In 2007, Len partnered with the New York Academy of Sciences to establish the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.
Unlike awards that honor scientists at the prime of their careers, the Awards aim to celebrate the exceptional achievements of scientists early in their careers. It is Len’s belief that recognition and funding in the early years of scientists’ professional careers is critical, as it will make the difference between those ideas that end in the lab and those that go on to make transformative breakthroughs in science.
The Awards are open to scientists aged 42 and younger working in the fields of Chemistry, Physical Sciences, and Engineering or Life Sciences. Honorees are selected by a distinguished judging panel of Nobel laureates and leading scientists and are selected on the quality, novelty, and impact of their research and their potential for further significant contributions to science.
In 2017, building on the tremendous success of the Awards in the United States, the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom and the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in Israel were launched.
The Awards have also led to the establishment of the Blavatnik Science Scholars community, which promotes the continued exchange of ideas and collaboration across disciplines and geographies among past honorees. Established in 2014 at the annual Blavatnik Science Symposium in New York, the group consists of almost 200 researchers and encompasses a unique combination of scientists and engineers.
“Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm. As I watched so many distinguished scientists being recognized for their legacy of scientific breakthroughs, I wondered if such a thing existed for the gifted men and women in the early stages of their careers. What about those who show great promise to one day stand on this stage as Nobel Laureates, but who may today lack the support and validation for their research that they need to get there? The realization that there was no such program was profound. This became the inspiration for the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists.”
– Len Blavatnik –
Collectively, the Awards have recognized more than 2,000 scientists from over 200 institutions, with awards totaling more than $4 million.