2016 ISSI scholarship and reflections on 2015

Each year the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel holds its International Summer Science Institute (ISSI) for high school graduates, which brings together over 80 students from around the world.  This year the prestigious student program will be held from July 5-28 and Weizmann Australia is pleased to offer two places for Australian students, thanks to the generosity of the Trawalla Foundation, supporting the program again this year.

Last year we sent a first year science student from the Australian National University (ANU) to experience the challenges and rewards of scientific research, whilst learning more about the Weizmann Institute as an elite global science research institute.

The successful 2015 applicant was Adele Jackson, formerly of MLC Burwood, Sydney.  Adele achieved dux in 2014 and was accepted into ANU’s highly competitive Bachelor of Philosophy in Science for 2015.  While Adele already planned to pursue a career in scientific research, participating in the ISSI program has served to strengthen this desire as her post-program report reflects:

“One of the best things I got out of this program was the knowledge that I could very happily do basic scientific research as a full time job.  Although this has been my intention for the last few years, not actually having done any did make me a bit nervous about the future. I now definitely want to pursue Honours at the end of my degree.”

Her enthusiasm is representative of previous students who have participated in this program, both in terms of the scientific research she performed herself and in terms of the science in general at the Weizmann Institute of Science:

“I loved the research component.  Getting to work on recently developed algorithms (the one we were using was described in a paper in the last ten years, which is a far cry from high school physics, which barely gets into the last century) to explore a problem that has applications to novel technology, was very exciting.

“It was also fascinating hearing about other people’s projects throughout the month. From trialling nanoparticles aimed to kill lymphocytes in mice, to synthesising gold nanowires or analysing the data from a scanning electron microscope, the variety of science going on at Weizmann hasn’t ceased to amaze me.”

In addition to the research, there was time for sport and music and travel from Haifa to Jerusalem to Eilat.  Examples of places visited include, Baha’i Gardens, near Haifa, Yad Vashem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Masada, and a week of hiking in the desert.

“Being able to do research, to meet and form close connections with like-minded people from around the world, and visit such a beautiful country, was all just as amazing as I had been told. We were all quite close to tears on the last day. I am sure that I will return to Israel and to Weizmann, and that the connections we all made (and the love of science!) will remain strong as we go through university. It was an incredible month.”

APPLY

To apply for the 2016 program the applicant – who must be a high school graduate who completed year 12 in 2015 – should submit:

  • Short, descriptive bio
  • Full academic transcripts from Year 12
  • Letter describing why you would like to have this opportunity
  • Reference letter from a senior high school teacher

A short-list of applicants will be determined and interviews will be scheduled shortly thereafter.

Application deadline is Friday 8 April.

The scholarship covers the full program tuition and touring experience, on-campus housing, and full board.  It also includes most (but possibly not all) of the return travel costs between Israel and Australia.

Please email your application to hello@weizmann.org.au – good luck!

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