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Shiny New Award

Len Blavatnik, the billionaire founder of Access Industries, and the New York Academy of Sciences are planning new $250,000 prizes that are to be awarded to three young scientists, the New York Times reports. The new awards build on a smaller, regional program, expanding it to be nationwide.

The prizes are to be awarded annually and are open to investigators under the age of 42.

"The Nobel's about $1 million," Blavatnik says. "I thought $250,000 was big enough to make it really interesting but not big enough to be scary. There are a lot of rewards for established scientists, but I don't think young scientists get enough encouragement and support in a systematic way."

Nominations from research universities and academic medical centers will be accepted this October through December, and the first winners are to be announced September 2014.