The Vilcek Foundation awards the Vilcek Prizes annually to immigrants who have made lasting contributions to American society through their extraordinary achievements in biomedical research and the arts and humanities. Two prizes are awarded, one in biomedical research and one in the arts and humanities, in a field designated by the foundation. In 2016, the arts category is theatre (previously: fine art, architecture, music, film, culinary arts, literature, dance, contemporary music, design, and fashion).
The foundation awards its prizes each spring at a ceremony held in New York City. To date, scientists and artists from more than two dozen countries have been honored by the foundation, a clear demonstration of its global perspective.
The Vilcek PrizeS
The Vilcek Prize is awarded each year to two recipients, one in biomedical research and one in the arts or humanities. Vilcek Prize winners each receive $100,000 and a trophy, uniquely designed for each winner by Stefan Sagmeister.
The Vilcek PrizeS for Creative Promise
The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise were established as a complement to the Vilcek Prizes, to encourage and support the artistic and scientific endeavors of younger immigrants, who often face formidable challenges early in their careers. The Creative Promise Prizes are competitive, and applicants are required to submit essays, letters of recommendation, and examples of their best work.
After an in-depth evaluation process, juries select three biomedical scientists and three artists who they deem to have demonstrated exceptional creativity and future promise in pursuit of their goals. Each receives a $50,000 cash prize and a commemorative plaque, presented at the annual Vilcek Foundation awards ceremony.
The Selection Process
The Vilcek Prize nominations are evaluated by two juries, one composed of experts in medical research, the other leaders in the arts category under consideration. Following a thorough deliberation process, the juries select winners and submit their recommendations to the foundation's board of directors for final approval. Similarly, applicants for the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise are reviewed by prominent jurors in their respective fields, who choose the prizewinners.