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John O'Keefe joins UK Scientific Advisory Council for Blavatnik Awards

6 April 2017

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, a US-based awards programme established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in 2007, is expanding to the UK, a move that will bring over £10 million of inward investment to the UK scientific community.   

The awards, administered by The New York Academy of Sciences, recognise outstanding young scientists and engineers in three subject categories: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Chemistry. They provide support to scientists and engineers early in their careers, when additional funding and recognition have the greatest impact on a young scientist’s work. Over the past decade, over $4 million has been awarded to 125 scientists in the US.

John O'Keefe

Professor John O’Keefe, Group Leader at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, is joining the Blavatnik Awards’ UK Scientific Advisory Council and said: “Scientists around the world deserve recognition for their important work, and this is particularly the case for early career scientists who are often trailblazing new problems and new areas of research.  The UK has a long history in supporting and fostering the independence of young scientists. It is great news that the highly prestigious Blavatnik Awards will now be available to early stage UK researchers. I’m looking forward to working with the Foundation in this important new endeavour.” 

The UK awards will recognise faculty scientists from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England under the age of 42. Three winners (one in each category) will receive $100,000 (~£80,000) each in unrestricted funds; two finalists in each category will receive $30,000 (~£24,000) each. The awards provide one of the largest unrestricted cash prizes on offer for any UK scientist.

Award candidates will be nominated by their university or research institution, or through the UK Scientific Advisory Council. The finalists and winners will be chosen by a jury comprised of some of the world’s most distinguished scientists and engineers.

Nominations for the UK Blavatnik Awards open 3 May 2017. The finalists and winners will be announced at a formal awards ceremony in March 2018. Universities and research institutions can nominate candidates online. Deadline for nominations is 28 June 2017.