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Label Letter from Executive Director - Yair Rotstein
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Yair Rotstein, Executive Director of the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation

In each issue of our Vision newsletter, we highlight Israeli and American scientists on the cusp of major scientific breakthroughs, and this issue continues that tradition.

But I also want to thank some other unsung heroes who contribute enormously to our success. I am talking about our scientific advisors, and members of our review panels. Last year, we assembled more than 100 Israeli and American scientists to form 19 panels covering a wide variety of scientific fields. But even before panel discussions, for each and every proposal, we received a minimum of three external reviews by scientists from around the world. Some proposals went through more than five reviews. In total, there were nearly 1,800 such external reviews. Every scientist participating in this process did so without being paid, and we are in great debt to all of them.

As each review panel includes at least one American, our process enhances relations between U.S. and Israeli scientists. American scientists who sit on our panels often tell me how impressed they are with the quality of proposals they come across at the BSF. More specifically, they note that these are of the same quality as those that they encounter on NSF and NIH panels. The same impression is communicated to us by Israeli scientists whom we send to Washington DC, to sit on NSF panels, as part of our recent cooperation with this organization.

All of this involves a large amount of work, but I believe this process is important. Especially in Israel, a BSF grant is one of the most prestigious forms of funding available to scientists and researchers. Our thorough evaluation process ensure that only proposals considered excellent – meaning they are well planned, thought out, written, and appear to be feasible – are awarded funding.

We are proud of our high standards. And we are grateful to all our scientists and researchers who help us uphold those standards. Thanks to them, projects funded today could very well lead to discoveries that will transform our world in the future.

Thank you for your interest and support,


Yair Rotstein
Executive Director
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