The Rosenkranz Prize

The Dr. George Rosenkranz Prize is awarded to a young Stanford researcher whose work aims to improve health care in the developing world. Dr. Rosenkranz committed his career to reducing health disparities across the globe, and this prize honors his work. Aimed at fostering innovative and thoughtful research, the Rosenkranz Prize is a stipend of US$100,000 to foster innovative, thoughtful research over a two-year period. The Rosenkranz Prize is not simply a financial resource—it will also give its recipients an incubating network as they develop their careers. Eligible recipients include Stanford instructors, research associates, postdoctoral students or Stanford professors early in their career, without respect to chronological age, from the disciplines of science, engineering, medicine, health policy, environmental and earth sciences, political science, economics, law, business, the humanities or from any multidisciplinary partnership that combines these disciplines.


Dr. Rosenkranz has devoted his career to improving health care access across the world. Born in Hungary in 1916 and trained in chemistry by Nobel Prize winner Leopold Ruzicka, Dr. Rosenkranz helped first synthesize Cortisone in 1951. This remarkable discovery—made in Mexico by Dr. Rosenkranz and a team of similarly youthful scientists—shaped Dr. Rosenkranz’s career of far-reaching, innovative work. In that same decade, Dr. Rosenkranz’s team would synthesize the active ingredient for the first oral birth control. Partnering with a Wall Street investor for further drug development, Dr. Rosenkranz became CEO of Syntex, a position he held until 1981.

Committed to the country where he started his career, Dr. Rosenkranz helped found the Mexican National Institute for Genomic Medicine. His work was honored by the President in Mexico in 2001 with the Eduardo Liceaga Medal.  An inductee into the Bridge Hall of Fame in 2000, Dr. Rosenkranz lives with his wife in Menlo Park, CA, and has three children.

What the Prize Entails

The Rosenkranz Prize Award Committee will convene to choose a Stanford researcher whose work fulfills the vision of the award. The Rosenkranz Award winner will receive US$100,000 over two years. This stipend will provide its recipient with support that may include—but is not limited to—research costs, defrayment of travel expenses and publication costs. 

At the end of the award, the Rosenkranz recipient will present research findings accomplished with stipend support. Beyond the two years of funding, the Rosenkranz recipient will remain part of the Rosenkranz Award network.

Who is Eligible: Focus on Young Researchers

The Rosenkranz Prize is intended for young Stanford researchers — research associates, postdoctoral students, Assistant Professors, Instructors — whose work focuses on improving health care access in the developing world. The recipient can come from the disciplines of science, engineering, medicine, health policy, environmental and earth sciences, political science, economics, law, business, the humanities, or from any multidisciplinary partnership that combines these disciplines. All applicants must be enrolled in or employed by Stanford during the duration of the two-year award.

In the current scientific climate, most NIH grants go to established researchers. The Rosenkranz Prize aims to stimulate the work of Stanford’s bright young stars—researchers who have the desire to improve healthcare access in the developing world but lack the resources.

Throughout his career, Dr. Rosenkranz valued the talent and insight of young researchers. While working at Syntax, Dr. Rosenkranz mentored teams of young scientists who went on to develop several major medications including dermatological steroids and one of the leading nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents.  This award embodies Dr. Rosenkranz’s belief that young scientists hold the spirit, curiosity and drive necessary to find alternative solutions to longstanding healthcare dilemmas. His own career burgeoned from mentorship, and this award continues that tradition by creating a network of scientists devoted to improving healthcare access and helping one another in their respective pursuits.

Learn More about Recent Winner, Prasanna Jagannathan, and his work on a malaria vaccine for pregnant women

How to Apply

The Rosenkranz Prize application deadline is Friday, April 19, 2019, by 5 p.m. Pacific.

In making its award decision, the selection committee seeks both an innovative thinker and an inspiring project. The person must have a record of accomplishment and promise as a researcher. The project must be innovative and embody a scalable concept for improving healthcare access in the developing world.

Applicants should submit their application and related documents on the Stanford Seed Funding website. 

Fellowship Coordinator 
Francesca Apalis
615 Crothers Way, Suite 128-E
Stanford, CA 94305-6019
(650) 721-2798 (voice)