Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists 2020


SciLifeLab (Sweden), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.


The Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists is a global prize, established in 2013, aimed at rewarding scientists at an early stage of their careers in recognition of the excellence amongst young researchers from around the world. The Prize was created to recognize that global economic health is dependent upon a vibrant research community and we need to encourage our best and brightest to continue in their chosen fields of research. The international Prize is awarded annually to four young scientists for outstanding life science research for which he/she earned a doctoral degree in the previous two years.

The four categories in 2020 are:

Cell and Molecular Biology: Research in this category includes cellular and molecular processes at levels ranging from single molecule to single cell to tissue and organ systems.

Genomics, Proteomics and Systems Biology Approaches: Research in this category focuses on genomics, proteomics, integrative omics and systems biology approaches, including computational, to facilitate comprehensive understanding of living cells, organisms and species.

Ecology and Environment: Research in this category encompasses interactions between organisms and their environment, and how these processes are influenced by human activity.

Molecular Medicine: Research in this category aims at building on the molecular understanding of disease in humans to develop preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, including individualized medicine.


  • ​Entrants for the 2020 prize must have been awarded their Ph.D. between January 1 2018 and December 31 2019. 
  • The research described in the entrant’s thesis must fall within one of the four categories (listed above)
  • The prize will only recognize work that was performed while the entrant was a graduate student.
  • The prize will be awarded without regard to sex, race, or nationality.

​Eligibility guidelines are located on the Science AAAS website.


Each year, a Grand Prize winner is selected from the applicants to receive 30,000 USD in prize money. The three other category winners are awarded 10,000 USD each for their accomplishments.

The grand prize winning essay will be published in Science and essays from the three other category winners will be published online.

All four winners will be invited to Sweden in December to take part in a week of events in honor of science – with the opportunity to meet with leading researchers in their field. The annual award ceremony and banquet is held in the Grand Hôtel Hall of Mirrors in Stockholm – the original venue of the Nobel prize banquet.

Special Notes

Please refer to the Office of Research COVID 19 web-page for directives related to research activities at the University of Guelph.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

Please submit the application directly on the online application form by the external deadline. Please also submit a copy of the full application and OR-5 to

How to Apply

  • In addition to completing an online entry form applicants must submit an essay describing their thesis work in one of the qualified categories. The essay cannot exceed 1,000 words in length and may include one figure or table.
  • Applicants must also submit a one-page reference letter from their advisor or a member of their thesis committee with an assessment of the applicant and comment on the significance of the applicant’s research.
  • In addition, a list of citations, awards and relevant professional experience should be included, as well as an abstract of the thesis.
  • The application form can be found at the Science website.

Applications must be submitted through the online application portal.

Please send a copy of the nomination and OR-5 to

As this is an international prize, the University may engage the Global Excellence Initiative to coordinate external review of nominations. 

For more information, contact or

Alert Classifications
Honours and Awards

Health and Life Sciences
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Social Sciences