Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists


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 in unrestricted funding and honored at the Blavatnik National Awards ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City as a Blavatnik National Awards Laureate.

UMass Amherst has been invited to nominate up to three outstanding young faculty members, one in each of three disciplinary categories: 1) Chemistry, 2) Physical Sciences & Engineering, and 3) 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.


  • Nominees must:
    • Have been born in or after 1977*.
    • Hold a doctorate degree (PhD, DPhil, MD, DDS, DVM, etc.).
    • Currently hold a faculty position at an invited institution.
    • Currently conduct research as a principal investigator in one of the disciplinary categories: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, or Chemistry.
  • Previously nominated individuals who were not selected as Laureates in past Awards cycles may be nominated again.

*Age limit exceptions will be considered by the Academy in exceptional circumstances upon a detailed written submission from the nominating institution.

Award Background:

  • Award Amount: $250,000 in unrestricted funds
  • Number of Awards: 3 (1 in each category)
  • Number of UMass Amherst Nominees: up to 3
  • Total Number of Applicants: roughly 450

Previous Finalists: to help determine your competitiveness, we strongly recommend reviewing this list of past finalists.

Internal Application Process

The internal selection process will be led by a committee composed of the deans of internal applicants' respective schools and colleges or their designees and, if necessary, the Provost, Vice Chancellor for Research Engagement, or faculty with relevant expertise and informed by the grant programs' guidelines and submission requirements.

If you are interested in applying to this program please email a pre-proposal with the following items in a single PDF by September 28, 2018 to

  • Curriculum vitae (please include date of birth, which must be in or after 1977);
  • 1,000 word research statement;
  • Two anticipated references (name, position, institution, noteworthy national/international awards); and

A list of current and pending external and internal research support (award number, award title, role, start and end dates, sponsor, total award amount).

Additional Information

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.

For additional information, visit the program's website. If you have technical questions about the grant program or your eligibility, please contact Liz Smith or Michael Stein in Corporate and Foundation Relations.