Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible to be nominated?
Anyone who has made an original and significant contribution in basic or clinical medical research, or in public service, is eligible for nomination. Lasker Awards are highly competitive and are bestowed on individuals whose work opens new areas of biomedical science or public service. Award winners may reside in any country of the world. 

Who may submit a nomination?
Colleagues familiar with the nominee(s)'s work and with the relevant field of research (or area of public service) are ideal nominators. Self-nominations or nominations written by the candidates themselves will not be considered by the Jury. 

Are there limits as to how many nominations may be submitted from a single institution?
There are not; all outstanding nominations are encouraged. 

Are Lasker Awards given every year?
The Basic Award and the Clinical Award are given annually. Public Service and Special Achievement Awards are given in alternate years: the Special Achievement Award is being given in 2018; the Public Service Award will be given next in 2019. 

Are word limits (and/or page limits) on nomination forms strictly enforced?
Yes.  Word and/or page limits are necessary given the volume of nominating materials received by the Foundation. 

Nominators of the Basic and Clinical Research Awards are asked to identify other scientists(s) in addition to the nominee(s) who should also be considered for the Award. Why is this?
Scientific discoveries often result from collaborative work or from independent observations made by several individuals. The Lasker Jury considers this question a crucial one, and nominations without an answer to the question will be returned. 

Are letters of support required?
Supporting letters from colleagues familiar with the nominee(s)'s work are not required, but they are helpful for Jury members' evaluations and they are strongly encouraged. While there is no limit to the number of letters that may be sent, quality should be emphasized over quantity. 

Confidential letters of support should help the Jurors understand the importance of the nominee(s)'s work in the context of others' contributions to the relevant field of research. Support letters may consider both the strengths and weaknesses of the nominee's original contributions. Confidential letters of support may be either sent directly to the Foundation or included with the nomination package. It is acceptable to send support letters by email (in PDF format) to

Is the nomination process confidential?
All nominations, support letters, and nominating materials are kept strictly confidential for 50 years, after which they may be accessed by researchers at the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health. 

How are nominations evaluated?
Medical Research Award nominations are evaluated by a distinguished Jury of scientists chaired by Joseph L. Goldstein. Public Service Award winners are evaluated and selected by a jury of Lasker Foundation board members chaired by Alfred Sommer. 

When are winners notified?
Winners are typically notified in late June.

Need more help?
Contact David Keegan by email or at 212-286-0222.