United Kingdom Awards


The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom recognise the country’s most promising faculty-rank (academic staff) researchers in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry. One Blavatnik Laureate in each disciplinary category will receive US$100,000 in unrestricted funds, with two Finalists receiving US$30,000 each. The Blavatnik Awards are generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and independently administered by the New York Academy of Sciences.

Nominations for the 2021 Blavatnik Awards in the UK will be accepted from 29th April 2020 to 24th June 2020.

Please see our Important Dates page for key deadlines for the 2021 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK.


For a summary of nomination policies, please see the 2021 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK Nominations Flyer


Main eligibility criteria

The nominee must:

  • Have been born in or after 1979.

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

  • Currently hold a academic appointment at an invited institution in the UK.  

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

Nomination of underrepresented populations in STEM
In spite of tremendous advancements in scientific research, information, and education, opportunities are still not equally available to all. Women, persons with disabilities, and individuals identifying as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields1,2

The Blavatnik Awards strongly encourages all those submitting nominations to the Awards—including institutional nominators, Scientific Advisory Council members, and past Blavatnik Awards Laureates—to diversify the population of candidates nominated for this Award.

The Blavatnik Awards are proud to have honored over 80 female scientists since the Awards’ inception in 2007—approximately 30% of all Blavatnik Awards recognize women.  Blavatnik Awards honorees hail from 47 countries on six continents, and 60% of all Blavatnik Awards honorees are immigrants to the country in which they were honored.

For all nomination periods opening after September 2020, nominees will be afforded the opportunity to volunteer information on their race, ethnicity or gender. This information is intended to inform and support our efforts to attract a diverse pool of nominees.

A more diverse scientific workforce will accelerate discovery and innovation, and the Blavatnik Awards are committed to honoring the most talented young scientists—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or field of study.

1Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12984
2Pew Research Center, January 2018. “Women and Men in STEM Often at Odds Over Workplace Equity


Age limit exceptions

Age limit exceptions will be considered by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in exceptional circumstances upon a detailed written submission from the nominating institution received by the New York Academy of Sciences by Wednesday, 3rd June 2020. For more information, please contact us at BlavatnikAwardsUK@nyas.org. We strongly encourage institutions considering nominating candidates born prior to 1979 to contact us as early as possible during the nomination period.

Dual or Joint Appointments

For nominees holding a dual or joint appointment at more than one institution, the nominee must be employed by the nominating institution at least 50% full-time effort.

limited submission

Candidates for the Blavatnik Awards in the UK must be nominated by their institutions—self-nominations are not allowed.

Each institution may submit up to three nominations, one in each disciplinary category of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry.

Nominating institutions are encouraged to consider candidates across the institution, focusing on the scope of the cadidate'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 BlavatnikAwardsUK@nyas.org.

Institutional nominations must be submitted by the institution's Vice Chancellor, President, Pro-Vice Chancellor, or equivalent, or their official designee. The Blavatnik Awards team must be informed of the identity of an institution's official nominator.  Please see our Nomination Materials & Instructions page for more details.

Self-nominations are not allowed.  Nominees do not submit their own nomination materials and should direct all questions to their insitution.  Please see our Invited Institutions page for a list of institutional contacts, or contact us at BlavatnikAwardsUK@nyas.org.

Scientific Advisory Council and Past Laureate Nominations

Members of the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) and previous Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureates may also submit nominations for the 2021 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the UK.  These nominations do not count towards an institution's limit of three nominees.

SAC members and past Laureates may submit unlimited nominees, but may only nominate one candidate from any given institution.

EValuation criteria

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 on an existing field, employs original methodologies or concepts, and/or pursues an original question.

  • Promise: The nominee has potential for further significant contributions to science, and the research program will generate further impactful and novel discoveries. 

Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureate and Finalist Responsibilities

2021 Award Laureates and Finalists are expected to:

  • Attend the Blavatnik Awards in the UK Ceremony in London, UK on 4th March 2021.
  • Laureates are required to deliver a short presentation on their work at the ceremony.  Blavatnik Awards staff will work closely with the Laureate to craft this presentation, which must be accessible to a general audience. 
  • All Laureates and Finalists may be expected to present their research at a symposium to be held in London on 5th March 2021.
  • Participate in all rehearsals, briefings, and other events related to the Ceremony and Symposium.  Your presence will be required in London, UK on approximately 3rd-5th March 2021.
  • Participate in Blavatnik Awards related media activities and inquiries (e.g., video interviews, magazine profile interviews, eBriefings, etc.)
  • Attend the Blavatnik Science Symposium in New York City during the summer of 2021.  Laureates and selected Finalists will be invited to deliver a short presentation on their research to their fellow Blavatnik Awards honourees and representatives of the Blavatnik Family Foundation.
  • Respond to all requests and provide deliverables in a timely manner to facilitate compliance with the above expectations.

Costs of round-trip travel to London for the ceremony will be covered through the Blavatnik Awards program.

The New York Academy of Sciences asks that nominees consider potential scheduling conflicts should they be selected as an honouree in advance of submitting their nomination materials. Awards-related media and publication activities are scheduled to begin prior to the Awards ceremony when Blavatnik Awards in the UK Laureates and Finalists are notified of their status.


For general questions about the rules and eligibility requirements, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

For all other inquiries, please contact the Blavatnik Awards team at BlavatnikAwardsUK@nyas.org or +1-212-298-8604.