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Overview

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.

Focus on Promising Young Scientists

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.

Founded and Supported by:

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

Three Disciplinary Categories

Blavatnik Awards honorees are recognized in three disciplinary categories:

Chemical Sciences
Physical Sciences & Engineering
Life Sciences

Four Awards

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

$17.2M in Unrestricted Funding Awarded

Science Knows No Borders

From the 2023 ceremony for the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel. From left: Zvika Brakerski, PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science; Rina Rosenzweig, PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science; Shai Carmi, PhD, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Nicholas B. Dirks, President and CEO of The New York Academy of Sciences.
Len Blavatnik, Founder and Chairman, Access Industries and Blavatnik Family Foundation looks on during an Awards Ceremony.
Recipients of the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists on stage during the 2023 ceremony in the United States.
Awards Program

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

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 Laureate in each category awarded US$30,000; two Finalists in each category receive US$10,000
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 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.

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 (GBP) £100,000; two Finalists in each category receive (GBP) £30,000
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 Israel

  • Faculty-rank scientists and engineers working in Israel
  • Nominations accepted from eligible research institutions throughout Israel and from members of the Awards’ Israel Scientific Advisory Council.
  • Institutions are invited to submit up to three nominees in each category
  • One Laureate in each category awarded US$100,000
Former President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Nili Cohen, gives opening remarks at the 2019 Blavatnik Awards in Israel awards ceremony.

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

History

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 Laureates 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 Chemical Sciences 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 (2007-2023) 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.

2019 Blavatnik Awards in Israel Laureates (L to R) Moran Bercovici, PhD; Michal Rivlin, PhD; Erez Berg, 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.
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.
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, The New York Academy of Sciences Board of Governors), Prof. Martin Chalfie (Nobel Laureate), Len Blavatnik, and Indra Nooyi (former Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo)
Blavatnik Family Foundation

See more at www.blavatnikfoundation.org.

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.
Contact Information

Contact

Sonya Dougal, PhD
SVP, Awards & Scientific Programs
212.298.8683