Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists
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 New York region. 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.
Amanda Sadacca, PhD
About The Blavatnik Family Foundation
The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of many leading educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, and throughout the world. A 501(c)(3) private foundation that is exclusively self-funded, over the past decade it has contributed more than $700 million to more than 250 charitable institutions worldwide. Donations are highly concentrated to drive meaningful impact and to promote innovation in science, engineering, and technology that will benefit the whole of society. The Foundation focuses on select institutions leading the way in early-stage discovery vital to scientific and health-related breakthroughs. The Foundation is headed by Len Blavatnik, a global industrialist and philanthropist who received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1989. Blavatnik is founder and chairman of Access Industries, a privately-held industrial group based in the US with global strategic interests in natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, real estate, venture capital/technology, entertainment, biotechnology, and other select funds.
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.
By the close of 2020, the Blavatnik Awards will have conferred prizes totaling over $10.2 million to over 320 outstanding young scientists and engineers working in 36 scientific and engineering disciplines.
Past honorees 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. Each year, the Blavatnik Awards in the UK recognize one Laureate and two Finalists in each category, and the Blavatnik Awards in Israel recognize one Laureate in each category.
The Blavatnik Science Scholars community, made up of past honorees, 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.