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The 2nd Amgen Korea–KAST Biotechnology Awards Nomination Process Due to Start

  • Three winners – 1 next-generation scientist and 2 postdoctoral researchers – with excellent research footprint in biology and bioengineering will be awarded 60 million won in total
  • With candidate nominations by 24 June followed by 2 rounds of review by KAST, final winners will be announced and awarded in a ceremony in November

(25 April 2022) Amgen Korea (GM: Sang Noh) announced it would start the nomination process from 25 April, together with the Korean Academy of Science and Technology or KAST (President: Ook-Joon Yoo), for the 2nd Amgen-KAST Biotechnology Awards.

Started last year, the Amgen-KAST Biotechnology Awards aims at discovering and recognizing young researchers in Korea who have shown excellent achievements in biology and bioengineering research. As Amgen’s impressive growth for the past 40 years into one of the world's leading biotechnology companies was powered by the biology-first approach, the Amgen-KAST Biotechnology Awards is also to advocate young researchers in bioengineering as well as to encourage basic science research in Korea. The award program is hosted by KAST, which is well-equipped with expertise in discovering and helping great scientific and technical minds.

While one winner was selected for each category last year, 3 winners in biology and bioengineering research – 1 next-generation scientist and 2 postdoctoral researchers – will be awarded 60 million won in total this year. It is to recognize and appreciate achievements by more postdoctoral researchers, who so far have often gone unnoticed due to scarcity or absence of award programs in Korea that celebrate works by postdoctoral researchers.

For the next-generation scientist category, candidates should be those aged 45 years old or younger (born on or after 2 Jan. 1976) working for a university or research institute in Korea. To become eligible, he or she needs to have worked on, as a main author, at least 5 published research papers for the last 10 years (published since 1 Jan. 2013) with the winner due to receive the award plaque and prize money of 40 million won. As for the postdoctoral researcher category, those who earned their doctorate degree no more than 7 years ago (earned on or after 1 Jan. 2015) or are 39 years old or younger (born on or after 2 Jan. 1982) can be a candidate if they are working as a temporary contract-based researcher or a researcher who is not a full-time teacher at a local university, national/public or the government-funded research institute, or private research institute. To become eligible, he or she needs to have worked on at least 1 paper as a first author while working for a non-full time position in Korea, with 2 winners due to receive the award plaque and prize money of 10 million won each.

Candidate nominations will start from Monday, 25 April to Friday, 24 June, followed by 2 rounds of review by KAST – 1st in each category and 2nd for comprehensive assessment – for winner selection. The announcement of the winners and award ceremony are planned for November this year. Candidate recommendations can be submitted by a representative of an associated university (graduate school), research institute or academic association, or principal supervisor for eligible research or studies. More details about the nomination including candidate recommendation form are available on the KAST website’s announcement section.

Sang Noh, GM, Amgen Korea, said: “The 2nd Amgen-KAST Biotechnology Awards marks an exciting opportunity for us to play our part to support young researchers dedicated to basic science research. We are very much looking forward to the opportunity to celebrate young promising scientists this year. I hope we get to receive more nominations for excellent researchers and scientists who can lead the future of biology in Korea. One of the world’s leading biotechnology companies offering transformative therapies rooted in basic science, Amgen Korea is dedicated to bringing Amgen’s global ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) aspirations to life through, for instance, the Amgen-KAST Biotechnology Awards and Grow up, Bio up campaign for science education of children and adolescents. We will continue to do everything we can to provide support in basic science and biology, and help promising next-generation scientists grow and prosper in Korea.

Ook-Joon Yoo, President, KAST, said: “We are thrilled to be able to appreciate and celebrate achievements by researchers with strong research footprint, through the Amgen-KAST Biotechnology Awards this year as well. The Amgen-KAST Biotechnology Awards is especially meaningful in that it lays the foundation for young researchers in Korea to grow on and lead the future of biology, and keeps the challenging spirit in their research. As this year celebrates one more postdoctoral researcher, we expect outpouring nominations and interest amongst young scientists and researchers who are taking biology in Korea to the next level. KAST will remain committed to supporting promising researchers who can become a leader in biology in Korea so that their great works and achievements can continue."

Amgen, one of the leading biotechnology companies, is working towards mid- and long-term business strategies which incorporate ESG commitment that not only supports but contributes to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Guided by Amgen’s ESG commitment on a global level, Amgen Korea too is playing its part to be a socially responsible member in the Korean society. With a special focus on social values, Amgen Korea has been implementing the Corporate Responsibility 2025 Plan to promote diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging as well as to invest more in the local community.

At the heart of the Corporate Responsibility 2025 Plan is Amgen Korea's expertise as a biotechnology leader, to discover and support remarkable life scientists in different life cycle stages as well as to deliver more immediate benefits to the local community. The plan includes the Golden House Campaign with the Jung-gu office of Seoul and Community Chest of Korea for better living condition for the less privileged in the community, the Blue Wish Campaign with Make-A-Wish Korea to grant a wish for children with critical illnesses, the Grow up, Bio up Campaign with the Seoul Science Center for life science education of children and adolescents, and Amgen-KAST Biotechnology Awards for promising young researchers in life science.