Regional FAQ


1. What are the Blavatnik Regional Awards?

Since 2007, the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences has sought to acknowledge and celebrate the excellence of outstanding postdoctoral scientists from institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut with the Blavatnik Regional Awards for Young Scientists. Every year, one Blavatnik Regional Awards Winner in each category will receive $30,000 and two Finalists in each category are awarded $10,000 each in unrestricted funds. The prize money is given directly to the honorees.

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

The Blavatnik Regional Awards are open only to postdoctoral-rank scientists under the age of 42 from institutions in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. Each year, one nominee in each disciplinary category is recognized as a Blavatnik Regional Awards Winner, and receives $30,000 in unrestricted funds. Additionally, two nominees in each category are recognized as Finalists, and receive $10,000 each in unrestricted funds.

The Blavatnik National Awards are open to US-based, faculty-rank scientists under the age of 42, and each year award $250,000 in unrestricted funds to one Blavatnik National Awards Laureate in each of the three disciplinary categories recognized by the Blavatnik Awards (Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry); additional nominees are recognized as Finalists.

3. Who receives the prize money?

Blavatnik Regional Awards honorees (Winners and Finalists) in each disciplinary category will receive unrestricted funds. The prize money is given directly to the honoree. 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 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 2021 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 Regional 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, advances scientific progress, and is influential in the nominee’s field, related fields, or beyond, and/or has the potential to benefit society.

  • Novelty – The extent to which the work challenges existing paradigms, establishes a new field or considerably expands an existing field, employs original methodologies or concepts, and/or pursues an original question.

  • Promise – Nominee’s potential for an independent career and further significant contributions to science or science-related fields.

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

Approximately 75 institutions based in the tri-state region (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut) are invited to submit nominations. They include degree-granting universities, private research institutes, academic medical centers, and national government laboratories. If your institution is located in the tri-state region and does not appear on our list and would like to nominate, please submit a brief statement of interest to blavatnikregionalawards@nyas.org.

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

Each institution may submit up to fifteen nominations across the three Categories of Chemistry, Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences & Engineering.

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 conducting research in one of the disciplinary categories covered by the Chemistry section of the Blavatnik Awards. Nominating institutions seeking more guidance may contact the Blavatnik Awards Team at blavatnikregionalawards@nyas.org.

The Blavatnik Awards strongly encourage the nomination of women and other underrepresented groups in science and engineering.

8. Who is eligible for the 2021 Blavatnik Regional Awards?

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

The nominee must:

  • Have been born in or after 1979*.

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

  • Currently hold a postdoctoral position (or equivalent) at an invited institution in the United States.

  • Currently conduct research in one of the disciplinary categories in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, or Chemistry.

*Age limit exceptions will be considered in exceptional circumstances upon a detailed written submission from the nominating institution received by the Academy at blavatnikregionalawards@nyas.org no later than Wednesday, January 13, 2021. For more information, please contact us at blavatnikregionalawards@nyas.org. We strongly encourage institutions considering nominating candidates born prior to 1979 to contact us as early as possible during the nomination period.

9. What is the definition of a postdoctoral-rank researcher?

Postdoctoral-rank researchers are defined as individuals who have received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and are engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue his/her chosen career path (NIH-NSF 2007).

10. If a postdoctoral researcher is transitioning to a faculty position, are they eligible for the Blavatnik Regional Awards?

Nominees must be employed as postdoctoral researchers at the close of the nomination period. Therefore, researchers beginning faculty-level positions before January 27, 2021 are not eligible for the 2021 Blavatnik Regional Awards.

11. What is the nomination procedure for the Blavatnik Regional Awards?

Institutional nominations must be submitted online by the President,Provost, or equivalent, (or their official designee). The Blavatnik Awards team must be informed of the identity of an institution’s official nominator. Newly-invited institutions, or institutions whose designated nominator has changed since the 2020 Blavatnik Regional Awards, must send a brief statement to blavatnikregionalawards@nyas.org naming their official designee as nominator before submitting nominations.

The nominators fill out the nomination form, upload all required materials, and provide the names and emails 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.

The online nomination platform will be made available when nominations open on December 2, 2020. Please contact us at blavatnikregionalawards@nyas.org if you experience any issues.

Nominators may use their accounts created in previous award cycles as longas the email addresses linked with these accounts remain active.

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

12. Where can the nominations for the Blavatnik Regional Awards be submitted?

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

13. What are the important deadlines for the 2021 Blavatnik Regional Awards?

  • December 2, 2020: Nominations open for 2021 Blavatnik Regional Awards

  • January 13, 2021: Age eligibility exception requests due

  • January 27, 2021: Nominations close

  • February 10, 2021: Letters of support due

  • September 2021: 2021 Blavatnik Regional Awards Winners and Finalists publicly announced

  • November 2021: 2021 Blavatnik Regional Awards Ceremony (New York Academy of Sciences Annual Gala) in New York City

14. What materials are required to submit a nomination for the Blavatnik Regional Awards?

The nomination package for the Blavatnik Regional Awards contains the following documents:

  1. Nomination Form

  2. Rationale for Nomination

  3. Curriculum Vitae

  4. Research Summary

  5. Professional Service and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

  6. Full-text Publications and/or Patents

  7. Letters of Support

Full details and requirements for all nomination materials are provided on our Nomination Materials & Information page.

15. May the nominee's graduate work be included or referenced in the nomination materials?

The Research Summary should focus primarily on the nominee's postdoctoral tenure and be structured to address scientific accomplishments including key results, their impact on the nominee's field of study, and the nominee's specific role in the work presented. Work performed prior to postdoctoral studies may be included in the Research Summary only if it is highly notable or relevant to the nominee’s postdoctoral research.

However, we request that nominees list ALL of their publications to-date in their CV, including any publications from before their postdoctoral tenure.

Other parts of the nomination materials, including the Rationale for Nomination, Full-text Publications and/or Patents, and Letters of Support, should focus exclusively on the nominee’s work as a postdoctoral scientist.

In the Research Summary, although nominees may include up to five significant contributions made during their postdoctoral career, they will not be penalized for listing fewer than five. Similarly, nominees may submit fewer than four Full-text Publications and/or Patents.

16. 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 February 10, 2021. Nominators may view the status of the letters of support by logging into their account.

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

We recommend that nominees petition Letters of Support from individuals who are experts in the nominee’s discipline, field, or sub-field and who are intimately familiar with the nominee’s most significant and important research contributions during their postdoctoral work.

Further, we strongly encourage—but don’t require—that one Letter of Support should come from someone who is the nominee’s current or previous advisor, and one Letter of Support should come from an individual external to the nominating institution who has never been the nominee’s advisor.

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

Letters of support should:

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

  • Indicate how the letter writer has become acquainted with the nominee and the work / research of the nominee.

  • Describe the nominee’s most significant research contributions and explain their importance for the nominee’s research area. If applicable, describe the nominee’s role in any large collaborations.

  • 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 postdoctoral career and omit the details of their graduate work or information typically included in the CV, such as positions and awards.

19. How are letters of support submitted?

Nominators will be prompted to provide the names and email addresses of two letter writers during submission of the nomination materials. Letter writers will receive an automated email with instructions on uploading their letters. Letter writers must upload letters of support by 11:59PM ET on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.

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

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.

21. 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.

22. When will Blavatnik Regional Awards Winners and Finalists and their institutions be notified?

Nominees and their institutions will be notified during late summer 2021.

23. Whom may I contact for more information?

Please contact the Blavatnik Awards staff at blavatnikregionalawards@nyas.org or 212.298.3880 during regular business hours: Monday – Friday between 9:00AM and 5:00PM ET.