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The Scheme

Oxford has been invited to submit nominations to the annual Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists in the United Kingdom. Building on the US awards launched in 2007, innovative young scientists and engineers are sought across three subjects. Full definitions and information can be found on the Blavatnik website here: United Kingdom Awards | Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

  • Chemical Sciences
  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
  • Life Sciences

One nominee in each disciplinary category will be awarded £100,000 in unrestricted funds and be named a Blavatnik Laureate. In addition, two Finalists in each category will each receive £30,000 in unrestricted funds. 

Oxford can only submit one nomination to each of the three subjects, therefore an internal selection process will run.


Eligible nominees must:

  • Have been born in or after 1983*.
  • Hold a doctorate degree (PhD, DPhil, MD, DDS, DVM, etc.).
  • Currently hold a tenured or tenure-track academic faculty position (or equivalent) at an invited institution in the United Kingdom.
  • Currently conduct research as a principal investigator in one of the disciplinary categories in Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, or Chemical Sciences.

*Age-limit exceptions will be considered by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in exceptional circumstances. Please contact as soon as possible, and no later than 26 April, if a potential departmental nominee requires this.

Internal selection process

Each department can submit one nomination per subject category (therefore max. 3 total) to the internal selection panel. The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists strive for nominee equality and diversity, and strongly encourage the nomination of women and members of other underrepresented groups in science and engineering.

Those selected by their department to apply should submit the following to by 12 noon, Wednesday 1 May:

  1. Which discipline category(ies) they wish to be considered under
  2. 200 word rationale for their nomination - this should detail the nominee's strong record of significant independent scientific contributions, early career success, and promise of sustained or accelerated progress in the future. The rationale does not need to come from Head of Department or other senior academic leader.
  3. CV - an example of what to include can be found on the Blavatnik website (see previous link). For the internal selection process, the CV should also briefly cover aspects of the Professional Service and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement (found on the Blavatnik website) such as (1) teaching and mentoring; (2) collaboration and leadership; (3) service, engagement and outreach; (4) current and/or planned research relevant to underserved populations or inequalities, or issues relevant to EDI. Selected Oxford nominees will need to provide this as a separate statement for the final application.
  4. 1,000 word research summary - this should be written to be accessible to another scientist working in the overarching disciplinary category (e.g. Life Sciences) but not in the nominee’s specific field of study (e.g. Neuroscience). The summary can include one figure.

Please note that as part of the final application nominees will need to submit names of two referees as outlined on the Blavatnik website which can be found here: United Kingdom Awards | Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists. Whilst this is not requested as part of the internal selection process, internal candidates should consider who they will ask in advance of the internal selection outcomes based on the below timelines.


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. 


As soon as possible (no later than 26 April) Contact if a potential departmental nominee requires an age exemption approval.
1 May (12 noon) Internal application to be submitted to
By 15 May Internal selection outcomes communicated to nominees.
By 28 May (10am) Oxford nominees to send application information to Zoe Lee and which will be uploaded to the Blavatnik submission portal.


 For queries about the internal selection process, please contact