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  Description and Objectives > About the Institute

The Mortimer and Raymond Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies was established as an instrument for promoting academic excellence at Tel Aviv University by inviting and hosting eminent experts in different academic fields from outside the University. These visitors become Fellows of the Institute during their stay. In this way, the Institute strives to enhance the level significant research on an international plane, as well as enrich Tel Aviv University's ongoing research and general academic atmosphere, stimulating University faculty and students towards further achievement in important areas of study.

The IAS supports three types of associations with its visitors: Sackler Lecturers are invited for a period of 1-2 weeks and are expected to deliver a few lectures during their visit. Institute Fellows stay for about a semester although shorter visits (down to 1 month) are possible too. Delving exclusively into their own specialized sphere of research, Fellows are free of the regular responsibilities of visiting faculty members, including teaching, lecturing or administrative duties, although they are welcome to lecture in their field of expertise at their own initiative and under mutual agreement. Institute Members are long time Fellows who visit the University on a yearly basis during a (renewable) period of three years. Candidates in all categories are selected on the basis of prominence in innovative and crucial fields in scientific and academic development, with special priority given to those areas in which collaboration between an Institute member and an existing research group at the University will be most beneficial.

Structure and Activities
The Institute operates as a partly virtual unit: There is no Institute building and all activities are coordinated by a small administrative staff. While a Fellow is a guest of the Institute, the sponsoring academic unit is responsible for providing him with office and/or laboratory space, secretarial service and necessary facilities.

The Institute is governed by a Steering Committee composed of the President and Rector of the University (ex-officio), the Director of the institute (ex-officio) and four senior members of the faculty who are appointed by the President and the Rector.

The Steering Committee is responsible for selecting prospective Fellows from the candidates proposed by the Faculties. Each year about five or six Fellows are selected, representing virtually all the academic disciplines. Until 2003 about 120 visitors have stayed at the Institute. The Institute provides the fellowship as well as hotel or apartment accommodations, transportation cost (including spouses of Fellows that stay a whole semester).

Institute Fellows are free to do their own research at the university, to join others in joint work or participate in any way they see fit in the life of the university. Many have chosen to give a few lectures in their field of expertise. The lectures are frequently the highlight of the semester and attended by academics from all over Israel.