(CLOSED) 2021 Blavatnik National Awards

Sponsor Name: 
Blavatnik Family Foundation
Description of the Award: 

Now entering its eighth year, the Blavatnik National Awards recognize and celebrate America’s most innovative and promising faculty-rank scientists and engineers. Each year, one nominee in each category is awarded $250,000 and honored at the Blavatnik National Awards ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City as a Blavatnik National Laureate.

Penn State is invited to nominate up to three outstanding young faculty members, one in each of the three disciplinary categories: Chemistry, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Life Sciences. The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists strives for nominee equality and diversity, and encourages institutions to consider nominations of women and members of other historically under-represented groups in science and engineering.


The nominee must:

  • Have been born in or after 1979*.
  • 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 14, 2020.

Previously nominated individuals who were not selected as Laureates in past Awards cycles may be nominated again. 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.


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.
Limit (Number of applicants permitted per institution): 
Sponsor Final Deadline: 
Oct 28, 2020
OVPR Application or NOI Instructions: 

Interested applicants should upload the following documents in sequence in one PDF file (File name: Last name_Blavatnik NYAS_2021 no later than 4:00 p.m. on the internal submission deadline:

  1. CV
  2. 1000 word research statement
  3. Name, position, and institution for two individuals familiar with nominee’s scientific contributions who will provide letters of support.

Questions concerning the limited submissions process may be submitted to limitedsubs@psu.edu. The Office of Foundation Relations at University Park is also available to help you navigate the process. Please contact Alan Gibson, Assistant Director at ajg6181@psu.edu or 814-863-4415 for additional support.

To be considered as a Penn State institutional nominee, please submit a notice of intent by the date provided directly below.
This limited submission is in downselect: 
Penn State may only submit a specific number of proposals to this funding opportunity. The number of NOIs received require that an internal competition take place, thus, a downselect process has commenced. No Penn State researchers may apply to this opportunity outside of this downselect process. To apply for this limited submission, please use this link:
OVPR Downselect Deadline: 
Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 4:00pm