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The Blavatnik Regional Awards are in Search of Brilliant Postdoctoral Scientists and Engineers

Published December 01, 2021

The Blavatnik Regional Awards are in Search of Brilliant Postdoctoral Scientists and Engineers

The nominations window for the 2022 Blavatnik Regional Awards has been extended to February 2, 2022

Science continues to expand the world around us. Science gives us virtual communities and connections we never imagined, it enhances our ability to protect ourselves from disease, and has transformed our understanding of the stars in the sky and the very essence of what matter is made of. Many of these remarkable discoveries originate from the brilliant minds of young, talented postdoctoral scientists. Postdocs “are the fuel running the engines of scientific research” said Nicholas B. Dirks, New York Academy of Sciences, President and CEO, and in return, postdocs deserve to be thanked, honored, and recognized for their unique contributions to science and engineering.

The Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists were established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and are independently administered by the New York Academy of Sciences. The prize seeks to recognize the outstanding contributions of postdoctoral scientists very early in their careers, giving them the encouragement and support to pursue the kinds of transformational research the world needs.

The Blavatnik Regional Awards recognize scientists throughout the entire spectrum of scientific discovery, with three separate Award competitions in Chemistry, Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences & Engineering. One Winner from each category will be bestowed a $30,000 unrestricted prize, and two Finalists are each awarded $10,000. Postdoctoral-level scientists and engineers under the age of 42, from across the tri-State region (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York), may apply.

So, do you want to become a Blavatnik Regional Awards honoree? Or perhaps you know a talented young scientist worthy of nomination? Here’s a “how-to” on becoming a distinguished new member of the prestigious Blavatnik Scholars community.


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

Go to the Blavatnik Regional 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: Ask, am I eligible?

Nominees for the 2022 Blavatnik Regional Awards must:

  • Have been born in or after 1980.
  • Hold a doctorate degree (PhD, DPhil, MD, DDS, DVM, etc.)
  • Currently hold a postdoctoral position at an invited institution in Connecticut, New Jersey, or New York.
  • Currently conduct research in one of the disciplinary categories in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, or Chemistry.

Full details, including information on age-limit exceptions can be found on our nomination guidelines page, here.

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.

A more diverse scientific workforce will accelerate discovery and innovation, and the Blavatnik Awards are committed to honoring the most talented young scientists—regardless of race, ethnicity, disability status, gender, or field of study. We strongly encourage women and members of other groups historically underrepresented in science and engineering to pursue 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 most impactful 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.

The Blavatnik Regional Awards focus on the nominee’s postdoctoral work, so be sure your application materials focus on your accomplishments during this stage of your career. A nominee’s “postdoctoral work” encompasses research or work performed after the awarding of a doctoral degree and prior to the start of an independent position as a Principal Investigator.

Keep in mind that nominees are judged on the quality, impact, novelty, and promise of their work and their career thus far. As you construct your nomination materials, be sure to convey how you excel in these specific areas. Follow all instructions closely to be sure you put your best foot forward.

Once your application is finished, submit your completed nominations materials to your designated nominator at your institution, in time for them to submit them to us by February 2, 2022.

STEP 5: WIN!

If the Blavatnik Regional Awards jury has selected you as a Winner or Finalist, you and your institution will be contacted by the Academy between the months of June and July, 2022. You will also be invited to participate in the Blavatnik Science Symposium at the Academy, in July 2023, and will be honored at the 2022 New York Academy of Sciences Gala to be held in New York City in November 2022.


Meet last year’s 2021 Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists Winners and Finalists:

Chemistry: Daniel B. Straus Winner, Erik Henning Thiede Finalist, Xiaoming Zhao Finalist

Life Sciences:  Direna Alonso Curbelo Winner, Wenyan Jiang Finalist, Luka Mesin Finalist

Physical Sciences & Engineering: Chenhao Jin Winner, Irina Petrushina Finalist, Maxim Shcherbakov Finalist.