IYAR, The Israel Institute for Advanced Research
IYAR aspires to become the first interdisciplinary academic establishment in Israel to engage in basic research that stresses originality and independent thought.
The Institute's name (read ee-yar) is that of the second month according to the ancient Hebrew Calendar, the month of light and spring. It also happens to be the month the State of Israel was established.
Research studies at the IYAR Institute will be selected purely on their scientific merit. The Institute will promote those studies seeking to re-examine mainstream paradigms and will uncompromisingly insist on high-level research and strict adherence to scientific methods.
The Institute was established by a group of well-known Israeli researchers and endorsed by celebrated Israeli scientists who are leaders in their fields. An international advisory committee of distinguished scientists will oversee the Institute.
The Institute’s academic staff will include Israeli scientists who have already made scientific breakthroughs in their fields of expertise. In addition, visiting scientists from academic institutions in Israel and abroad will spend a year or two at the Institute, with preference given to those engaged in multidisciplinary research. Graduate students will also play an active role in the Institute’s activities as part of their academic requirements.
The Institute will hold joint conferences with other Israeli institutions and will invite key scientists for short visits and participation in focused workshops.
Such a research institute is undoubtedly missing today from the Israeli academic scene, while similar establishments thrive worldwide, among them the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies, the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), and the Interdisciplinary Research Institute in Lille, France (IRI-CNRS). The current academic situation in Israel points to the urgent need for such an institute. Israeli universities today prefer short-term research projects with immediate rewards, while research at Israel’s colleges is minimal or nonexistent.
Due to financial considerations, the Institute will initially focus on theoretical research, adding relevant experimental studies at a later stage.
The Institute will begin operating as soon as all legal procedures have been completed. Initially it will operate as a virtual institute via a website detailing the researchers and their work. Institute members who are affiliated with other institutions will list the IYAR Institute as another affiliation.
The physical venue of the Institute will be based upon socioeconomic considerations. Areas that do not have many academic institutions will be given priority to ensure the Institute’s independence and to emphasize its commitment to Israel’s national needs.
In aspiring for complete academic freedom, the Institute’s founders clearly prefer private or public sources of funding rather than commercial bodies with their own interests in mind. Nevertheless, they recognize that industrial and public financial sources must also be considered. The Institute's regulations include mechanisms to safeguard academic freedom while attending to the Institute’s financial needs.
The Institute’s founders have begun recruiting the capital necessary to set the Institute’s scientific operations in motion.