Palestine Young Academy (PYA) and Palestine Academy for Science and Technology (PALAST) hosted their first virtual meeting with the Advisory Board Members of PYA on Wednesday 17 June 2020. The meeting was opened by Dr. Ayman Al Haj Daoud, the Director of Publication and R&D Affairs at PALAST, who welcomed the Advisory Board members. At the end of the meeting, PYA founders and the members of the Advisory Board announced the establishment of PYA.
The International Advisory Board includes
- Dr. Alanoud Al-Sharekh, the Director of Ibtkar Strategic Consultancy and an Associate Fellow at the Chatham House MENA Program as well as the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington;
- His Excellency Prof. Marwan Awartani, the Minister of the Palestinian Ministry of Education as well as the President of the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology;
- Prof. Imad Khatib, the President of Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU) in Palestine;
- Prof. David Mumford, Professor at Brown and Harvard Universities in the USA, and an Honorary Member at Palestine Academy for Science and Technology;
- Prof. Ghaleb Natour, the Director of the Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics – Engineering and Technology at the Research Center Jülich in Germany, Professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University as well as the co-founder/Scientific Director of the Palestinian-German Science Bridge (PGSB);
- Prof. Rifat Rustom, the President of the University College of Applied Sciences (UCAS) in Palestine;
- Prof. Edriss Titi, Professor of Nonlinear Mathematical Science at the University of Cambridge in United Kingdom;
- Prof. Ali Zeidan, the President of the Arab American University in Palestine.
It is worth mentioning that other invitations were sent to four Palestinian women to join the PYA Advisory Board.
Dr. Ayman Al Haj Daoud then summarized the history and various programs implemented by PALAST. He pointed out that this meeting comes as an important step for the initiative of cooperation with Palestine Young Academy. The Advisory Board of PYA will play a major role in the implementation of PYA vision, the accelerated growth of PYA, and its pursuit of leadership and innovation in scientific research.
At the end, Dr. Ayman stated that PYA will be strengthened through the Advisory Board experience and knowledge to achieve their visions and goals, and he stated that PALAST will provide the administrative and logistical support that would make PYA plans a success for all Palestinian young scientists at home and abroad.
Following that, a brief history about Young Academies was presented by Dr. Abdalhadi Alijla, who is one of the PYA founders. He expressed that young Academies typically work as the voice of young scientists for the advancement of issues important to young scientists. He also explained that National Young Academy (NYA) is an academic organization typically formed by young scientists and scholars, who are at the beginning of their independent careers, who have been selected for the excellence of their research impact and commitment to service. Up to 41 NYAs have been established nowadays and more than 10 similar bodies exist throughout the world.
Afterwards, Dr. Thabat Khatib, a co-founder of PYA, presented Palestine Young Academy (PYA) in a more detailed manner. According to Dr. Khatib, Palestine Young Academy was established in December 2019 as an independent initiative with the support of PALAST in order to stimulate ideas that connect Palestinian scientists and enhance the capabilities of the academic community and young academics in Palestine and abroad.
She stressed that the missions of PYA are providing a voice for young Palestinian researchers in Palestine and the diaspora and building a bridge between policymakers, academics and the rest of the Palestinians through initiating a policy-dialogue strategy. She also illustrated the objectives and visions of the academy as well as explained that the logo of PYA was inspired by the Palestine sunbird. Lastly, she emphasized on the hierarchy of PYA.
The role of Advisory Board Members was presented by Dr. Mohammed Adam, who is one of the PYA founders. He explained the roles and responsibilities of the Advisory Board. One of the major roles of the Advisory Board is to advise the Executive committee in planning and implementing their strategic plans.
Dr. Shadi Albarqouni, a co-founder of PYA, moderated the discussion with the Advisory Board regarding the business model and the call for applications for the PYA membership. He also talked about the benefits which PYA provides to its members.
Both of Dr. Hazem El-baz, a co-founder of PYA, and Dr. Thabat Khatib illustrated the eligibility criteria for PYA membership which lies under the following conditions:
- The candidate must be Palestinian or of a Palestinian origin and younger than 40 years;
- The candidate must have earned a PhD degree from a recognized university, in any field, at least 3 years ago;
- The candidate must be active in scientific research with long track-records of publications;
- The candidate must be committed to making a positive impact to the Palestinian scientific community;
- The candidate must have track-records in serving the community and running outreach activities.
At the end of the meeting, PYA founders and the Advisory Board members agreed on opening the first call for application for PYA membership on the 1st of July 2020.