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The international connections of the Israeli researchers have been damaged since October 7

A survey conducted among more than a thousand members of senior academic staff at universities reveals that, following the war, international relations of the Israeli academy were severely damaged, and there is concern among many researchers about the termination of research funding and cancellation of collaborations

A pro-Palestinian demonstration at Harvard University following the war. The world's academia is starting to interfere with the international ties of Israelis. Screenshot from an ABC article (fair use)
A pro-Palestinian demonstration at Harvard University following the war. The world's academia is starting to interfere with the international ties of Israelis. Screenshot from an ABC article (fair use)

The Israeli Young Academy, operating under the auspices of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences andAfik in the Academy - the forum of university professorships They conducted a survey among senior academic staff at universities, to which 1,015 companies and faculty members answered, regarding the challenges faced by the Israeli academy since the terrorist attack on October 7 and the consequences of the war in Gaza.

In the survey, companies and members of senior academic staff at universities were asked questions about their perception of the damage to their work following the war, as well as the measures required in their opinion to minimize this damage. The data are presented in the attached report and include cross-sectional analyzes of gender, tenure, rank, children's age and discipline.

The main findings

  • The survey reports a considerable harm to international visits and research work in general, both by the researchers themselves and by the research groups led by them. The survey reveals thatThe researchers anticipate significant future damage to many other parameters, including the ability to win a research grant from international foundations, the ability to publish findings in international professional press and the ability to maintain international collaborations. It seems that the assessment of future harm is particularly high in the parameters related to the internationality of the research, such as a decrease in international collaborations, the ability to publish the research findings in international literature, the ability to obtain research funding from international funds and staying abroad for research purposes.
  • In all types of harm measured in the survey (emotional, in everyday life and financially) statistically significant differences were found between women and men, with women reporting more severe harm. Similarly, among the ranks of lecturer and senior lecturer (low ranks) an impairment in the three dimensions was reported greater than that reported among the ranks of associate professor and full professor (high ranks). also The damage reported by researchers without tenure in their financial situation and in their daily lives is statistically significantly more severe than that of researchers who have tenure.
  • Examining the population of respondents to the survey divided into groups according to gender and tenure (with or without) showed that a sense of The damage to everyday life, the emotional, financial damage and damage to research in general was strongest among female researchers without tenure and weakest among researchers who have tenure, that is, female researchers without tenure reported that they were affected by the war situation more than the rest of the faculty. 
  • About 5% of the respondents reported direct harm to them or their family members as a result of the war,
  • And about 11% reported that the members of their research group were directly affected by the killing, injury or kidnapping of people close to them.
  • On top of that, researchers who have small children reported severe financial damage (statistically significant differences) than faculty without small children. It was found that The general damage to the quality of the research was higher among researchers who are parents of preschool and elementary school children.

  • Other interesting findings in the survey - both in the current one and in the previous one - reveal that The respondents' reported motivation to leave Israel increased to a statistically significant degree following the war. In a ranking between 1 and 10 (1 - little desire to leave, to 10 - great desire to leave), these are the results found over the last period:

At the end of 2022 (before the legislative initiatives of the current government) the average rating of the desire to leave Israel was 0.91. March 2023 (After the announcement of the legislative initiatives of the current government) there was an average rating of the desire to leave 3.4. When the survey was conducted in December 2023, the average rating of the desire to leave was 3.3. The researchers were also asked about the chances of them leaving Israel on October 6 (before the outbreak of the war). In this question, the average rating of the desire to leave was 2.92, meaning that the average rating of the desire to leave increased following the legislative initiatives more than it did following the war.  

Prof. Miri Yamini, member of the Israeli Young Academy and professor at the Technion: "The perceptions examined in the survey reflect the existing power structure in the academy. Young researchers, those who are supposed to be at the forefront of research in Israel, report an injury to their academic work that is considerably greater than that reported by researchers in the senior ranks. Also, gender and the treatment of small children have a large effect on the degree of damage reported to the quality of the research. In order to reduce the expected damage to the Israeli academy, the policy makers must invest more resources in encouraging and developing the international relations of the Israeli academy. Also, the heads of the institutions must help young female researchers and their friends and faculty members with small children.

Prof. Rachel Ehrhardt, from the leadership of "Apik in the Academy - the University Professorships Forum": "The findings of the survey attack the sad reality of the weakest group among university faculty members: young female researchers at the stage of not receiving tenure, mothers of young children. In recent years, we have been struggling to increase the proportion of female researchers in universities in general (which is very low compared to universities in the Western world), and we must also urgently see to the establishment of a support envelope for the scientific reserve of female researchers in particular."

For the summary of the survey

More of the topic in Hayadan:

One response

  1. Good luck to the researchers in finding a suitable place in universities around the world, which are plagued by new anti-Semitism, and practices infected with the DIE (Diversity Inclusion and Equity) ideology.

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