Dr. Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute

For Australian first year undergraduate students, a major Weizmann opportunity is the annual Dr. Bessie F. Lawrence International Summer Science Institute (ISSI) held each year in July at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

This incredible opportunity brings budding Australian scientists together with around 80 talented students from around the world to experience the challenges and rewards of scientific research, and learn more about the Weizmann Institute of Science and life in Israel today.

During the month-long program, students conduct and report on real scientific experiments, attend lectures from senior researchers on cutting edge research as well as explore Israel’s diverse ecosphere, its wildlife and amazing archaeology tours.

Projects are offered in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, mathematics and computer science as well as more specialised areas such as bioinformatics, neurobiology, artificial intelligence and many more. After the lab work is over, the students present their own work, in writing and orally.

In addition to the scientific and social life on campus, the students spend a week in the Judean and Negev Deserts, where expert guides introduce them to Israel’s unique ecosytem and wildlife and lead hikes and excursions through its millennia of history and archaeology.

In partnership with visionary philanthropists, Weizmann Australia sponsors students from around Australia for ISSI each year. The sponsorship includes full program fees, accommodation and board, as well as travel to and from Israel, all to a total of around $15,000.  Philanthropic partners include the Trawalla Foundation as well as private individuals.  Students who are selected are exceptional in their achievements and passion for science and have graduated from high school the previous year.

Due to the COVID pandemic ISSI was halted in 2020 and moved on-line for 2021 and 2022. ISSI returns in-person to the Weizmann campus in 2023 and we will be calling for applicants from late February 2023. So if you know of any highly, talented, science oriented students who would thrive on the academic, cultural and social stimulation that this course offers, please let them know about it.  See a video, past student testimonies and achievements below – keep scrolling!

For more information and to apply email [email protected]

Kupcinet-Getz International Summer School

Australian second and third year undergraduate students can apply for the Kupcinet-Getz International Science School (KGISS).  ISSI is considered a perfect stepping-stone to this course which lasts for about two months.

The Kupcinet-Getz International Science School is run by the Feinberg Graduate School, which is part of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Each summer the school accepts a select number of outstanding undergraduate students to participate in research projects in mathematics, physics, chemistry and the life sciences.

Like the ISSI, this is an enrichment program designed for undergraduate students from all over the world who are majoring in the sciences and is another great opportunity to experience science by becoming part of a research group at the Weizmann Institute.

Participation in the Kupcinet-Getz International Science School has had a significant impact on past participants of the program, reinforcing the students’ interest in conducting research in their future careers.

Students in this program will be associated with a laboratory or a theoretical research project under the supervision of an experienced scientist and, for a short period of time, will become a full-fledged member of the scientific team.

In 2010, the Feinberg Graduate School began to administrate the program, which was administrated earlier by the Academic Secretariat of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Since its inception, over 1,100 overseas students have attended this highly successful program.

For Weizmann Australia, one student, Matthew Goh, has attended both the ISSI and the KGISS, and has now gone on to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.  Read his story here.

For more information about this Summer School and to apply, visit the website here or email us at [email protected]

ISSI testimonies and stories

“Mornings spent running over from breakfast to the lab in the summer heat, a mandatory coffee and chats with the lab were a highlight, and so the memories built in that lab will stay with me for a long time…”

Nathan Teh (2022)

“Our time together over the four weeks we spent in Israel was taken up, not only by discussions about science and our projects, but about the nuances of each of our unique cultures, with many late-night philosophical and anthropological conversations about our futures, the pursuit of meaning and knowledge, and what living a fulfilling life meant to each of us.”

Finn Lip (2022)

Throughout the ISSI, I made countless new core memories that will continue to shape the person I am, and the person I aspire to be.”

Chi Chi Zhao (2022)

“I will always think of the Weizmann Institute as a home. It is a home where passion for science and learning transcends all boundaries, where even the world’s fiercest intellects will accept you as their equal, and will pass their knowledge on to you with genuine passion and enthusiasm. I am certain that in the future I will return to this home, and travel once again in Israel.  During my month-long stay I could only scratch the surface of a country that is geographically stunning, socially complex, and dripping in history. The ISSI has already changed the course of my life, and I wait with excitement to see how it will change me in the future. “

Julian van Gerwan (2019)

“I am so grateful to have been able to attend the 2015 Weizmann ISSI. 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.” 

Adele Jackson (2015)

Read the stories of previous summer school graduates:

2023 International Summer School students return inspired

Three lucky Australian high school graduates spent the month of July attending the Weizmann Institute of Science’s annual International Summer Science Institute (ISSI) in Israel. First year science students, Chi…

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