Regional FAQ

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

The 2019 Blavatnik Regional Awards are open 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.

The 2019 Blavatnik National Awards are open to US-based, faculty-rank scientists born in 1977 or later. Three Blavatnik National Laureates each receive $250,000 in unrestricted funds.

2. What are the evaluation criteria for the Blavatnik Regional Awards?

Nominees and their work 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: Nominee’s potential for an independent career and further significant contributions to science or science-related fields.

3. How many nominations may an institution submit for the 2019 Blavatnik Regional Awards?

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 Academy at

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. Who is eligible for the 2018 Blavatnik Regional Awards?

Prospective nominees must be postdoctoral-rank researchers at institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, hold a doctoral degree, and be born in 1977(*) or later. There are no residency or citizenship requirements to be nominated for the Blavatnik Regional Awards.

*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 no later than Wednesday, January 16, 2019.

6. 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).

7. If a postdoctoral researcher is transitioning to a faculty position, is he or she eligible for the Blavatnik Regional Awards?

Researchers beginning faculty positions before January 30, 2019 are not eligible for the Blavatnik Regional Awards.

8. What is the nomination procedure for the Blavatnik Regional 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 naming the designated nominators 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.

If a nominator already has an account in the online nomination 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 in the online system.

9. 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.

10. What are the important deadlines for the 2019 Blavatnik Regional Awards?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018: Nominations open

Wednesday, January 16, 2019: Eligibility exception requests due

Wednesday, January 30, 2019: Nominations close at 11:59PM ET

Wednesday, February 13, 2019: Letters of support due by 11:59PM ET.

11. What materials are required to submit a nomination for the Blavatnik Regional 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 (4-page maximum, PDF).

  • Nominee’s Research Summary (1,000-word maximum, PDF): summary (authored by the nominee and written in the first person) 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.

12. May the nominee's graduate work be included in the Research Summary?

The Research Summary should focus solely 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. Although nominees may include up to 5 significant contributions made during their postdoctoral career, they will not be penalized for listing fewer than 5.

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. Letters 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 11:59PM ET on February 13, 2019. 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.

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.

  • 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 post-doctoral career and omit information 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 recommenders with instructions on how to upload their letters. Recommenders are responsible for submitting letters online by 11:59PM ET on February 13, 2019.

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 nominees or their institutions?

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

19. When will the Blavatnik Regional winners and finalists and their institutions be notified?

The 2019 Blavatnik Regional honorees and their institutions will be notified during summer 2019.

20. Who may I contact for more information?

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