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5 Steps to Winning a Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists

Published September 11, 2019

Nominations for the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards are being accepted from September 25 through November 13, 2019.

Scientists help us understand the world. Great scientists transform it.  We look to our great scientists to cure our diseases, save our planet, and discover the universe. In return, our great scientists deserve to be thanked, honored, and rewarded.

The Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists were created to do just that.  Established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and independently administered by The New York Academy of Sciences in the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom, the Blavatnik Awards encourage outstanding scientists early in their careers to pursue the kinds of transformational research our world needs.

The Blavatnik National Awards honor faculty-level scientists and engineers under the age of 42 from across the United States. This award recognizes scientists throughout the entire spectrum of scientific discovery, divided into three categories: Chemistry, Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences & Engineering. One Laureate from each category will be bestowed the largest unrestricted prize ever created for early-career scientists: $250,000; additional nominees will be recognized as Finalists.

With scientists coming from the entire breadth of scientific research, how does one compare a microbiologist to a neuroscientist or an electrical engineer to a geologist?  Irrespective of the scientific field, all scientists can be judged on the quality, novelty, and impact of their research as well as their potential for further revolutionary scientific contributions.

So, want to become a Blavatnik National Awards Laureate?  Or perhaps you know a talented young scientist?  Here’s a “how-to” on joining the prestigious community of Blavatnik Awards honorees.

STEP 1: Learn more about the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists

Go to the Blavatnik National Awards website to learn about the program.  You’ll find full details, eligibility requirements, and what’s expected of you if you win on our Guidelines page.

STEP 2: Determine if you’re eligible

Nominees for the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards must:

  • Have been born in or after 1978.
  • Hold a doctorate degree (PhD, DPhil, MD, DDS, DVM, etc.).
  • Currently hold a tenured or tenure-track academic faculty position (or equivalent) at an invited institution in the United States.
  • Currently conduct research as a principal investigator in one of the disciplinary categories in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, or Chemistry.

Full details, including information on age-limit exceptions, dual appointments, and returning nominees can be found on our Nomination Guidelines page.

The Blavatnik National Awards focus on the nominee’s independent career — their discoveries since the beginning of their first tenure-track faculty appointment.

STEP 3: Get yourself nominated

Nominees must be put forward by their universities and research institutions — you can’t directly nominate yourself or someone else.  To learn more about how the selection process works at your institution, contact your institution’s designated nominator, listed here, and inquire if you can be considered for nomination.

STEP 4: Prepare your nomination materials

Once selected for nomination by your institution, you should work with your institutional nominator to prepare your nomination materials. You’ll need to provide a Research Summary, an up-to-date CV, up to four of your best scientific publications, and the names of two people who can provide Letters of Support.  More information and instructions can be found on our Nomination Materials and Information page.

Once your application is finished, submit your completed nominations materials to your designated nominator at your institution by November 13, 2019.

STEP 5: Be patient as your nomination is evaluated

If the Blavatnik National Awards jury has selected you as a Finalist or as one of the three Blavatnik National Awards Laureates, you and your institution will be contacted by the Academy between the months of May and June 2020. You will also be invited to participate in the Blavatnik Science Symposium at the Academy, July 13 to 14, 2020 and honored at the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards Ceremony to be held in New York City on September 21, 2020.

2014 Blavatnik National Award Laureate Rachel Wilson receives her medal from Len Blavatnik

2014 Blavatnik National Award Laureate Rachel Wilson receives her medal from Len Blavatnik