For instance, Katalin Karikó, key researcher in mRNA technology in immunology and therapies got a bunch of awards in 2021 as a result of the COVID19 vaccine being developed based on her work.
Did someone on Karikó's behalf fill out applications and nominations for each of these awards/prizes/medals, or had the publicity from her work just lead these organizations to pick her because they just know how impactful and important her work is?
Edit: I want to emphasize the question is not about self-nomination, it's about getting awards without applying or being nominated at all.
The question is, does anyone ever win awards/prizes/etc. because the accomplishment is so major and widely known that the committee just says "There's no doubt, this is the clear winner, it's so impactful that no nomination/application is required or expected."
The COVID19 vaccine based on mRNA work is a prime example. It literally affects every human being on the planet in a life or death way, right now.