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Hebrew U to open joint PhD program, research partnership with Meta AI

Doctoral program to provide students with mentors from the Facebook parent company, access to facilities and computational infrastructure

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, California, October 28, 2021. (AP/Tony Avelar)
Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, California, October 28, 2021. (AP/Tony Avelar)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is set to open a joint PhD program with Meta AI as part of a larger research partnership with the social media giant, the university announced on Wednesday.

The joint program will enable doctoral students in the HUJI School of Engineering and Computer Science to receive scholarships and mentors from Meta, as well as access to the company’s facilities and computational infrastructure.

Meta AI is an artificial intelligence research laboratory that publishes academic research and is controlled by Meta, Inc., Facebook’s parent company.

The company’s Israel headquarters are based in Tel Aviv.

The Hebrew University-Meta partnership also extends to HUJI’s Yissum technology transfer company, the university said in a press release.

Research conducted by the two bodies will be published to enable advances in academia and technology.

University officials lauded the joint PhD program’s combination of theoretical and practical experience as well as the significance of the partnership with Israel’s second-oldest university.

“This one-of-a-kind collaboration will empower Hebrew U’s PhD students to both study at one of Israel’s leading universities and to test their ideas in Meta’s industry-leading AI laboratory,” said Sara Cohen, dean of Hebrew University’s department of computer science and engineering.

Yissum CEO Dr. Itzik Goldwasser said the decision by Meta to collaborate with the university “is proof of our institution’s scientific excellence and the commercial success that Yissum has achieved for its leading professors. The university’s curious and innovative researchers play a critical role in the marketplace, and we are proud to facilitate this collaboration with Meta to impact the scientific community.”

In May, the University of Washington launched a mentorship program with Meta AI for PhD students in its school of engineering and computer science.

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