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Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

Ellis Rubinstein, President Emeritus of the New York Academy of Sciences with 2019 Blavatnik National Awards Laureates (L to R) Ana Maria Rey, PhD; Heather J. Lynch, PhD; Emily Balskus, PhD.

Ellis Rubinstein, President Emeritus of the New York Academy of Sciences with 2019 Blavatnik National Awards Laureates (L to R) Ana Maria Rey, PhD; Heather J. Lynch, PhD; Emily Balskus, PhD.

Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman, Access Industries and Blavatnik Family Foundation looks on during an Awards Ceremony.

Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman, Access Industries and Blavatnik Family Foundation looks on during an Awards Ceremony.

Driving the Next Generation of Scientific Innovation

Considered the largest unrestricted prize ever created for early-career scientists, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists were established in 2007 by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and are independently administered by the New York Academy of Sciences. The Blavatnik Awards seek to identify and honor exceptional young scientists and engineers 42 years of age and younger. Honorees are selected based on the quality, novelty, and impact of their research and their potential for further significant contributions to science. Blavatnik Awards honorees are recognized in three disciplinary categories:

Chemistry

Physical Sciences & Engineering

Life Sciences

Unlike lifetime achievement awards that honor scientists at a later stage in their career, the Blavatnik Awards aim to identify and encourage promising young scientists early on, when they are most in need of funding and recognition.

President of Stanford University, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD, with the Laureates of the 2018 Blavatnik National Awards (L to R) Janelle Ayres, PhD; Sergei V. Kalinin, PhD; Neal Devaraj, PhD.

President of Stanford University, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, PhD, with the Laureates of the 2018 Blavatnik National Awards (L to R) Janelle Ayres, PhD; Sergei V. Kalinin, PhD; Neal Devaraj, PhD.

The Academy administers the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists as four separate Awards programs:

Founded and Supported by


The New York Academy of Sciences administers the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists as four separate Awards programs, recognizing scientists in Chemistry, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Life Sciences with unrestricted prizes.


2018 Blavatnik Regional Awards Winner, Lingyan Shi, PhD, receives her medal from Blavatnik Family Foundation representative, Peter Thorén, at the New York Academy of Sciences Gala.

2018 Blavatnik Regional Awards Winner, Lingyan Shi, PhD, receives her medal from Blavatnik Family Foundation representative, Peter Thorén, at the New York Academy of Sciences Gala.

Blavatnik Regional Awards

  • Postdoctoral scientists and engineers working in the New York metropolitan area
  • Nominations accepted from over 70 invited research institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
  • Institutions are invited to submit up to 15 nominations across all three disciplinary categories
  • One Winner in each category awarded US$30,000; two Finalists in each category receive US$10,000

Blavatnik National Awards

  • Faculty-rank scientists and engineers working in the US
  • Nominations accepted from over 300 invited research institutions, members of the Awards' US Scientific Advisory Council, and past Blavatnik National Award Laureates
  • Institutions are invited to submit up to one nominee in each disciplinary category
  • One Laureate in each category awarded US$250,000; additional nominees recognized as Finalists

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

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

2019 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureate, Kostas Nikolopoulos, PhD, presents his research at the Awards Ceremony at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

2019 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureate, Kostas Nikolopoulos, PhD, presents his research at the Awards Ceremony at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Blavatnik Awards in the United Kingdom

  • Faculty-rank scientists and engineers working in the UK
  • Nominations accepted from 135 eligible research institutions throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, members of the Awards' UK Scientific Advisory Council, and past Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureates
  • Institutions are invited to submit up to one nominee in each category
  • One Laureate in each category awarded US$100,000; two Finalists in each category receive US$30,000

Blavatnik Awards in Israel


The Blavatnik Awards in Israel are administered in Israel in collaboration with the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Nili Cohen, gives opening remarks at the 2019 Blavatnik Awards in Israel awards ceremony.

President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Nili Cohen, gives opening remarks at the 2019 Blavatnik Awards in Israel awards ceremony.

Blavatnik Awards honorees from 2009 (standing, L to R) Paul Chirik, PhD; Eva Pastalkova, PhD; Alexander Pechen, PhD; Carmala Garzione, PhD; Ofer Feinerman, PhD; Denis Zorin, PhD; Rebecca Oppenheimer, PhD; Daniel Sigman, PhD; Lam Hui, PhD (seated, L to R) Prof. John E. Sexton (Chair Emeritus, New York Academy of Sciences Board of Governors), Prof. Martin Chalfie (Nobel Laureate), Len Blavatnik, and Indra Nooyi (former Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo)

Blavatnik Awards honorees from 2009 (standing, L to R) Paul Chirik, PhD; Eva Pastalkova, PhD; Alexander Pechen, PhD; Carmala Garzione, PhD; Ofer Feinerman, PhD; Denis Zorin, PhD; Rebecca Oppenheimer, PhD; Daniel Sigman, PhD; Lam Hui, PhD (seated, L to R) Prof. John E. Sexton (Chair Emeritus, New York Academy of Sciences Board of Governors), Prof. Martin Chalfie (Nobel Laureate), Len Blavatnik, and Indra Nooyi (former Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo)

Inaugural Blavatnik National Awards Laureates, (L to R) Marin Soljačić, PhD; Rachel Wilson, PhD; Adam Cohen, PhD

Inaugural Blavatnik National Awards Laureates, (L to R) Marin Soljačić, PhD; Rachel Wilson, PhD; Adam Cohen, PhD

Laureates and Finalists of the 2019 Blavatnik Awards in the UK were celebrated at an Awards Ceremony at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Laureates and Finalists of the 2019 Blavatnik Awards in the UK were celebrated at an Awards Ceremony at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

The Blavatnik Awards were created in 2007 to acknowledge and celebrate the excellence of outstanding postdoctoral and faculty-rank scientists and engineers working in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In 2012, the Blavatnik Family Foundation announced the doubling of the prize money for Winners and Finalists starting in 2013 and, in 2014, the Foundation established the Blavatnik National Awards as a country-wide competition to identify America’s most brilliant young faculty-rank scientists. It was during this pivotal year that the first Blavatnik National Awards Laureates in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry were recognized, each receiving US$250,000—the largest unrestricted prize ever created for early-career scientists. In 2017, the Foundation expanded the Blavatnik Awards overseas to identify and honor young, innovative scientists working in the United Kingdom and in Israel.


View the complete list of Blavatnik Awards Honorees (2007-2020) here.


Click here to learn more about the four Blavatnik Awards programs.

Honorees of the Blavatnik Awards have gone on to receive honors such as the Breakthrough Prize and a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They have been named Investigators of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), elected to the National Academy of Sciences, shortlisted for TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, and launched companies that are now publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

Since 2014, the Academy has hosted the annual Blavatnik Science Symposium, to highlight the Blavatnik Awards' diverse scientific community, promote research, and cultivate collaborations between these young champions of science. This invite-only symposium features panel discussions, keynote speakers, and research updates from Blavatnik Awards honorees, and exposes the Scholars to cutting-edge science spanning a variety of fields.  Blavatnik Fellows participating in entrepreneurship programs at some of America’s top universities are also invited to attend the two-day event.

In 2019, the Blavatnik Family Foundation initiated an annual public symposium in London, England, featuring honorees of the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom.


Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Blavatnik Scholars and their award-winning research.


The 2020 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Life Sciences Honorees speaking at the 2020 Game Changers Symposium in London with the BBC’s Victoria Gill.

The 2020 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Life Sciences Honorees speaking at the 2020 Game Changers Symposium in London with the BBC’s Victoria Gill.

2018 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureate, Madan Babu, PhD, moderates a panel discussion at the inaugural Blavatnik Awards UK Symposium for the general public, held at the Science Museum in London.

2018 Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureate, Madan Babu, PhD, moderates a panel discussion at the inaugural Blavatnik Awards UK Symposium for the general public, held at the Science Museum in London.

2019 Blavatnik Awards in Israel Laureates (L to R) Moran Bercovici, PhD; Michal Rivlin, PhD; Erez Berg, PhD

2019 Blavatnik Awards in Israel Laureates (L to R) Moran Bercovici, PhD; Michal Rivlin, PhD; Erez Berg, PhD

Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and Blavatnik Family Foundation at the 2019 Blavatnik Awards in the UK ceremony.

Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman of Access Industries and Blavatnik Family Foundation at the 2019 Blavatnik Awards in the UK ceremony.

Brooke Grindlinger, PhD, of the Academy, Peter Thorén of the Blavatnik Family Foundation with the 2018 Blavatnik Regional Awards Winners.

Brooke Grindlinger, PhD, of the Academy, Peter Thorén of the Blavatnik Family Foundation with the 2018 Blavatnik Regional Awards Winners.

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 $800 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.​

See more at www.blavatnikfoundation.org.