting-edge research using stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies to tackle some of the world’s most challenging conditions and diseases including cardiovascular and liver disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s.

Since its inauguration, BIRAX has funded over fifteen collaborative UK-Israel scientific research projects as well as three conferences. Three of the grants have been awarded to UK-Weizmann Institute of Science collaborations. These include:

  • Persuading the immune system not to attack Stem Cells, Dr Paul Fairchild, University of Oxford / Prof. Yair Reisner, Weizmann Institute of Science.
  • Examining changes to DNA that affect the fate of Stem Cells, Prof. Azim Surani (University of Cambridge) / Dr Jacob Hanna (Weizmann Institute of Science).
  • Using heart cells to restore damaged heart muscle (co-funded by the British Heart Foundation), Prof.Paul Riley (University of Oxford) / Prof. Eldad Tzahor (Weizmann Institute of Science).
  • Regenerating new blood vessels to restore healthy tissue, Prof. Andrew Baker (University of Edinburgh) /Dr. Igor Ulitsky (Weizmann Institute of Science)
  • How ageing affects the blood and immune system (co-funded by Weizmann UK), Dr Elisa Laurenti (University of Cambridge)/Dr Liran Shlush (Weizmann Institute of Science)

To find out about BIRAX, how to apply and more about the British Council’s work to connect UK and Israeli science please click here.

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