2021 Nature Research Awards for Driving Global Impact (USD 30,000 grant)

Application Deadline:21st March 2021 23:59 GMT

Science is critical in solving global challenges.  In 2021 we invite applications from early career researchers (please see criteria below) working in these areas:

  • Food security, water security and/or energy security – ensuring a long term, sustainable supply of either food, water or energy.
  • Healthcare interventions – the assessment, improvement or promotion of human health.
  • Environmental protection – protection of the natural environment on land and water including the repair of damage.
  • Climate change – slowing climate change and adapting to what’s unavoidable.
  • Sustainable cities – building green, liveable cities that last.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be employed by a university, research institute or any other not-for-profit organisation.
  • Hold a PhD or clinical doctorate, one of which awarded not earlier than 1st January 2006.
  • Lead an independent research group established within the past 5 years as of 1st January 2021.
  • Demonstrate the application, or potential application, of their research to make a positive impact on one of the global challenges above.
  • Dates may be adjusted in the case of maternity leave(s) or other formal leave(s) of absence taken before the application deadline to adjust for the duration of the leave taken.
  • The reference date for calculation of the eligibility period should be the date of commencement of the first independent research project led by the team leader named in the application. In practice everyone who commenced such a position after 31st December 2015 is eligible. This period will be extended in the case of maternity leave(s) or other formal leave(s) of absences taken after the 1st January 2006 and before the application deadline with the duration of the leave taken.

Evaluation criteria

Applications will be assessed by our expert judging panel consisting of staff from Nature Research and independent experts. Panel members will review applications to create a shortlist. The full panel will then meet to discuss the merits of shortlisted applicants and select the winner and two runners up.

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Scientific achievements.
  • Research programme and its potential for scientific impact.
  • Research programme and its potential for impact on the global challenges.

Applications from developing and emerging STEM nations are highly encouraged, so location will be taken into account during the evaluation process.


Prizes will be awarded to one winner and two runners up.

  • The winner will receive a grant of USD 30,000, coverage on nature.com and on the Award’s website.
  • The two runners up will each receive a grant of USD 10,000 and coverage on nature.com and on the Award’s website.

Shortlisted applicants will also be announced and profiled on the Award’s website.

Key dates

11th January 2021Application window opens
21st March 2021 23:59 GMTApplication window closes
July 2021Shortlist announced
November 2021Winner announced

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the 2021 Nature Research Awards


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