Research & Teaching Excellence
Recruitment, Retention, and Centers
BGU was founded in 1969 with a mandate to bring development to Israel’s southern region. While this focus on the Negev continues to this day, BGU's reach now extends far beyond through research findings and applications with impact throughout Israel and around the world.
Over four decades of investment and commitment have created a thriving University consisting of dedicated faculty, students, researchers, and scientists joined together in the pursuit of excellence. BGU’s five academic Faculties form the framework from which all education and research emanate at BGU. Building on this structure are major University research institutes such as the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev (NIBN) and the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) and research centers such as the PREPARED Center for Emergency Response Research and the Homeland Security Institute. These research hubs draw upon researchers across the disciplines and bring together all relevant research on campus in a given area.
This collaborative approach broadens research possibilities, maximizes the use of resources and leads to expanded opportunities for academic and industrial cooperation and increased publications and competitive grants. With this winning combination of innovative research and spirit of collaboration, the centers and institutes also serve as magnets for the University to attract the best and the brightest to the University.
The recruitment and retention of top students, researchers, and faculty (the core resources of any research institution), is central to the University’s continued progress. To combat the “brain drain,” graduate student and post-doctoral fellow recruitment efforts stretch beyond Israel’s borders. Academic expatriates must be convinced that BGU can provide a research environment designed to help them pursue their research and excel in their chosen scientific fields. Fellowships and recruitment packages, matching or surpassing what other universities can offer, are BGU’s main tool in this area.
Your support of research and teaching excellence strengthens BGU’s recruitment and retention efforts.
Scholarships & Fellowships
Nearly 20,000 students are enrolled in academic programs at BGU’s campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer, and Eilat. In annual surveys conducted by the Israeli Council for Higher Education and, most recently, by the National Union of Israeli Students, BGU continues to be the number one choice of Israeli undergraduate students. This success is a result of the University’s commitment to academic excellence, meaningful interaction with faculty, and a dynamic campus life - Beer-Sheva is, after all, Israel’s one and only college town.
David Ben-Gurion’s vision continues today at BGU, a thriving academic community of students, faculty, staff, and researchers who share Ben-Gurion’s drive to develop the Negev and make the desert bloom for the benefit of all of Israel. Students both recognize and value BGU’s pioneering spirit as the University attracts those students who want more than the standard experience of classroom and laboratory and strive to have a positive impact on the world around them. Our students invest themselves in their studies and in the community by participating in programs such as the Perach Big Brother/Big Sister program which pairs BGU students with local children and provides them with companionship, friendship, and tutoring.
BGU students come from every sector of Israeli society, and the University provides undergraduates with need-based scholarships, often provided to new immigrants and residents of Israel’s disadvantaged peripheral areas. Many of these students are the first in their families to attend university. Undergraduate scholarships make the dream of higher education a reality for those who might otherwise be deprived of this life-changing opportunity.
Scholarship recipients at BGU have community service responsibilities, and this contributes to a unique dynamic - as BGU students serve the community, they become a part of the broader Beer-Sheva community, serving as role models with broadened horizons, knowledge, and skills that only higher education can provide. Students serve in this capacity and give of themselves as they live in Beer-Sheva’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods in apartments provided by the Lillian and Larry Goodman Open Apartments Program (web page is in Hebrew).
BGU’s diverse research activities are fueled by the University’s cadre of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows participate in every stage of research, and they can be found in every University department, center, institute, laboratory, and classroom. Their dedication and energy is evident in the new ideas they bring to their work, the skills they bring to the table, and their drive to learn and to teach. These junior faculty members, as they are known, are indispensable members of our academic community.
Fellowships support graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, the core resource of any research institution. The pool of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows is limited, and BGU faces intense competition with other academic institutions for the best and the brightest. Merit-based fellowships are a crucial tool in attracting top graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to BGU.
In addition, like other Israeli universities, BGU faces the “brain drain.” To combat this challenge, graduate student and post-doctoral fellow recruitment efforts stretch beyond Israel’s borders. Academic expatriates must be convinced that BGU can provide a research environment designed to help them pursue their research and excel in their chosen scientific fields. BGU makes every effort to provide recruitment packages (primarily composed of fellowships) that match or surpass what other universities can offer.
Your support opens the doors of BGU to students in Israel and throughout the world.
Physical Infrastructure and Campus Beautification
BGU is Israel’s youngest university, yet it is now Israel’s fastest growing and most dynamic institution of higher learning. From 15,000 students just 10 years ago, BGU has grown to close to 20,000 students, more than 800 faculty members, and 1,000 Ph.D. students at its five Negev campuses in Beer-Sheva, Eilat, and Sede Boqer. With this growth in numbers BGU faces the challenge of commensurate campus development. The need is great for more classrooms, dormitories, laboratories, offices, and facilities to serve students in all aspects of student life – social, sports, study, etc. Additionally, the University must maintain and replace aging facilities and provide sophisticated laboratories and equipment in order to compete globally for the recruitment and retention of top new faculty and serve our current faculty and students.
For example, the need for subsidized dormitory housing far exceeds the University’s supply of student housing. This is particularly acute at the Sede Boqer campus. Today, outstanding candidates are turned away from the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies in Sede Boqer for a single reason - there is no more room to house them!
The Marcus Family Campus, BGU’s main campus, in Beer-Sheva has experienced massive growth since the University’s founding. A glance at the campus map provides a broad overview of the University’s scope and reach. It takes just a short walk on our campuses to get a sense of the pace and energy of our students and faculty and a taste of the excitement engendered by our new building construction.
Hand in hand with the ongoing development of the Marcus Family Campus, BGU is focusing on the Northern Campus Expansion Project. This ambitious undertaking will transform 57 acres of Negev soil adjacent to the Marcus Family Campus into fertile ground for academic scholarship, innovative research, and an engaging campus experience.
A major step in this direction recently took place as BGU and the Israel Lands Administration signed an agreement to build an 1,000 bed dormitory on BGU's new Northern Campus. The Northern Campus will double the University's area! click here for more information
Your support ensures the development and beautification of BGU’s five campuses and enables BGU to meet the current and future needs of our faculty and students and to serve the Negev community of which BGU is a part.
Community Healthcare, Diabetes/Nutrition and Brain Research
BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences (FOHS) was founded in 1974 under adverse socio-economic and psychological conditions in response to an urgent need to address the special healthcare challenges of the Negev. Its original mission to train humane, holistic, ethical, and skilled physicians and personnel oriented toward primary care and community service continues to guide the Faculty to this day. It can be stated with pride that the FOHS is a leader in the health sciences with deep roots in the Negev community and global impact.
The Faculty is made up of a series of inter-connected research, teaching, and healthcare institutions which together have redefined compassionate healthcare in Israel and throughout the world. While the FOHS is the central address at the University for study in the health sciences, these topics are embedded in each of the University’s academic faculties, enabling the issues surrounding the science and technology of diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease and traumatic injury, relieving pain, and preserving and improving human health to be addressed from many directions.
The research of Dr. Alberto Bilenca of the Department of Biomedical Engineering (web page is in Hebrew) and the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology is particularly innovative and uses one of the most widespread devices in the world – the cell phone – to diagnose one of the world’s deadliest diseases – malaria. Dr. Bilenca’s project relies upon the principles of polarization and speckle optics and cellphone technology to create a low-cost, easy to operate, portable probe that can quickly and accurately diagnose malaria.
Health issues are also addressed at the Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) where the desert environment provides fertile ground for the investigation of biologically active compounds from desert plants and plant proteins biotechnology. BIDR Professor Avi Golan is part of a team that recently studied the suppression of the hepatitis C virus by quercetin (a plant-derived flavonoid found in fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains). Their results point to the potential of this organic compound as a natural nontoxic anti‐Hepatitis C virus agent reducing viral production.
On another front, researchers at BIDR’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research study high-tech desalination in order to develop this technology for providing water for drinking, agriculture and industry. BGU scientists are striving to make this process as safe, efficient, and cost-effective as possible. The Department of Desalination and Water Treatment conducts cutting-edge research in the field of “biological fouling,” one of the major problems in desalination and water purification. Progess in this area will contribute to an improved and increased water supply and advance sanitation, health, and quality of life.
Dynamic researchers both contribute to the basic sciences and impact emerging and strategic fields of research and development such as brain research and regenerative medicine. The comparative advantage held by the University in this area is the result of innovative, collaborative research led by principal investigators such as Professor Smadar Cohen. Professor Cohen is known worldwide for her pioneering research in regenerative medicine, protein delivery, and tissue engineering with applications in the areas of vaccine delivery systems and organ transplant.
Brain research at BGU also benefits from a multidisciplinary approach, as researchers combine cutting edge methods from the fields of brain imaging, neuroimmunology, and electrophysiology to study the mechanisms by which the brain resident and peripheral immune systems interact and affect the outcome of brain insult. Recent discoveries indicate the importance of interaction between the brain and immune functions in the outcome of stroke patients and offer new targets for treatment. BGU researchers have proposed a broad-based research program to investigate Immune-Brain Interactions Underlying the Pathology and Therapy of Cerebrovascular Injury (CVI).
You partner with BGU and its top researchers to make significant inroads in healthcare and medicine with your support of health and well-being research and programming.
Nanotechnology, Robotics, Cybertechnology, Homeland Security, and Biotechnology
Outstanding faculty, dedicated students, and advanced research are found in all of the Faculties at BGU, but throughout the years the sciences have received special attention. A fast fact about BGU’s Faculties of Health Sciences, Engineering Sciences, and Natural Sciences clearly demonstrates the academic and research success that is a result of this investment - more than 90 percent of all research grants provided to BGU have been won by these science faculties!
In addition, in recent years the University has invested heavily in emerging fields, among them biotechnology and nanotechnology, and formed academic-industry partnerships such as the Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) adjacent to BGU's Marcus Family Campus. The proximity with the ATP will enable high-tech tenants to develop strong R&D relationships with the University’s research centers. As a partner in this project the University will both contribute to, and benefit from, the synergy, collaboration, and innovation that will thrive in this environment. The ATP is attracting international companies, such as EMC2 and Deutsche Telecom, and BGU graduates are already staffing their research labs!
Through your support of the fields of science and technology you partner with BGU in these exciting initiatives.
Solar, Water, and Renewable Energy
Our rapidly changing world demands progress in the emerging fields of sustainability - solar, water, and renewable energy. With a proud history of commitment to sustainability and proven track record in sustainable dryland development, BGU is uniquely positioned to lead the way.
Since its establishment in 1974, BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) has brought together the study of water, agriculture, environment, and energy and a drive to foster sustainable dryland development. Today, BIDR’s desert research reaches beyond its local-based desert boundaries in Sede Boqer, with economic and environmental applications throughout the world.
BGU’s ongoing leadership in the field is demonstrated at BIDR’s annual international conference on drylands, desert, and desertification. This major event has emerged as an important global gathering of scientists, field workers, industry, government, and others concerned about land degradation in the drylands and their sustainable use and development.
In addition, the University recently established the “BGU Energy Initiative.” This broad-based, long-term enterprise links the efforts of 50 BGU researchers in the areas of: alternative fuels, solar energy, fuel cells, energy economics, and improved energy efficiency in order to achieve and maintain critical mass in this field of strategic global importance.
BGU is poised to continue to break new ground and shepherd in a new era of sustainability. Increased investment will create new opportunities in sustainability and meet society’s pressing need for sustainable development.
With your support BGU will advance sustainability in Israel and around the world.
Humanities, Social Sciences, and Management
BGU’s commitment to academic excellence is reflected in the strength of its five academic Faculties including the Pinchas Sapir Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business Management (GGFBM). The Sapir Faculty encompasses a wide range of Departments in the humanities and social sciences. With this depth comes the potential to impact all realms of Israeli society as BGU’s graduates fill the ranks of the country’s workplaces. The mission of the GGFBM is to shape and inspire the Israeli business leadership of the 21st Century, and its programs are designed to prepare students to manage the changing needs of the constantly evolving business world.
Formidable in their own right, the Departments within these Faculties also enrich and complement the hard sciences at BGU and enable the University to provide the truly collaborative and interdisciplinary approach BGU is known for. For example, at BGU researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Department of Geography and Environmental Development are involved in the interdisciplinary field of robotics. Endowing robots with the ability to "see," not only benefits from, but demands, the collaborative interdisciplinary efforts of scientists from across the spectrum, and researchers from the fields of psychology and geography are contributing their expertise to better understand visualization.
One of BGU’s strengths is the diversity of its community of students. Students come from Israel’s cities, development towns, kibbutzim, moshavim, and Bedouin villages. In addition, the breadth of BGU’s five academic Faculties, particularly the Pinchas Sapir Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business Management, contributes to the diversity of BGU’s students as a wide range of students are attracted to the University. This mingling of backgrounds, cultures, and approaches bring new avenues of research, discussion, and ideas.
Your support strengthens the broad range of education opportunities available at BGU as well as the diverse cultures that take part in these opportunities.