The Vilcek Foundation champions the inclusion of diverse perspectives for the advancement of the arts and sciences. We celebrate and invest in immigrant artists and scientists at every stage of their careers.
The Vilcek Foundation Prizes were established in 2006. Since then, we have awarded over $5.1 million to immigrants from 54 different countries.
The Vilcek Prizes are awarded to immigrants with a legacy of major accomplishment in the biomedical sciences and the arts and humanities, including: literature, culinary arts, music, filmmaking, architecture, dance, design, fashion, theatre, and visual arts. The Vilcek Prize includes a $100,000 cash award.
The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise are awarded to emerging to mid-career immigrant professionals in the biomedical sciences and the arts and humanities who have demonstrated outstanding achievement early in their careers. The Creative Promise Prize includes a $50,000 cash award.
The Vilcek Prize for Excellence is awarded to immigrants who have had a profound impact on American society and world culture, or to individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to immigrant causes. The Vilcek Prize for Excellence includes a $100,000 cash award.
Xiaowei Zhuang receives the Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science for developing super-resolution microscopy and genome-scale imaging to directly visualize the structures, activities, and expression profiles of life-sustaining molecules in cells.
Edwidge Danticat receives the Vilcek Prize in Literature for dazzling prose and profound understanding of our shared human condition embodied through her genre-spanning work that explores the Haitian diaspora and other personal narratives.
Robert A. Katzmann receives the Vilcek Prize for Excellence in the Administration of Justice for his exemplary career in public service and his dedication to broadening access to legal representation for immigrants in need.
Kıvanç Birsoy receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for developing cutting-edge tools to unravel the altered metabolism of cancer cells and uncovering molecular targets for treatment.
Viviana Gradinaru receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for developing next-generation tools in optogenetics, tissue clearing, and gene delivery, with potential therapeutic applications in human diseases.
Martin Jonikas receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science for molecular studies on Chlamydomonas, a model photosynthetic organism, with long-term implications for improving food-crop yield and combating climate change.
Yaa Gyasi receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature for deeply engaging writing that unites the twin arcs of West African and African American history, and for her relentless examination of injustices of the past and present in "Homegoing" (2016).
Valeria Luiselli receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature for intelligent, distinctive fiction and nonfiction that interrogates the United States’ immigration system, and bears witness to those left voiceless by mass deportation.
Jenny Xie receives the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Literature for the construction of a unique poetic voice that—in its play and invention—examines the essence of perspective and selfhood through an evocative lens in "Eye Level" (2018).
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