Lasker Award Statues

Lasker Award criteria and nominations

The Foundation is no longer accepting nominations for the 2021 Lasker Awards. Winners of the 2021 Awards will be announced in September.

The Foundation will begin accepting nominations for the 2022 Lasker Awards on November 1, 2021. Lasker Awards will be offered in three categories in 2022: Basic Research, Clinical Research, and Public Service.

Questions about submitting a nomination? Read our FAQ.

Criteria for the Lasker Awards

  • Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award: For a fundamental discovery that opens up a new area of biomedical science.
  • Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award: For a major advance that improves the lives of many thousands of people.
  • Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science: For research accomplishments and scientific statesmanship that engender the deepest feelings of awe and respect.
  • Individuals or organizations must meet at least one of the following selection criteria for the Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award: 1) significantly improving the public’s understanding of medical research, public health, or healthcare; 2) playing a major role in the support of policy, legislative, or other initiatives that accelerate progress in medical science or health; 3) providing critical and generous financial support for initiatives to enhance health or medical research; 4) generating support for medical science or public health; 5) significantly benefitting the lives of many people through public health practice.
  • The Lasker Foundation seeks nominations of outstanding candidates; nominations of women and minorities are encouraged.

Frequently asked questions

Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award: For a fundamental discovery that opens up a new area of biomedical science.

Lasker~DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award: For a major advance that improves the lives of many thousands of people.

Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science: For research accomplishments and scientific statesmanship that engender the deepest feelings of awe and respect.

Individuals or organizations must meet at least one of the following selection criteria for the Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award: 1) significantly improving the public’s understanding of medical research, public health, or healthcare; 2) playing a major role in the support of policy, legislative, or other initiatives that accelerate progress in medical science or health; 3) providing critical and generous financial support for initiatives to enhance health or medical research; 4) generating support for medical science or public health; 5) significantly benefitting the lives of many people through public health practice.

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. 
There are not; nominations are encouraged for all outstanding work.
The Basic Award and the Clinical Award are given annually. The Special Achievement Award and the Public Service Award are given in alternate years.
Yes. Word and/or page limits are necessary given the volume of nominating materials received by the Foundation.
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. 
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.

Letters in support of basic nominations should address the nature of the nominee(s)’s discoveries, and how those discoveries have opened up a new area of biomedical science. Letters in support of clinical nominations should address uniquely innovative contributions of the nominee(s) that have advanced patient care for thousands of people.

No more than five (5) letters of support per nomination will be accepted for Medical Research Award nominations. While there is no limit to the number of letters that may be sent in support of Public Service Award nominations, quality should be emphasized over quantity.

It is acceptable to send support letters by email (in PDF format) to dkeegan@laskerfoundation.org.

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. 
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. 

Winners are typically notified in late June

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