Blavatnik National Awards Competition Receives 322 Outstanding Nominations

NEW YORK, April 29, 2014—Over 300 outstanding scientific researchers representing 162 of the nation’s most prominent institutions are vying for the prestigious Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.  The annual Awards, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, recognize and support three of America’s top scientific innovators working in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Chemistry.

Each of the three faculty-rank researchers aged 42 or younger who are ultimately selected as the 2014 Blavatnik National Laureates will receive unrestricted cash prizes of $250,000, the largest unrestricted prize of its kind for early career scientists. 

This year’s nominations were received from academic and research institutions in 42 states.  No single institution was allowed to nominate more than one life scientist, chemist, and physical scientist or engineer for the awards.

In addition, highly qualified nominees were submitted by members of the Blavatnik Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council, a stellar group of renowned scientists, including Nobel Laureates, National Academy of Sciences (NAS) members, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigators, and several award-winning young scientists.

We are thrilled at the extraordinary level of participation from our nation’s best research institutions in the inaugural year of the national awards,” says Ellis Rubinstein, President & CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences. “The pool of talent these institutions are nurturing is already recognized as among the best in the world. But when we look at the stellar accomplishments of this group of nominees, it is apparent that the Blavatnik Awards have identified an unprecedented cohort of scientists whose work is making our world a better place.”

The areas of research that contributed the highest numbers of national nominations were molecular and cell biology, neuroscience, and immunology for the Life Sciences category; materials science, nanotechnology, condensed matter physics, electrical engineering, and astrophysics and cosmology for the Physical Sciences and Engineering category; and biochemistry and chemical biology for the Chemistry category.

Today’s science funding climate continues to be incredibly challenging for any researcher, but scientists still in the early stages of their careers are particularly vulnerable and in most need of support,” says Mercedes Gorre, Executive Director of the Blavatnik Awards. “The Blavatnik Awards program contributes to that support by recognizing and awarding these scientists early in their careers. Without the help of these nominating institutions and their commitment to their young faculty, this would not be possible.”

National applications will be reviewed by an expert Judging Panel comprised of 46 of the nation’s most distinguished scientists. The judges will select winners based on the quality, novelty, impact and promise of the scientist’s research.

To see the full list of national participating institutions please click here.

National Laureates and finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony on Monday, September 15th, 2014 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.