At a time when Israel's universities are immersed in a fierce battle with the Finance Ministry over their shrinking budgets, maybe this can cheer them up.
The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem topped the list compiled by The Scientist magazine as the best places to work for academics outside the United States.
Surveying 2,300 academics at 73 institutions around the world, the bimonthly publication awarded points based on over 40 criteria fields, including pay, the state of the campus facilities, resources at the disposal of researchers.
President of the Hebrew University, Professor Menachem Magidor, said he was very proud to see Israel topping the ranking chart. "The Hebrew University is a leading research institution in Israel and the world, and its researchers enjoy an atmosphere of creative thinking and academic excellence," he said.
The Weizmann Institute has employed 236 researchers over the past decade, who published 4,505 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Over that same period the Hebrew University has employed 513 life sciences researchers, who published 10,346 articles.
The top five international institutions were ranked as follows:
1. Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
2. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
3. University of Liverpool, UK
4. Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Australia
5. Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
The top five American institutions were ranked as follows:
1. J. David Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco
2. Princeton University, Princeton
3. Trudeau Institute, Saranac Lake
4. Michigan State University, East Lansing
5. University of Alabama, Birmingham