Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

2014 Blavatnik National Award Laureates at the National Awards Ceremony. Left to right: Marin Soljačić, Rachel Wilson, Adam Cohen.

2014 Blavatnik National Award Laureates at the National Awards Ceremony. Left to right: Marin Soljačić, Rachel Wilson, Adam Cohen.

Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation

"Our goal is to recognize exceptional young scientists, and to showcase their work as examples of what the next generation of young scientists should strive to achieve. The Blavatnik Family Foundation provides critical support to fuel the kind of innovative science and technology research that addresses society's most pressing global problems."
- Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists celebrate the achievements of extraordinary young scientists and engineers and accelerate innovation through unrestricted funding.

The Blavatnik National Awards celebrate America’s most innovative and promising faculty-rank scientists and engineers in Chemistry, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Life Sciences. Nominations are accepted from U.S.-based research institutions and the Blavatnik Awards Scientific Advisory Council. Every year, one nominee in each category is named a Blavatnik National Laureate and awarded $250,000 in unrestricted funds Learn more about the national program.

The Blavatnik Regional Awards honor outstanding postdoctoral scientists working in the fields of Chemistry, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Life Sciences in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Winners and finalists are selected by a group of senior scientists and engineers from institutions primarily in the Northeast. Winners are awarded $30,000 each, and finalists receive $10,000 each in unrestricted funds. Learn more about the regional program.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom celebrate the past accomplishments and future potential of young, faculty-rank scientists and engineers from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England. Nominations are accepted from all U.K.-based research institutions with eligible nominees and the Blavatnik Awards UK Scientific Advisory Council. Every year, one nominee in each of the three disciplinary categories of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry is named a Blavatnik Laureate and awarded $100,000 in unrestricted funds. Two finalists per category are awarded $30,000 each in unrestricted funds. Learn more about the United Kingdom program.

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel support Israel's young faculty-rank scientists and engineers early in their independent research careers. Nominations are accepted from Israel-based research institutions and the Blavatnik Awards Israel Scientific Advisory Council. The New York Academy of Sciences collaborates with the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in administering the Awards. Every year, one nominee in each of the three disciplinary categories of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry is named a Blavatnik Laureate and awarded $100,000 in unrestricted funds. Learn more about the Israel program.

Contact

Ashley Connelly

Program Coordinator

212.298.8624

About The Blavatnik Family Foundation

The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of leading educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable institutions in the United States, Europe, and throughout the world. The Foundation is headed by Len Blavatnik, an American industrialist and philanthropist. Mr. Blavatnik is the founder and Chairman of Access Industries, a privately-held U.S. industrial group with global interests in natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, emerging technologies, life sciences, and real estate. For more detailed information, please visit: www.accessindustries.com.

Recent News

IBT logo

 "The Blavatnik Awards are launching in the UK and Israel, to recognise young scientists in those countries for their significant contributions to their discipline, and to support their continued upward trajectory scouting the frontiers of science and technology." read more

 

World University Rankings logo

"The award given at the early stage of a scientific career not only recognizes past accomplishments, but also the future promise. This provides a powerful motivation to deliver on that promise." read more

 

 "I have no doubt that the young scientists and engineers of Israel, a country that exemplifies innovation and excellence, will make a significant impact on our future." read more

 

The New York Times logo

"There are a lot of rewards for established scientists, but I don't think young scientists get enough encouragement and support in a systematic way." read more

 

Forbes logo

"Len Blavatnik is putting his money where his mouth is, pledging $30 million to support young scientists and keep innovation in the U.S." read more

 

Nature logo

"One of the first winners of the regional Blavatnik Awards, Ruslan Medzhitov, an immunobiologist at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, says that the honor enabled him to attract funding and more prizes." read more

 

Chronicle of Higher Education logo

"Mr. Blavatnik, who founded Access Industries, an international industrial group, said he had long dreamed of creating something like a Nobel Prize for young scientists." read more

2016 Blavatnik National Awards Ceremony

2016 Blavatnik National Awards Ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History

2010 Blavatnik Regional Award Winner Daniela Schiller and keynote speaker Stuart Firestein

2010 Blavatnik Regional Award Winner Daniela Schiller and keynote speaker Stuart Firestein at the 2016 Blavatnik Science Symposium

The Blavatnik Family Foundation, with the guidance of the New York Academy of Sciences, founded the Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists in 2007 to celebrate the innovative achievements of young postdoctoral and faculty scientists who work in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. 

Unlike awards that honor scientists late in their careers, the Blavatnik Awards aim to identify and encourage promising young scientists early on, when they are most in need of funding and recognition. The intense competition for funding presents a growing challenge for scientific researchers—those who receive financial support are in a better position to bolster their early research efforts and are more likely to identify solutions to the most complex scientific questions and to some of society’s most pressing problems. 

In 2013, building on the tremendous success of the Blavatnik Regional Awards, the Blavatnik Family Foundation announced its intention to launch the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, in which faculty members under the age of 42 from across the United States are nominated in three categories: Chemistry, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Life Sciences. Eligible institutions are invited to submit one nomination in each subject category. In each category, ten finalists are identified, with one becoming Laureate for that category and winning US$250,000 in unrestricted funds. The Blavatnik National Awards Laureates and finalists are honored at an awards ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City each September. 

The Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists also continue to identify outstanding post-doctoral researchers in the tri-state area, recognizing two finalists and one winner in Chemistry, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Life Sciences every year. Blavatnik Regional Awards winners and finalists are honored at the New York Academy of Sciences Annual Gala in November. 

Over the course of a decade of Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, there have already been more than 2000 nominations from over 200 institutions, with Awards totaling more than US$4,000,000 provided to 125 recipients of the Blavatnik National and Regional Awards. 

Past winners and finalists of the Blavatnik Awards have gone on to achieve significant career success. Today, most postdoctoral honorees are tenured or tenure-track faculty members, some faculty honorees have become department chairs or deans, and some have gone on to become investigators for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Awards and honors garnered by the Blavatnik Awards alumni include the Gates Grand Challenge Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, MacArthur Fellowship, IEEE Computer Science Technical Achievement Award, Vilcek Award, Shaw Prize, and NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. 

In 2017, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom and the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel were launched, with both competitions also identifying outstanding faculty members aged 42 and under across Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry in their respective countries. The 2018 Blavatnik Awards will recognize one Laureate and two Finalists in each subject in the UK and one Laureate in each subject in Israel. 

The Blavatnik Science Scholars community, made up of past honorees, now consists of almost 200 brilliant researchers and encompasses a unique combination of scientists and engineers with a wide range of research interests.  In 2014, the Blavatnik Science Symposium, now held annually in New York, was established to highlight this community and promote the research of these young champions of science.  The symposium features panel discussions, keynote speakers, and research updates from community members, and exposes the scholars to cutting-edge science spanning a variety of fields. Relationships established through this platform have led to fruitful collaborations.