National FAQ

1. What are the Blavatnik National Awards?

Since 2007, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists have been open to scientists in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Beginning in the 2014 awards cycle, the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences expanded the faculty awards to include young scientists across the US. The Blavatnik National Awards recognize excellence in three disciplinary categories: Life Sciences; Physical Sciences & Engineering; and Chemistry. Every year, one Blavatnik Laureate in each category will receive $250,000 in unrestricted funds. The prize money is given directly to the Laureate.

2. What are the differences between the Blavatnik National Awards and the Blavatnik Regional Awards?

The 2019 Blavatnik National Awards are open to US-based, faculty-rank scientists born in 1977 or later. The program awards prizes in three disciplinary categories: Life Sciences; Physical Sciences & Engineering; and Chemistry. Every year, one Blavatnik Laureate in each category will be awarded $250,000 in unrestricted funds.

The 2019 Blavatnik Regional Awards are open only to postdoctoral-rank scientists born in 1977 or later from institutions in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. Winners each receive $30,000 in unrestricted funds, and Finalists each receive $10,000.

3. Who receives the prize money?

One Blavatnik Laureate in each disciplinary category will receive $250,000 in unrestricted funds. The prize money is given directly to the Laureate. Indirect costs are not applied to the award.

4. Do I have to pay taxes on the prize money?

Yes. Applicable U.S. tax laws require any Award payments made under this program to be subject to federal income tax. U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations require that the Academy has a completed Form W-9 on file for all Award recipients prior to the distribution of the Award. Further details regarding the secure submission of this information to the Academy will be provided to Awardees at the time of Award notification. Award recipients will receive a 2018 1099-MISC Form that reports your Award payment as Miscellaneous Income to the IRS. Award recipients should consult with their U.S. tax advisor regarding any tax questions.

5. What are the evaluation criteria for the Blavatnik National Awards?

Nominees and their work as independent investigators will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Quality: The extent to which the work is reliable, valid, credible, and scientifically rigorous.

  • Impact: The extent to which the work addresses an important problem and is influential in the nominee’s field.

  • Novelty: The extent to which the work challenges existing paradigms, employs new methodologies or concepts, and/or pursues an original question.

  • Promise: Future prospects in the nominee’s field and potential for further significant contributions to science.

6. Which institutions may submit nominations for the Blavatnik National Awards?

Approximately 300 U.S.-based institutions are invited to submit nominations. They include degree-granting universities, private research institutes, academic medical centers, and national government laboratories. If your institution does not appear on our list and would like to nominate, please submit a brief statement of interest to blavatnikawards@nyas.org.

7. How many nominations may an institution submit each year?

Each institution may submit up to three nominations per year, one for each of the three disciplinary categories.

Nominating institutions are encouraged to consider candidates across the institution, focusing on the scope of the candidate’s work and its relevance within a given scientific category. For example, an institution can nominate a Chemistry nominee who is not based in the Chemistry Department, but is leading a research program in one of the disciplinary categories covered by the Chemistry section of the Blavatnik Awards. Nominating institutions seeking more guidance may contact the Academy at blavatnikawards@nyas.org.

8. Who is eligible for the 2019 Blavatnik National Awards?

Prospective nominees must be conducting research at one of the invited U.S. institutions. There are no residency or citizenship requirements to be nominated for the Blavatnik National Awards.

ALL prospective nominees must:

  • Have been born in or after 1977*

  • Hold a doctorate degree (PhD, DPhil, MD, DDS, DVM, etc.).

  • Currently hold a faculty position 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.

*Age limit exceptions will be considered by the Academy in exceptional circumstances upon a detailed written submission from the nominating institution received by the Academy at blavatnikawards@nyas.org no later than Wednesday, October 31, 2018.

Pre-2014 faculty Winners of the Blavatnik Regional Awards are not eligible.

9. What is the nomination procedure for the Blavatnik National Awards?

Institutional nominations must be submitted online by the President (or equivalent), Provost, or the official designee of the nominee’s host institution. Institutions must send a brief statement to blavatnikawards@nyas.org naming the official designee as a nominator before submitting nominations.

The nominator fills out the nomination form, uploads all required materials, and provides the names of two letter writers. The letter writers then receive emails with instructions on uploading their letters. For more details, please refer to the nomination guidelines.

If a nominator has an existing or previous account associated with the system from past award cycles, he or she may continue to use the same account.

If an institution is re-nominating a candidate from past years, a new submission must be created using the online system.

10. Where can the nominations for the Blavatnik National Awards be submitted?

The online nomination system may be accessed on the National Guidelines page during the nomination period.

11. What are the important deadlines for the 2019 Blavatnik National Awards?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018: Nominations open

Wednesday, October 31, 2018: Eligibility exception requests due

Wednesday, November 14, 2018: Nominations close at 11:59PM PT

Wednesday, November 28, 2018: Letters of support due at 11:59PM PT

May, 2019: Laureates and Finalists selected and notified

Monday, September 23, 2019: Awards Ceremony in New York City

12. What materials are required to submit a nomination for the Blavatnik National Awards?

The following documents and information are required to submit a nomination:

  • Nominee’s name, date of birth, title, contact information, and disciplinary category.

  • Nominator’s name, title, and contact information.

  • Nominator’s Rationale for Nomination (200-word maximum).

  • Nominee’s Curriculum Vitae (no-limit, PDF).

  • Nominee’s Research Summary: summary (authored by the nominee) of up to five significant scientific contributions and research accomplishments (1,000-word maximum not including references and figure caption, 1 figure; PDF).

  • Full-text publications and/or patents representing the nominee’s work (up to 4 publications, PDF).

  • Names and email addresses for two letter writers who will provide letters of support.

13. Is the nomination complete after the nomination form is submitted?

Once the nominator submits the nomination form, two letters of support are still necessary to complete the nomination. Letter writers will receive automatic emails with instructions on uploading their letters. The nomination is complete once both letters have been uploaded. The letters of support must be uploaded by November 28, 2018. Nominators may view the status of the letters of support by logging into their account.

14. Who should write a nominee’s letters of support?

Letter writers should be people who currently have or have had a close professional relationship with the nominee and are knowledgeable about the nominee’s contribution to their field of research, focusing on the nominee’s independent research career.

15. What information should be included in a letter of support?

Letters of support should:

  • Be maximum of two pages, single-spaced, and uploaded as PDF files.

  • Indicate how you have become acquainted with nominee’s work / research.

  • Describe the nominee’s most significant research contributions and explain their importance for the nominee’s research area.

  • Assess the nominee’s accomplishments in comparison with those of his or her peers at the same career stage.

  • Focus on the nominee’s scientific accomplishments during his/her independent career and omit details of the graduate and postdoctoral work or information typically included in the CV, such as positions and awards.

16. How are letters of support submitted?

The nominator enters the names and email addresses into the nomination form, which triggers automatic emails to be sent to the letter writers with instructions on how to upload their letters. Letter writers are responsible for submitting letters online before November 28, 2018.

17. How will a nominee know if letters of support have been received?

Once both letters of support have been submitted, the nominator and nominee will receive automated notifications. Letters of support are confidential: neither the nominator nor the nominee will be able to view the contents of the letters. Nominators may view the status of the letters of support by logging into their account.

18. Will any evaluation information or feedback be made available to the nominee or their institution?

No. All evaluations are kept confidential and no feedback will be provided.

19. When will Blavatnik National Award Laureates and their institutions be notified?

The Laureates and their institutions will be notified during May 2019.

20. Who may I contact for more information?

Please contact the Blavatnik Awards staff at blavatnikawards@nyas.org or 212.298.8624 during regular business hours: Monday – Friday between 9:00AM and 5:00PM ET.