Today just 40 years after its establishment Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is a major centre for teaching and research with over 20,000 students in several Faculties.
It has been said that Israel's greatest natural resource is its brainpower. BGU is home to many of the best and brightest scholars and researchers including poets, pundits, economists, environmentalists, anthropologists, and archaeologists, as well as physicists, virologists, engineers, chemists, and mathematicians.
The University's success in attracting top scholars — new immigrants, as well as Israelis returning from their post-doctorate studies abroad or from other Israeli universities —is a testament to its growing worldwide reputation and its commitment to regional development.
BGU's outstanding and diverse faculty members and researchers are internationally recognised for their work in cutting-edge fields, including solar energy, nanotechnology, biotechnology, water management, desertification, medicine and information technologies.
Several BGU curricula and interdisciplinary programmes have been emulated around the world, and BGU and its faculty continue to receive numerous prestigious, competitive educational and research grants.
Dr. Eugene Shwageraus of the Department of Nuclear Engineering was recently awarded one of the first ever US-Israel Energy Independence Partnership Grant by the United States – Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) together with his research partner Dr. Michael Todosow of Brookhaven National Laboratory. Together they are working on the development of a self-sustainable, fuel cycle for light water reactors.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Investigational New Drug (IND) regulatory clearance to initiate a Phase I/II clinical trial evaluating Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) in type 1 diabetics, based on research by Dr. Eli Lewis, the director of Israel’s only Clinical Islet Laboratory and a senior lecturer in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry.
Dr. Sharon Pardo, Director of BGU Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society (CSEPS) and a member of the Department of Politics and Government, has been awarded a Jean Monnet Chair for the years 2010-2013, making BGU only the second university in Israel to have ever been awarded such a distinction from the European Union.
Dr. Michael Feige of the Ben-Gurion Research Institute for the Study of Israel and Zionism was recently awarded the Annual Shapiro Award for best book in Israeli Studies 2009, from the association of Israel Studies for his book Settling in the Hearts: Jewish Fundamentalism in the Occupied Territories, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2009.
Former education and culture minister Aharon Yadlin, who has been intimately involved in the development of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev since its founding 40 years ago, was awarded the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement and Exceptional Contribution to Society and the State on Independence Day 2010.
Dr. Taleb Mokari, a senior lecturer at BGU's Department of Chemistry and a member of the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, has been awarded a prestigious Krill Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research 2011. Dr. Mokari received the Prize for his work on developing novel nanostructures for renewable energy applications. Read more about Dr. Mokari's work here.
Dr. Sarab Abu Rabia of the Department of Man in the Desert at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research on the Sede Boqer campus has been awarded a grant from the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology for her research study "Avenues of Economic Participation for Rural Bedouin Women". The grant totals almost NIS 400,000 and is for a period of three years.